Dongba Rebuses|东巴谜图 (2018)

Dongba symbol is a system of pictographic glyphs used by the Dongba priests of the Naxi people in southern China. From Chinese historical documents, it is clear that dongba was used as early as the 7th century, during the early Tang Dynasty. By the Song Dynasty in the 10th century, dongba was widely used by the Naxi people. It continues to be used in certain areas; thus, it is the only pictographic language in the world still actively maintained.

During my stay at Lijiang Studio, I found out that Dongba is also a mnemonic system which uses a lot of rebues and homophones. The so-called Naxi language is actually never fixated.

So I started to develop a series of Dongba rebuses to express new ideas by applying the logic of word-formation and combining existing pictographes.