Meng Guo

Broken surface and potential space

“We pierce doors and windows to make a house; And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the usefulness of the house depends.” — Lao Tsu, in the Tao Te Ching

My thesis project consists of number of elements:

— a typeface that breaks apart the components of letterforms into four separate typefaces comprised only of horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or circular elements respectively; and a fifth typeface that reassembles these elements in a way that still retains evidence of the individual pieces;

— a wall installation, which presents poems by Chinese poet Bei Dao using each of these typefaces, disrupting expectations by incorporating a surface on which we don’t expect to see “printed” text; and

— a series of books containing my thesis writing, four which present my thesis using the four fragmented typefaces, and a fifth that incorporates the reassembled typeface along with my thesis poster explorations on two separate (fragmented) surfaces.

Potential space exists in the composition of individual parts, which are no longer valuable once they are broken apart. In this project, I intentionally fragment visual communication to explore the relationship between the broken surface and potential space. By interrupting what is normally an assured flow of information, we are allowed to see what exists behind that which we normally see. The broken appearance of words, while losing a certain amount of legibility, can evoke a strong emotional response.