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Nushu: Echo Chambers Opening

Curated by Natalia Lebedinskaia

Opening on Jan 21, this exhibition will remain in the AGSM until March 26, 2016

Since 2007, Yam Lau has been visiting China annually to explore various aspects of traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.

Taking the form of digital video, computer-generated animation, and installation, Lau’s work involves extensive field research and spans art, cultural, and documentary projects. shu:Echo Chambers is a computer-generated animation that transmits a writing script Nushu (women's hand) that was invented and circulated exclusively amongst women in Jiangyong County in feudal China.

Forbidden to participate in formal education, women developed their own written language and passed it on to their daughters and granddaughters. In 2013 and 2014, Yam Lau travelled to the region to study the culture of the script, meeting the last practitioners and recording their songs.

Back in the studio, Lau used the songs and the lyrics to animate an empty chamber in virtual space. Combining video with architectural installation, the virtual reality of Lau’s work is extended to transmit the language of this rare cultural practice into the gallery space.