The Walking Bread exhibition by Mingli Jiang was an installation about Chinese calligraphy with both interactive works and still images of laser cut wood board. Jiang says that “calligraphy is not only writing, but also and important indicator of personality.” In this installment, Jiang has created a new form of calligraphy, one whose forms are created digitally with rapid changes. This form is similar to how today’s people use abbreviations for texting, Jiang’s type of calligraphy uses combined Chinese written numbers that form to make different meanings. These meanings are then projected onto sheets of rice paper, the reason for rice paper is because in Jiang’s culture, rice paper in the common medium for writing numbers, calligraphy, and text. When walking along this installment, the viewer will pass by sensors, activating the images to animate and produce a sound. This sound is represented by the written character produced on the projected rice paper.
Not only does the characters animate, but they animate the sound that give off. For example, one image is the character created to show the sound of dripping water, when the sensor is tripped, the character animated as if it were water dripping onto a surface of water.
What Jiang is trying to explain in her calligraphy is every day, informal language is made up and constantly in motion. What could mean something today could mean something else in the future. In her laser cut wood board panels, she has created new meanings and phrases from Chinese number calligraphy. Some of these phrases include “I love you,” “Disappear,” “I hate you,” “I’m starving,” and others that have been shortened to appear as one character.