Figure 1 Publishing

Art + Design

Traces of Words

Art and Calligraphy from Asia

Fuyubi Nakamura. In Collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology

A fascinating study of word and art forms intrinsic to the cultural, social, and spiritual beliefs of Asia.

Canadian Museum Association Awards: Award of Outstanding Achievement in Research in Art.

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Writing, especially calligraphy, has been revered as an aesthetic form, and has played an important social and political role in diverse Asian traditions. Words, whether spoken, written, imagined, or visualized, are traces unique to humans.

Book Description

Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia features a stunning selection of works representing a diverse array of cultures, eras, and media, including Sumerian cuneiform inscriptions, Qur’anic manu­scripts, Chinese calligraphy, graffiti art from Afghanistan, and contemporary artworks using Japanese calligraphy and Tibetan or Thai scripts. Through different materials—from paper to silk, woodblock to projected screen—these works in turn evoke the ephemeral and the eternal.

The books features photographs from the exhibition of the same name, the Museum of Anthropology’s Asian collection and the University of British Columbia’s library collection with chapters by leading scholars in the field; on Chinese calligraphy by Yuehping Yen; on Japanese calligraphy by Fuyubi Nakamura; Islamic calligraphy by Alan George and on Sanskrit manuscripts by Adheesh Sathaye.




  • Hardcover
  • 10 × 12 inches
  • 176 pages
  • 978-1-927958-90-2
  • $45 CAD / $40 USD