Beijing Renga is three-person collaborative exploration using letterform/pictographic character between Chinese contemporary calligrapher GAO Xia of Xi'an and Tokyo CG artists and developers of the network art series Renga, ANZAI Toshihiro and NAKAMURA Rieko
In Anzai and Nakamura's Renga, a digitally-imaged "painting" is sent from one partner to the other over the net. Playing on the possibilities inherent in the until now ubiquitous problem of "manipulating another artist's work," it is now hailed as a new art form. (For details refer to Renga site.)
Only with this kind of digital methodology can the possibility of irreversible dialogue between analog and digital be explored. One aspect of Beijing Renga focuses on this issue, using Chinese calligraphy as the crossover.
Beijing Renga is divided into a first part, in which works created by the artists over a distance were physically transported as "objects" between Xi'an and Tokyo, and a second part in which the three artists met in Beijing and, in the public eye, completed a dialogue of works. GAO Xia's two calligraphic renditions of the character "soul" set Beijing Renga's start. The two pieces, one in the tensho style and one in the kokotsu style, were carried to Tokyo, where Anzai and Nakamura converted them into digital works. Printouts were returned to Xi'an, and a third generation succession was created by Gao.
"The fourth and fifth generations were created during live sessions held at Vision Quest 1996 Beijing, by invitation from InterArt Association and China Packaging and Technology Association. My calligraphy was digitized in the CG environment assembled at the exhibition hall and 'painted.' It was then printed out on rice paper upon which I 'wrote' again.
China/Japan, tradition/new technology, the letterform/painting, data/ink: in the interstice where extraneous elements collide, 'form' as a common element provided for a happy dialogue to be woven. Beijing Renga is that documentation." (u)
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