China Underground > Contemporary art in China: Exploring China's Flourishing Art Scene > The Spirit of Kanji: Exploring the Lives of Utrecht’s Asian Community

The Spirit of Kanji: Exploring the Lives of Utrecht’s Asian Community

An Artistic Journey Through Calligraphy and Interviews

The Spirit of Kanji” is a fascinating artistic research project that delves into the experiences of individuals of Asian descent who reside in the city of Utrecht. This project, led by Ph.D. student Martine Mussies, aims to explore the sense of belonging and home that these individuals feel in Utrecht. The research is presented through a series of interviews with the participants and accompanying works of art based on the traditional Asian calligraphy style known as “shodo.”

During the interviews, Martine asks the Utrechters of Asian descent about their life experiences in Utrecht, including what brought them to the city and their thoughts on living there. These interviews are then distilled into a single “kanji” character, which is expertly calligraphed to represent the essence of each individual’s story. The resulting artwork provides a unique window into the lives of individuals from different Asian cultures and their experiences in Utrecht.

shoujin ingelijst web

From September to December, the public will have the opportunity to view these works of art throughout the city, in places such as cafes, libraries, and community centers. The works will be accompanied by quotes from the interviews and surrounded by personal items that hold significance to the interviewees. From February 4 to March 1, 2023, a comprehensive exhibition of these works will be held on the first floor of the Utrecht City Office, located conveniently behind the Central Station.

The project is organized by the Japan Fans Foundation, an organization dedicated to establishing a center for Japanese arts and culture in Utrecht. To learn more about the exhibitions and opportunities to contribute, visit the Japan Fans Foundation’s website.

spirit of kanji

Last Updated on 2023/02/09

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