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Deconstructing Characters 解构汉字
Chinese Character Biennial in conjunction with 2008 Beijing Olympics, Ku Art Center, Beijing, China
Artists: Jiayi Young in collaboration with Shih-Wen Young and Ge Xi Ling
Medium: Chinese rice paper, Chinese ink, decal, found objects, projection, and sound
Dimension: 15’ x 15’ x 24’
In contemporary Chinese metropolitan areas, scrap drywall pieces are often used by labor workers as cheap signage to advertise for labor. Juxtaposing Chinese calligraphy and these labor signages, this installation scrutinizes the relationship between content and its accepted form of display. In a society where social mobility changes rapidly, this installation scrambles content and its conventional display to inquire about the cultural function of writing, its social significance, status and categorization. Furthermore, it attempts to challenge the prevailing sense of social inequality that exists between China’s educated elite and the working class peasants.