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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Images: Retranslation and Rewriting Tang Dynasty Poetry

Wenda Gu's installation Forest of Stone Steles (1993-2005): the one-ton steles are carved with the artist's own contemporary versions of ancient poems--a literal translation of the poems from Chinese to English and then a literal translation back to the Chinese. These works served as the basis for his new works on paper that will be displayed at the Hood.

An early look at some of Wenda Gu's recent works on paper that will be on view in the Hood's galleries. This work confronts written communication and the impossibility of true or faithful translation from one language to another. The resulting texts are wry, witty examples of the misreading of language over time.

The artist's past work will also be presented in conjunction with the works on paper. Ink Alchemy (1999-2001), shown here, utilizes a genetic product made of powdered
Chinese hair.

In its original form, Tea Alchemy (2002) contained thirty thousand sheets of paper made from four thousand pounds of green tea. Films about the making of these works accompany the installation.

The Hood will debut another new work by Wenda Gu in the galleries this summer that will further examine the themes in the hair monument by demonstrating, in book form, what happens when poetry is translated from one language to another and then back again. Retranslation and Rewriting Tang Dynasty Poetry is the first in a series of large books by Wenda Gu. It is based on his Forest of Stone Steles, a series of one-ton hand-carved steles that the artist created between 1993 and 2005.

Last Updated: 5/17/07