ink alchemy
the art gallery, university of north texas, denton, usa 2003  



Powdered Chinese hair made into the biological liquid ink and ink stick format are the new materials for Chinese ink painting. The hair-made genetic ink itself is an art object, and at the same time, it is a component of my new installation. This special invention has been made possible by the collaborative effort and generous support of the biolab of shanghai university, the Shanghai test tube factory, the Shanghai Qun Zhong furniture factory, the Shanghai medical factory and the Shanghai ink factory. Through difficult process of experimentation, we have achieved a significant result in the historical development of Chinese traditional inkmaking methods. Powdered human hair is used as a medical treatment for anxiety. In traditional ink fabrication, charcoal powder is used as the black pigment material. The medical factory has invented a hair powder especially formulated to be the fundamental pigment for my liquid ink and ink stick following the original Chinese prescription of powdered human hair, ironically and symbolically, the human hairmade ink is now given a conceptual function to cure cultural anxiety.


"ink alchemy" 1999-2001 Wenda Gu


an installation with 3 boxes of liquid ink, 3 boxes of ink sticks made of powdered chinese hair, 1 6 inch tv monitors 
period of creation: 1999 - 2001, shanghai, china