Square Calligraphy Classroom

Few days ago, Laura Bee sent me this photo by a Chinese artist called Xu Bing. Attached photo was taken on one of Xu’s classes titled: Square Calligraphy Classroom. The intention of this installation was to simulate a classroom-like setting, in a gallery or museum space. Desks are arranged with small containers of ink, brushes and a copybook with instructions on the basic principles of  New English Calligraphy, a writing system invented and designed by the artist.

As people attempt to recognize and write these words, some of the thinking patterns that have been ingrained in them since they learned to read are challenged. It is the artists’ belief that people must have their routine thinking attacked in this way. While undergoing this process of estrangement and re-familiarization with one’s written language, the audience is reminded that the sensation of distance between other systems of language and one’s own is largely self-induced. That being said, if you look closely you’ll find the below characters not so hard to read

xu1A video titled ”Elementary Square-Word Calligraphy Instruction,” was played on a monitor during the exhibition, capturing the audience’s attention and inviting them to participate in the class. Once they were seated at the desks, the audience was instructed to take up their brushes and the lesson in New English Calligraphy begins.

xu2

Click Here for a RANDOM Optical Illusion

67 Replies to “Square Calligraphy Classroom”

    1. the simbles say “little bo peep little bo peep has lost her sheep”

      the right hand bottom corner, the very bottom has the letters “a,n,c” the one above it says “and”

  1. Chinese is read going downwards instead of left to right, it’s read from top to bottom…..the words are, fly find four failing:.:.: yielding applying introduction together:.:.:impossible forgotten practice experience…..the next page reads, little bo peep, little bo peep, has lost her sheep, and can….that’s where it ends. :)

  2. The letters look to be Chinese, but each character is a word in English letters. For example, on the left page, the top left one is “fly” and the bottom right one is “experience”.

  3. I am gonna say the illusion is the fact that I don’t know Chinese but I see a segment of Little Bo Peep childrens story on the right hand side :D

  4. The “Illusion” is that all of the “Chinese Characters” are actually words written in english, but made to look like a single chinese character. The one on the top left is the word “fly” for instance. You can probably figure out the rest from there.

  5. I’m still amazed with the words “practice”, “introduction” and “forgotten”.
    One left to ‘translate’… (Left side. 2,4)

  6. well every one gets the right side pretty ez but as for the left its a lil harder i got most the words firgured out for the most part, reading from top to bottem here are the words but unfotunatly it don’t seem to be a sentace just random words idk it don’t make sence to me maybe some one eles can make sence out of it.
    fly
    find
    four
    falling <-G's look very strange…..
    i4elding <-couldn't get this word
    appi4ing <- couldn't get this word
    introduction
    together
    impossible
    forgotten
    practice
    expirence

  7. left side don’t make sence…think its just random words(readin from top to bottem)
    fly
    find
    four
    falling <- notice G's look weird
    i4elding <-some one figure out what a 4 is?
    appi4ing <- again a 4???
    introduction
    together
    impossible
    forgotten
    practice
    expirence

  8. I think the first one is just a collection of words without structure:

    fly
    find
    four
    failing
    yielding
    appiring
    introduction
    together
    impossible
    forgotten
    practice
    experience

    The second one’s a bit more sensible, though “Little Bo Peep” is repeated for some reason.

  9. If you dont know all the worlds, scroll to the middle of the comments, and read the comment of “Easy spotter”, he has all words in a row :]

  10. left page, from left going down and so on:
    fly
    find
    four
    failing
    yielding
    applying
    introduction
    together
    impossible
    forgotten
    practice
    experience

  11. On the left, it’s just words:
    fly, find, four, falling, yielding, applying, introduction, together, impossible, forgotten, practice, experience

    Very Cool! ^_^

  12. (Spoiler)
    L side:
    Fly, Find, Four, Falling, Yielding, Applying, Introduction, Together, Impossible, Forgotten, Practice, Experience.

    R side:
    Little, Bo, Peep, Little, Bo, Peep, Has, Lost, Her, Sheep, And, Can.

  13. fly yielding impossible
    find applying forgotten
    four introduction practice
    failing together experience
    these are the first words
    i dont get why four is there tho

  14. The left side says (from top to bottom, going from the left column to the right):
    fly find four failing yielding applying introduction together impossible forgotten practice experience

    no idea what it means though..

  15. On the left I can read
    Fly find four failing
    Yielding applying introduction together
    Impossible forgotten practice experience

  16. I love puzzles…….Thanks, it was fun!!!!!

    fly yielding impossible
    find applying forgotten
    four introduction practice
    failing together experience

    little bo her
    bo peep sheep
    peep has and
    little lost can

  17. SO DARN EASY
    L SIDE
    FLY
    FIND
    FOUR
    FALLING
    YIELDING
    APPLYING
    INTRODUCTION
    TOGETHER
    IMPOSSIBLE
    FORGOTTEN
    PRACTICE
    EXPERIENCE

    R SIDE
    LITTLE
    BO
    PEEP
    LITTLE
    BO
    PEEP
    HAS
    LOST
    HER
    SHEEP
    AND
    CAN

  18. It says
    left side
    FLY
    FIND
    FOUR
    FALLING
    YIELDING
    APPLYING
    INTRODUCTION
    TOGETHER
    IMPOSSIBLE
    FORGOTTEN
    PRACTICE
    EXPERIENCE
    Right Side so easy

    LITTLE
    BO
    PEEP
    LITTLE
    BO
    PEEP
    HAS
    LOST
    HER
    SHEEP
    AND
    CAN

  19. oh i had to do that for ART last year, we had to write our names in that calligraphy. Everyone acutally though it was normal calligraphy until we were given the words that they made up…

  20. It’s really hard for me because I’m Chinese and I can read it. So I can’t see the letters. Oh well. Now I see it because I read the comments.

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