Secret Signs: Calligraphy in Chinese Contemporary Art

Secret Signs, an extensive group exhibition catalog asks fundamental questions of art and art making in China today. In 1956 Mao ordered the radical simplification of the ancient complex calligraphic writing system used by the court by standardizing the characters and their sounds, reducing their form and number, creating a sudden lack of referential symbols and images. Is the sidelining of Chinese calligraphy paradigmatic of modern Chinese culture? How does China deal with its cultural heritage in light of the rapid changes brought about by globalization? These poignant issues are explored through the 38 artists spanning the early 1980s to the present including Ai Wei Wei, Chen Guangwu, Chen Zaiyan and Dai Guangyu along with artist interviews, essays by cultural historians and curators and installation views from the exhibition.

Edited by Dirk Luckow

Hardbound: 9.5" x 12" x 1"

240 pages, 10 b&w images, 180 color images