Shū Fǎ (书法), Mandarin for Chinese calligraphy, is a visual and literary writing art form which has been widely practised in China for centuries.
It is considered one of China’s many cultural treasures and has been passed on through generations.
Using only four tools – the brush, ink, paper, and plastic, Malaysian calligrapher mo4ji4 puts a contemporary twist on Chinese calligraphy and has transformed the writing art form into an art installation at ZHAN Art | Space, Petaling Jaya.
Upon entering the art space, visitors are enclosed by gigantic Chinese calligraphy written all over the walls and floors.
The art installation titled ‘New Beginnings’, has broad inky brushstrokes sweeping across the art space, a poignant reminder to society to regain its strength to combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, whilst moving forward into a state of healing and recovery.
19 sets of couplets that reflect the ideology of reset, reflect, and redo are plastered all over the wall. The floor, on the other hand, is filled with calligraphy wordings inspired by two famous songs, The Road to Ordinary by Pu Shu and The Brightest Star in the Sky by Escape Plan.
“We wanted to work with mo4ji4 who has a deep passion for the traditional Chinese writing art form. The idea of showcasing Chinese calligraphy in the form of an art installation is something ZHAN Art | Space was very keen to explore. We hope to remove the stigma of Chinese calligraphy as an art form that only appears during the Spring Festival and offer the audience a different perspective and appreciation of Chinese calligraphy,” said Desmond Tong, founder of ZHAN Art | Space.
mo4ji4 explains that while this is not his first exhibition showcasing calligraphy in an art space, it is his biggest and most ambitious attempt to date.
He hopes that by infusing and integrating the traditional element with a contemporary take, the audience will be engaged with his works and have a new regard for Chinese calligraphy.
New Beginnings is scheduled from 8 August to 25 September 2022. The works sold range between RM 1,000 to RM 5,000.
Cover image supplied by Zhan Art | Space.