• Chinese artist places regional chess variants in a 3D-printed context
07.22.14

Chinese artist places regional chess variants in a 3D-printed context

How many different versions of chess are there in Asia?

Unlike Western chess, many of these Asian games are hardly known outside of their region, but artist Nova Jiang wants to change that. For Orthogonal/Diagonal, an exhibition at Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand, she treats each version of chess as varietal of the same ancient system. The catch is that she's 3D printed the pieces for games like Thailand's Makruk, Mongolia's Shatar, and her home country of China's Xiangqi.

By treating each one of these games as part of the same lineage of chess, Jiang hopes to reimagine the games as objects of sculpture, but of related kinds; siblings separated at birth. And by redesigning the pieces with a new technology like 3D printing, she's forcing players to engage with these systems both as object and as practice. So much so, she held tournament for all eight versions.

You can see more of Nova's work here.