-> To the work’s website.
-> Prints on rice paper; Video installation
-> Dec. 2021
-> Keywords: Computational Art, Machine Learning, Pix2Pix, Chinese Calligraphy
-> Documentation
-> Video

LEFT: generated calligraphy; RIGHT: dad’s replication of the generated calligraphy

Dad, Will You Teach Me Calligraphy? brings to the forefront a topic about learning and machine learning, and the layered relationship between a father and a child. This is a project I created in collaboration with my dad.

After witnessing my dad practicing calligraphy year by year, I decided to collect his calligraphy works and train a machine-learning algorithm that learns, or imitates, his style. The algorithm is also capable to generate non-existent Chinese characters--characters that look like Chinese but actually make no sense. Therefore, on the left, we get a purely generated calligraphy piece written in a false language, in my dad’s style.

On the right, is dad’s attempt of recreating the generated work--in his familiar brushstroke style, while the language background was stripped away. Like those pupils learning calligraphy, he started imitating his own style from scratch. This two-way imitation--machine imitating dad’s style and dad imitating the generated output—is where the intimate relationships between dad and calligraphy, digital and analogue, dad and me, get to be explored and perceived.

*The custom software was developed greatly based on the idea of Recursive Radical Packing Language proposed by artist Huang Lingdong. Part of the code was borrowed/modified from Lingdong's original project documented on Github.

- Exhibited at SCM Annual, Singing Wave Gallery, HK
- Awarded SCM Fountain Prize

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