2015. 5" x 7", Cyanotype and seal chop ink paste, Hand bound artist book



This project is in appreciation of the genuine beauty of my given name. Inspired by traditional Chinese literati paintings, this project is also in collaboration with my father who is the calligrapher and seal-carver for the project.

Coming from Asia, living in America has been more or less blurring up the identity of many of us oversea dwellers. Instead of continuing using our given names, many of us choose to be addressed with a western name out of our free will. There are several reasons behind it, but one of it being, no matter how closely pronounced, the English spelling name appears on our legal paper would still be afar from its linguistic origin. That to me completely dismisses the beauty of one of the oldest languages in the world that has a history for over 3000 years.

Mandarin is not only rhythmical but also highly graphical to the development of each character. Mandarin etymology has several inscriptions, from drawing alike graphics to the present writing form. The chosen one for the project is call "xiao zhuan". It means ancient seal style, which is the third stage of the inscription development, right in between illustrations and writing characters.

Each given name is unique and beautiful. With the characters chosen by the parents, they give meaning, expectation and identity to a person. This project is a small tribute to the beauty of heritage, in hope to arise people's admiration and embrace their own culture and history.