It struck me just a little while ago how much I love communication and that I’ve now (as of 2023) worked within the field in a variety of roles for more than 25 years.
It’s been a long, wonderful love affair and one that has provided a wealth of creative and monetary rewards that I feel confident few other vocations could have provided me with. I’ve tried a handful of other professions and none came even close. This is probably why I love this newspaper wall so much – even if I can’t understand a single symbol. I don’t even know if the wall is actual news or merely fresh propaganda from the PRC’s long arm.
Regardless, I think it’s a beautiful representation of public communication, which, thanks to its location, makes it accessible and inclusive – as long as you can read Mandarin (I’m obviously guessing here that the wall’s newspapers aren’t printed in Cantonese).
I love Chinese characters as they remind me that the oldest form of communication was hand-painted on cave walls and not written letters, words, or sentences. The shapes and forms of the earliest Chinese characters (Shang Dynasty, 1600 – 1046 B.C.) were more reflective of what they represented and the oldest cave paintings (Indonesia, 43,000 B.C.) were rough but basic and concise. Inarguable as long as you knew what they represented. If you hadn’t seen a wild pig, you wouldn’t know what that thing on the cave wall was until someone showed you what a wild pig looked like. If you’d seen a lamb, you might be able to guess it was an animal, or, at least that it represented food. Kinda like the difference between two related languages…
It would be kinda cool if we once again had newspaper walls like the one above here in Europe. A public space where all kinds of papers could post an article or two. Maybe adding a QR code for those that wanted to read beyond the wall’s limited space. Yeah, that could be an interesting installation themed on communication.