«Dishu: Ground Calligraphy in China» is a survey about contemporary calligraphic practices in Chinese public spaces, a photographic and video documentary project developed during summer 2011 in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang. The videos presented on this platform are moments, uncut real time sequences giving the opportunity to fully observe an inscription in the making: capturing at the scale of public space the different handwritten gestures and the duration of strokes. In Beijing the videos were mainly shot in the following parks: Taoranting, Tiantan (Temple of Heaven) and Ditan (Temple of Earth). In Shanghai videos were shot in Zhabei and Luxun parks, in Shenyang in the main central plazza, Zhongshan square.

In China cosmogony, the square or «di» represents the earth and the circle represents the sky; «shu» signifies book, writing by association. The expression «dishu» literally means square book, but here it means earth calligraphy: practicing ephemeral calligraphy on the ground, using clear water as ink. Thousands of anonymous street calligraphers operate daily in Chinese parks and streets, endlessly tracing long or short texts composed of «hanzi» signs, inscriptions slowly disappearing as water evaporates. Very popular nowadays, this recent phenomenon appeared in the beginning of the 1990s in a park in the north of Beijing before spreading in most of major Chinese cities. Based on classic Chinese literature, poetry or aphorisms, these monumental letterings, ranging from static regular to highly cursive styles, convoke the whole body in a spontaneous dance and infinite formal renewals. The calligraphic practice corresponds to a research of self accomplishment or improvement, this improvement modifying our perception of the world.

“地書 : 中國的地上書法”是對於當代中國書法在公共空間裡實踐的調查。這項調查開展於2011年夏天,分別在北京、上海和瀋陽進行了相片拍攝和短片錄製。 在這裡展示的視頻是連續攝製的片段,他們提供了一個對這種書法形式的創作過程進行全面觀察的機會:充分捕捉了在公共空間裡以不同的書寫姿態手勢和筆畫的書寫過程。在北京的視頻片段主要錄製於以下公園:陶然亭公園、天壇公園和地壇公園。在上海的視頻片段主要錄製於閘北公園和魯迅公園。另還有在瀋陽的中心廣場-中山廣場拍攝的片段。

中國人對於宇宙的概念是,“方 ”或“地”是代表地球,大地的延伸,而“圓”就代表著天空; “書”代表書本,書寫的聯合體。按照字面的理解就是“方方正正的書”。但“地書”在這裡 是“地上的書法” 的意思:一種以清水為墨,大地為紙的書法練習方式。每天,許許多多的街頭匿名書法家活躍於城市的街頭巷尾和公園裡。他們利用這種書寫方式無休止地在地上描摹着一些或長或短的文段句子,書寫的文段會隨著水分的蒸發而慢慢消失。這個時下最流行的書法練習現象在傳播到中國的一些主要城市之前,最早在二十世紀九十年代,北京北面的一個公園形成。地面上的這些巨大題字,內容有中國的古典文學,詩詞或格言警句。它們的書寫風格有端正嚴謹的楷書,也有龍飛鳳舞的草書;集結了自然自發的舞蹈和無限的形態更新於一身。書法的練習相當於是一個自我發掘和完善的探索過程,從而改變了我們的世界觀。

francoischastanet.com/works/dishu-ground-calligraphy-in-china

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