Sunday, November 16, 2008

Greetings from Scotland

Aine Scannell organized this cube in Scotland  (Note from Candace --- I didn't know which direction the character went... probably lost in translation?)

Below is Aine's  summary of this article she found on the website called “China Now”

XIN HANZI (her title extracted from main article)

Written Chinese, is made up of 55,000 ideographs (hanzi).
Lu Hsun, (a key proponent of the New Writing movement of the 1930s.) called for a “Latinized” vernacular phonetic system to replace these. What he wanted to see was a language system that was truly democratic and not something that had been until then, as he saw it, the preserve of the elite.

Chinese characters have been reformed, reorganized, re-numbered, regulated, restricted and simplified., resulting in the language format that is taught in primary education in China today.

Jiao Yingqi, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Art, says “the Chinese written language has become more accessible. but the basic composite elements of Chinese characters are increasingly archaic, inflexible and poorly equipped for the 21st century.”

The approximately 55,000 extant Chinese characters are based on root components known as “radicals” (pianpang bushou in romanized Chinese). These 189 ideographs include archaic representations such as man, woman, tree, water, soil, rock, sky, heart, field, roof, dish, tiger, bamboo, bird, metal, hand and foot.

To address the gulf between China’s writing system and the post-Modern world, Jiao has embarked on a personal and theoretical project he calls New Characters (Xin Hanzi). Via a trial-and-error process that tightly integrates his artistic, design and theoretical interests, he has thus far created 32 new radicals.

ARTISTS:  Aine Scannell, Alison Leeper, Catherine King, Clare Yarrington, Maria Ginnerup, Sheila Carnduff

1 comment:

ainesse said...

Candace -- you actually have the character the right way up. It's so ironic that in attempting to carve it I did not get it quite right and guess what the character translates as "TRUTH".