Zhuyin fuhao is a system of phonetic notation for the transcription of spoken Chinese, particularly the Mandarin dialect, based on Chang Tai-yen’s phonetic alphabets. It was created by the Republic of China National Ministry of Education in 1912 and was officially proclaimed in 1928. After a hundred years of development, it now has 37 symbols, including 21 initial consonants and 16 vowels. It is still a major phonetic notation system in Taiwan, although it has been replaced by hanyu pinyin in China since 1958. Therefore, Zhuyin fuhao becomes another cultural symbol, apart from the difference between “traditional Chinese” which is used in Taiwan and “simplified Chinese” which is used in China, to distinguish the languages in Taiwan and China. Recently, the younger generation in Taiwan develops its own “language of Zhuyin,” also known as “the writing from Mars,” which enriches the usage of zhuyin fuhao.
In Wu’s large-size digital interactive drawing installation Mind Your Body, audience is allowed to draw or write in the exhibition space with flashlights or laser pointers provided by the artist. While the light moves around the space, a corresponding path will appear on the walls. Meanwhile, the digital drawing is painted with the pen points of 37 zhuyin symbols. The symbol and color are switched randomly to document the instant writing created by audience’s physical movement.