What’s in a Name

Design & Production: PALETTERA
Photography: Ikonica Images


Unlike names in English, it is very rare to have a Chinese name to be exactly the same. To understand why, imagine Chinese characters as an alphabet. A name is comprised of 2 to 3 letters, out of 50,000 to choose from, as opposed to 26 in the English alphabet. Each character or letter carries its own meaning. Therefore, a child’s name is like a poetic gift from their parents, often thoughtfully composed to carry intrinsic meanings — their hopes and dreams of how they want their child to be. Male names are often associated with common traits of masculinity, whereas female names are linked to beauty. The poetic possibilities are endless.

Using paper as medium and sculpture as method, this series brings to life the meaning of ten characters through each visual form.


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