Tian Shu is comprised of a display of books spread in a large rectangle across the ground, above which voluptuous scrolls unroll in long, pregnant arcs. The books—four hundred of them—are handmade with reverential adherence to the standards of traditional Ming dynasty fonts, bookbinding, typesetting and stringing techniques.
To make them, Xu painstakingly carved Chinese characters into square woodblocks, in just the way his ancient printing predecessors would have done, had them typeset and printed, and the printed pages mounted and bound into books and scrolls.
Yet, there’s the astonishing, Borgesian catch: out of the three or four thousand Chinese characters used in these volumes and scrolls, not a single one of them is a real Chinese character. They are made up of recognizable radicals and typical atomic components of Chinese characters, but Xu laboured to ensure that while they all retain the unmistakable look of Chinese script, they are all, so to speak, nonsense. They do not exist in any dictionary, and do not mean anything. Chinese speakers and non-Chinese speakers alike approach the books with the same sense of wonder at their beauty, and the same sense of incomprehension at their content. It’s a piece of art whose meaning is to be found in its meaninglessness. (via)
I know full well the story isn’t true, but I’m not linking the place where I disconfirmed it because I want it to be true. It is my personal geek week rebellion. Being a geek is like being a star in SETI, except instead of being silent and/or unclear, we twinkle meaningfully back at you, the creator, and at one another. Send the craziest nonsense signal into the sky and we will answer. It means you, or anyone, can make something, and we’ll be there not only to read it or see it, but to wish that your wish were true.
Holo. Cuz why not. Also Sieglinde Baumgard whom I found languishing in a little Hong Kong store where the owner didn’t know his stuff and thought she was a figure from some hentai. Bad condition but dirt cheap.