Dictionary Series: Water
The Beijing-based artist Qiu Zhijie has deconstructed the traditional art form of calligraphy, assessing the shapes and impact of writing and the way that calligraphy informs Chinese cultural and political identity. In his Dictionary Series, he refers to a treatise from the second century C.E. that was one of the earliest attempts to explain the logic of the Chinese writing system. The dictionary introduced the idea of “radicals,” basic written forms that are building blocks for more complex characters and concepts. Here, the artist writes, rewrites, and combines the radical for “water,” using wet ink and a long, vertical format that suggests a waterfall so that the characters evoke and enact their meaning.
Ink on paper
image: 70 7/8 x 11 in. (180 x 27.9 cm)
mounted on silk: 80 3/4 x 11 3/4 in. (205.1 x 29.8 cm), as it hangs (including rolls) (show scale)
Gift of David Solo
This item is not on view
Qiu Zhijie (Chinese). Dictionary Series: Water, 2001. Ink on paper, image: 70 7/8 x 11 in. (180 x 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of David Solo, 2014.62.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2014.62.2_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2014.62.2_PS9.jpg., 2019
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© Qiu Zhijie
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