A project by Mennie Hsiu-Ying Shen and Zhuoxi Song
Next Letter

This is a letter to: this project and you,

So you might stop here, wondering what are these letters and prints, and what is this project. We probably don’t know each other, yet we encounter in this moment, while you’re reading this letter from me to you, now. This is the moment that will only exist once, you might have a similar experience again, but it will never come back as the same.

I feel the process of handwriting a letter to someone is also like this, each process is an experience unto itself, never to be re-created perfectly. When you write down a stroke, it becomes the unique mark after it is created. You also own your unique style of handwriting. Each letter will never be the same, no matter the contents or the handwriting, even if you write to the same person every time. The process is ephemeral, however, the outcome, which is the letter, sort of being able to capture something from the ephemeral process, such as your mental statement and the communication between you and the person who you are writing to. This both ephemeral and permanent character about a letter is fascinating to me, I was thinking, what can I do to reflect this character back with the writing experience?

I use a device to document the process of handwriting digitally, then transfer this documentation with an algorithm which I created into an unique pattern. This pattern is generated by the movements of pen in the process of writing. Each person who participates in this project will get a physical print with the generated pattern in the near future, by physical mail. This print is an unique token of a letter, and something that might remind you of this one-time writing experience. It is also a gift from me to you, for the moment that we encounter here.

I also really like writing a letter to someone. When I’m writing a letter, I feel I’m thinking about the person and myself with full heart in that moment. I hope this project could also offer you a little chance to think of someone, and yourself.