“Vanish, Reincarnate” is an art project by Trilingua Design for the “1+1 a cross strait four regions artistic exchange project” in 2011.
“1+1” was organized by Hong Kong Art Centre, Taiwan Kuandu Museum of Fine Art and Shen Zhen He Xiang Ning Art Museum. Twelve artists from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau were to collaborate in pairs of two to form a new art work, and the art works were exhibited in three museums in three regions.
In the initial plan, Trilingua Design was assigned to collaborate with a Beijing artist, however that artist withdraw the program out of personal reasons.
Instead of collaborating with artist, we initiated collaboration with the only remaining type casting foundry Ru Xing in Taipei.
We borrowed 800kg of used Chinese metal with several new metal types. The new and old metal types were placed alongside with the used type on a long board. The new metal type constitutes words of different perception, for instance, “a thought” “an idea” “a heart” “a language” “a sound”… At end of the metal type board is a strip of type in a melting state, this is to imply the situation we observe in the “1+1” art project – each artist has their own perception base on their own culture background or experience. Yet in collaboration if these perceptions are not discarded, new ideas could not be formed; new metal type could not be casted without melting old metal type.
The work is also a metaphor – typecasting industry has completely vanished in the Chinese culture, like the used metal type, rusted and dilapidated. However, by melting the used type, new fresh type is casted. It’s a form of reincarnation. This is also a prologue of our collaboration with Ru Xing to revive its Kai type as digital Font.