scaffold tie: in remembrance of a writing system




october 2007
scaffolding, Hong Kong


Scaffold Tie:
In Rembembrance of a Writing System

I was collecting scaffolding ties from construction sites in Hong Kong and learning Chinese calligraphy at the time. These nylon ties were used for fastening long bamboo sticks together in a grid that wrapped tall buildings.

In the process of learning the scaffolding ties’ language, I tried to reapply the system of writing of the Chinese language into this new calligraphic experience. There are many rules in Chinese character strokes, but among the basic ones are left to right, top to bottom, outside to inside.

In this exercise, I advanced from a beginner level writing in pencil, to an intermediate level writing in Sumi ink and brush. This calligraphy practice related to my experience as a child having difficulty learning in school how to write my own Chinese name, and tracing over Chinese characters to practice the strokes over and over again.