Site-specific Performances of Chinese Calligraphy at Historic Buildings of Hong Kong

Proceedings of The 9th International Conference on New Findings in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2023



Site-specific Performances of Chinese Calligraphy at Historic Buildings of Hong Kong

Chak Kwong Lau




This paper presents the wider significance of Chinese calligraphy with elements of public display of Chinese language and linguistic landscape (LL) in the innovative context of site-specific performances of calligraphy at historic buildings of Hong Kong. In sharp contrast with the conventional approach of producing and appreciating calligraphic works in relatively quiet interior settings such as studios and museums, the large-scale site-specific performances of calligraphy under examination were conducted at public venues in a more dynamic manner with emphases on not only the final creative outputs, but also the processes of the entire performances of calligraphy. With an integrated research methodology that encompasses interdisciplinary methods in art history, creative arts and linguistic landscape, this paper endeavors to understand the motives and uses of Chinese language in the artistic form of calligraphy performance as they were displayed in public spaces. Findings showed that public performances of Chinese calligraphy as composites of aesthetic-object-cum-public-message were effectively used as lively vehicles for creating not only public messages pertaining to the functions, missions and visions of historic buildings in Hong Kong, but also the broader socio-cultural meanings of the historical and cultural heritage as well as the revitalization of historic buildings within the context of the history and development of the modern city of Hong Kong.

keywords: anthropology of art, linguistic landscape (LL), Chinese calligraphy, art history, creative arts