“Women’s Writing”, 女书 (Nüshu) in Chinese, is a script developed by and only passed on among the female population of small villages in South Hunan Province. Derived from square Chinese characters and local symbols, Nüshu takes the shape of rhombus, looking almost like dancing figures.
Nüshu has historically served an important role of communication and emancipation for local women; it enabled them to express themselves openly and freely in restricted and patriarchal imperial China: they frequently exchanged letters, poems, songs, prayers, tales, wedding congratulations, etiquette advice, etc. towards each other.
Lines of Nüshu poems (during an exhibition and a workshop)
Nüshu culture goes beyond the writing system. The definition of a fluent Nüshu user includes singing, writing, embroidery and the sworn sisterhood. These activities bring the local women together, create a strong bond among them, and allows time and space where they could exchange emotions and ideas.
Here below are several projects I've developed around the subject of Nüshu during the artist residency at Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai.
Photography series "Dance Remains"
Exhibition view at Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai