The Kid Should See This

Water Calligraphy Device, Beijing

Imagine sky writing on the ground using water and a modified tricycle – this is Water Calligraphy Device by French Canadian media artist Nicholas Hanna.

Inspired by the water and brush calligraphy of older artists in his local Beijing parks, Hanna converted a Beijing tricycle, called a san lun che, to digitally “paint” (or more accurately drip) Chinese characters onto the sidewalk. The characters write out Dongcheng District Propaganda phrases that are on banners and housing developments in the district.

The trike would catch quite a bit of attention in the streets, as seen in these two 2011 videos by Jonah Kessel. According to Kessel, the tricycle drips:

营造 未成年人健康成长的良好环境
Create a good environment for minors to grow up healthy

文明从脚下起步 奉献从身边做起
Civilization comes from every individual, to contribute from every little thing

树文明新风 做文明市民
Be a civilized citizen and build a civilized new atmosphere for constructing s cultured and civilized city

共建文明城区 共享美好家园
Build a civilized city for everyone to share a beautiful home altogether

做文明有礼北京人 建和谐魅力新东城
Be civilized and polite Beijingers, to build a harmonious charm new Dong Cheng district together

美德贵在坚持 文明重在行动
Virtue shows through long term persistence, civilization reflects by actions

和谐东城 你我共建
Harmonious Dong Cheng District constructed by you and me

建全国文明城区 做东城文明市民
Constructs the national civilized district, to be the civilized citizen of Dong Cheng District

The project was first shown at Beijing Design Week in 2011. Hanna now lives in Los Angeles where he works as an artist and designer.

Related videos in the archives: Robo-rainbow and Osaka City Station’s “water printer” fountain.

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