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Yangjiang Group: Subverting Calligraphy
Yangjiang Group: Subverting Calligraphy

Nowadays, calligraphy seems to have little practical meaning in society. But we are interested in finding out what role calligraphy can still play in society.

Zheng Guogu

Yangjiang Group’s calligraphy practice defies easy categorisation. The collective—founded by Zheng Guogu, Chen Zaiyan, and Sun Qinglin in 2002—is interested in challenging the notion of calligraphy as high culture. They incorporate calligraphy into large-scale installations, photographs, and performances. Their work both subverts and draws on the established rules of the practice.

Calligraphy Peach Blossom Garden (2004), for example, is a temporary garden installation. Calligraphy texts and xuan paper have been transformed into a flowing river underneath a wooden bridge. The scene appears alongside fake peach trees and a wax waterfall. This meditative space subverts traditional methods of presenting calligraphy, reinventing the form through modern materials.

In this video interview, the three founders discuss how and why they started the collective, and their approach towards calligraphy as an art form.

This video was originally published on M+ Stories.

Video Credits

Produced by



CPAK Studio


Anafelle Liu

M+ Curatorial Research

Pi Li, Isabella Tam, Ethan Cheng

M+ Video Production

Chris Sullivan, Jaye Yau, Elaine Wong

M+ Transcript and Closed Captions

LW Lam, Ellen Oredsson, Amy Leung

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