I am fascinated by the transformation between three-dimensional object and
two-dimensional picture, such as painting and photograph. Two-dimensional
pictures are ways of representing objects or events into a flat image for the reason of documenting. I started to photograph interesting moments or attractive combinations while I am making works.

One day, I was searching something on my desk; there were several scrap
papers that I used to put aside next to the laptop and some of them had been
written or doodled(photo.A). Looking at the marks on the scrap papers that
I drew or wrote on top of each other, somehow I found connections between
the drawings, written language photographs, and the objects I created.
I like to use simple elements to draw, such as lines or dots. When drawing,
it slowly builds up the visual image which stimulates my brain and cooperates with my hands without planning. Using my hands as a tool instead of constantly drawing nonsense lines, I select materials to recompose a structure according to the material itself and accumulate the elements into a three-dimensional object.
Coincidently, the object(item) looks like the drawing I drawn.

There were several English words written on the scrap paper as another layer.
The outline of each word, written in Latin-script, would always look as a long
rectangular shape as the result from the strict rule of correctly spelling.
In that, I found it is very different form Chinese character which is formed in square shape and the way of reading Chinese text is very flexible from left to right horizontally or right to left vertically. This is due to the fact that the Chinese written language exists as the combination of signs as its elements, and the signs symbolize individual objects or images. For example, the Lego
toy blocks could build up a house, a castle, a city, etc. Imagining that each
Chinese character is like a group of two or three blocks in flatten form, and people could place the groups of blocks freely. Looking at the objects I made and placing them on top of the white paper(photo.B), the image seems to flatten objects into characters following the same method of creating Chinese written language. As the result of that, I began to investigate the formation of the Chinese characters and how it relates to the process of my making.

In the thesis I will draw from examples of calligraphy as Huai-Su, as I will also
show that the method employed in calligraphy is close to the practice of western artists, notably Richard Tuttle and Eva Hesse.

How do Chinese characters form, and how does a sign represent meaning?
The earliest version of today’s Chinese characters was found on tortoise shells
and shoulder blades of cattle, known as “oracle bones”.
The written documents on the oracle bones were the evidence that the Chinese character had bee transformed from depicting concrete objects by using simplified characteristic strokes. These abstract symbols were then rearranged to formulate compound words to express more complicated ideas.

In contrast with phonetic systems as English, a sign representing a sound, Chinese character convey a meaning independent of sound and showing
the image as a sign in direct way. The Chinese written language is not as simple as it may seem following the diagrams of subjects, such as animals, houses, tools or human figures. “Picture-writing” and Compound pictographs were two of six methods1. Based on the six methods, the complex written language is created. Pictograph is the most direct and earliest way of creating Chinese character, which is the same as Sumerian cuneiform script and Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The six methods of creating Chinese character are developed and categorized logically to reflect the complete nature of the Chinese writing system, and one method is derived from another in order to better satisfy the need of precise written communication. The six methods efficiently help people to express and exchange ideas and thoughts visually without miscommunication.

As for the spoken language, the standard Mandarin Chinese, each character
represents a one-syllable word, but the pronunciation of the character can be
extremely different, depending on the geographical location. An interesting example is that a Chinese and a Japanese might be able to understand each other perfectly well through exchanging notes because they share the same written characters even though the spoken languages are not the same.

Drawing is the easiest way to record and express the subject and matters. For example, the sign of the sun also stands for day, and the character of the moon also stand for month. However, life is as complicated as Chinese characters. The pictorial sign could not interpret the complexity such as the emotional feeling of a person or the deeper meaning of the matters. Therefore, the development of writing evolves from putting together two or more existing symbols to form a new character. Let’s take the word “tree” as an example. Two trees standing side by side means “forest”, and adding three characters up denotes “thick forest” or “dark.” When “forest” combines with “fire” then the figurative expression is becoming “burn”. Also, Combining the character
“sun” with “moon” stands for “clear” or “brilliant.”, while “Women” plus “child” represents “good”, “well” or “very.”

The logical thought behind the methods contains not only literary
comprehension but also abstract meanings. Likewise, the characters
“thick forest”, tripled-tree sign becomes a stronger representation, closer
to the image in real. Therefore, the Chinese written signs are sometimes
a very powerful representation for the readers, especially Pictographs and Compound Pictograph.

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1. Pictography, Compound Pictographs-Ideograph, Loan Characters, Enlarged Loan characters, Characters with Derivative Meaning and Radical plus Phonetic Compounds.