Water calligraphy device by Nicholas Hanna
Published on June 21, 2012
Media Artist Nicholas Hanna built a tricycle that can also paint Chinese characters on the ground as it moves, just — because. Water Calligraphy has a long history in China, normally characterized by older Chinese men painting characters on the ground of parks with long brushes and water. Nicholas’ version is a wee bit more complicated. The device is mounted on a flat-bead tricycle which is a ubiquitous form of transportation in Beijing. Passages of Chinese characters are input to a computer. Custom software on the computer processes the characters and transmits them to an electrical system that ￼actuates an array of solenoid valves. The valves release droplets of water ￼on the ground as the tricycle moves forward, thus forming Chinese characters that slowly pool together and eventually evaporate entirely.