Build to break the Wall - a Mahjong Friends exhibition
04.11. - 17.11.2023
Opening Event: 04.11.2023(Sat.) 14E00-19E00
14E00 - 15E00 Talk : In order to make an „international“ manual
15E00 - 19E00 Mahjong Workshop & Playing
Mahjong is a board game that encapsulates the rich history and cultural traditions of East Asia. Invented in China approximately 150 years ago, it has gained popularity among people in many regions of the world. Due to the cultural and geographical isolation in the process of Mahjong’s transmission, different countries and regions (e.g. Taiwan, Hong Kong, various regions of China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, etc.) have their own diverse Mahjong rules, but because all the different rules are relatively easy to interchange, people who know Mahjong - though having different language, cultural and ideological backgrounds - could sit down and play the game together: on the Mahjong table, those conflicts, nationalities, political positions, problems, ideologies, struggles - reached a common ground. Mahjong thus becomes the situation/place where people meet, communicate, exchange, and make friends.
In the wish of further extending and promoting this precious situation, we decided to form the collective “Mahjong Friends” and start the project with people from different regions. We hope to use Mahjong as a means to help more people understand the culture, the tradition, the intricate history and delicate, tense current political situation in East Asia, as the game itself is full of political metaphors. To sum up: Mahjong Friends aim to connect and bring peace to the world through the Mahjong game.
“Build to break the wall” comes from a chapter in the manual, which refers to the first step of setting up the game on the table: the wall is built to be break from the beginning, and we take this as an important metaphor, a gesture towards (all kinds of) borders. In the exhibition, aside from showing the original drawings of the manual book, Mahjong Friends will also present a series of new works, “The palimpsest of pong” and “His eye is on the sparrow”: On Nov 4th, we warmly invite you to our opening event, where we will talk about the process of making the book with the classic mahjong workshop afterward - come and play with us!!