Chinese Calligraphy is the art of writing Chinese letters with 墨 (mo), a black ink sometimes bottled but more traditionally made as a solid inkstick and grounded into liquid on an inkstone. The art of calligraphy evolves subtly with the Chinese language, blocky letters carved like stone onto fragile rice paper, slipping into languid strokes of black across gold-flecked sheets. Prized above all other visual art forms, one’s calligraphy can be seen as a window into the soul.
Hanqing attempts to separate the two halves of her being in this work through Chinese and English script. Often asked to present her name on official documents she is stuck between her given name “Hanqing” and her adopted English name “Megan” – two skins she wears when the occasion suits. In this work she examines her roots and the easy slippage between selves partitioned by culture, fidelity, lineage and practicality.