XING MOBILITY X TONG YANG TZE
February 05, 2019
Born in Shanghai, Tong Yang-tze began practicing calligraphy since the age of eight. Pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at National Taiwan Normal University in 1966, and an MA in Oil Painting and Ceramics from the University of Massachusetts in 1970, she was exposed to many modern and western styles, before subsequently settling in Taiwan and choosing ink as the medium for her explorations in contemporary art. Tong is an internationally recognized calligrapher, known for her bold, expressive and innovative forms.
XING MOBILITY X TONG-YANG TZE
An advocate of classical Chinese philosophy, Tong draws inspiration from moral texts of Chinese history. However, her work is unconstrained by the parameters of traditional "Calligraphy". Tong deliberately selects inter-disciplinary collaborations within pop culture, including with performers such as Jay Chou, in order to reinvent calligraphy as an art form that resonates with a contemporary generation.
For XING Mobility, calligraphy represents a record, or evidence, of an action. The nature and expression of Tong’s "semi-cursive script" ( 行草 ) style is particularly expressive and abstract, not conforming to how a character should read but the contemporary expression of the word. This is entirely consistent with XING’s fundamental philosophy, not least in the name of the company, with the "X" having been selected to represent the unknown, the future, and the experimentation, and the "ING" representing that which is in motion or in progress.
Collaborating on XING Mobility has presented a new opportunity to erase generational boundaries by entwining Tong's unruly, energetic, larger-than-life character forms with Miss R: the embodiment of a future where the power and capabilities of electric mobility have far exceeded parameters set by traditional automotive methods. Like Tong's work, Miss R is intended to be a "renegade", a platform to prove that the breakthroughs and next generation of vehicle makers may not come from legacy vehicle makers, but from makers and hackers like XING Mobility.
By transporting the ancient aesthetics of calligraphy into this modern interpretation, the collaboration also seeks to prevent losing cultural roots of which we should be intensely proud. Owing much of our ability to handcraft a car of Miss R's caliber to Taiwan's industrial strength and rich manufacturing landscape, partnering with an artist of Chinese calligraphy is a way of enabling XING Mobility to celebrate its cultural heritage.
The piece selected for Miss R's international debut is comprised of three iterations of the Chinese character for “Xing" (行) in an abstract expressionist style, arranged respectively on the front, back and side panels of supercar. These three iterations express three distinct meanings derived from the character: "Xing Dong" (行動) which means mobility, action, movement, "Cheng Xing" (成行), which means to realize, to make happen, to make possible and "Hen Xing!" (很行!) a more casual usage, describing one of being very capable, skillful or powerful.
The scale of Tong's works naturally demands power, controlled movement and determination. Just as Tong's calligraphy represents the application of human effort through brush and ink on paper, the incredibly ambitious Miss R has taken just 18 months from conception to the hand-crafted product you see today.