The British Museum:Territories of Practice-Text Image

The British Museum

Territories of Practice-Text Image

Since I was young, I liked talk with other people, listening to them, and counselling with them. Once I started having conversation with people, I was unaware of the passage of 2 or 3 hours. That make me know about the communication importance among the people. For me, telling the story is fun. I can tell my opinion to somebody, I can also express and tell my feelings, and I was able to give my knowledge to somebody. That is why people around me tell me that you must be good at announcer, VJ, teacher or counselor. 

It is natural for me to have an interest in the important elements of communication; language, sound, and signal. Among them, expression mode of text included in the language has always been difficult for me. Text has been a biasedly recognized as a design field related to practical academia rather than communication work in my head. Looking for origins of text in various countries, it is identifiable that characters in Egypt or China expressed the communication in a format of image since humans started communicating with each other and recorded them as a course of development of hieroglyphics. Therefore, text is regarded as the most typical image of drawing and hence an image for communication. However, when I was unable to exactly identify how to express text in my work because it is a promised sign and also standardized in human society, the class “Territories of Practice – Text Image’ was of a welcoming rain to me. 

Since they were precious works preserved in the storage of the British Museum, I was unable to take a picture of them. However, I was satisfied by leaving a simple sketch of them that only I was able to identify  

Fred Wilson (American, b.1954) 575 x 480

Among them, there was a work that attracted me. It was the work in 1954 by an artist named Fred Wilson that performed in the field creating work in a theme of realizing the history and culture in each period as well as racial discrimination as an African-American from US exhibition by participating in Venice Biennale in 2003. This work expressed how the ink, an element for oriental drawing, spread in the shape of water drop or fungus on the white rice paper based on direct lettering of lines in styles that might be shown on poetic diction from novels by Moby-Dick or Claude McKay and works by Shakespeare. How the ink was spread out to the white rice paper was very effective and painting-type of image expressing African-American that was regarded as dirty fungus on Caucasian-dominating society, and direct and realistic lettering applied on it served as a role of delivering the powerful story and the meaning and also representing one efficient work that graphic drawing and design-based text were well harmonized. This work expressing the society with racial indiscrimination related to lack of communication without understanding the difference of Caucasian and African-American inspired me much in terms of whether to express behind themes of my work through efficient visual works with text along with theme of ‘communication.’   

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