Ghost Calligraphy

By Isola Tong


Isola Tong enacts the performativity of Chinese script, and the haunting of Chinese ghosts as it relates to the early histories of Evergreen Cemetery. In a discussion of Chinese script, the philosopher Jacques Derrida writes: “Nonphonetic writing breaks the noun apart. It describes relations and not appellations.” Tong transforms her body—trans-femme, bi-cultural Filipino-Chinese—into an instrument of this writing, bringing these ghostly spirits into relation with the living.