Student Work

  • Fine Arts (MFA)

    Lucas Perez


    In 2017 I became a double master by rising to the rank of Shihan (Master Teacher) in the Shosenbu calligraphy group of Nagoya, Japan, and graduating as a Master of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design. This project is an intersection of the two experiences. For eight years, I have saved my Japanese calligraphy practice sheets. I piled them on a table in my studio and (within the critical framework at Parsons) thought about what to do with them. After many years of learning to become a more complicated calligrapher and artist, I decided I needed to simplify my practice - to become more blank. In the video still entitled "Throwing away eight years of calligraphy practice," you see me putting them down the trash chute of my building. I then set about developing a new calligraphic mark to memorialize and express the "blankness of mastery" that had been achieved. The bold horizontal single stroke, in a queer and luminous DayGlo pink, became its symbol. I calligraphed this deeply personal symbol onto an antique folding screen (c. 1950) that I saw as a contemporary object with a history. By marking the screen, I was marking myself into that history.