In traditional Chinese culture calligraphy is seen as a silent reflection of the mind. A Chinese calligrapher believes that the mind leads the brush, and his goal is to vividly and honestly convey his mind on paper. Heart Calligraphy is inspired by this philosophy and researches how biodata can be translated into a sensitive visual language in order to enhance self-awareness.
In this biofeedback installation, the heart leads the brush. When the participant places his or her hands on the sensor, the heartbeat is read. This data directs a drawing machine that converts every beat into a pen movement that leaves a trail on the paper. The participant follows his or her heartbeat by observing the image that gradually appears. Within this regular pattern, one discovers shifts caused by the fluctuating heart frequency. In this way the participant explores the physical, cognitive and emotional influences on his or her physiology. The resulting print is reminiscent of an action painting, an abstract portrait depicting the subconscious processes of the human body.
This work is created in collaboration with Bin Yu and support of the Technology University of Eindhoven (Jun Hu, Matthias Funk, Loe Feijs) and Creative Industries Fund NL, Talent Development. Photography by Jos Arents