We Are Water is an exhibition built around artist Wang Ping’s Kinship of Rivers, a project that finds (and creates) connections between the major rivers of her two homelands—the Yangtze River in China and the Mississippi in the US.
One of the biggest components of Kinship is the creation of “river flags.” Inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, participants in Wang’s workshops make flags with poetry and art about the rivers. The results of these workshops are then installed at locations halfway across the world with Mississippi flags displayed on the Yangtze and vice versa. MVA co-founder Namdev Hardisty was struck by an image of a flag installation in the Himalayas where the flags’s shadows looked like a network of water-ways. Hardisty manipulated the original photo matching the colors to one of the river flags and creating a photo-graphic that gives a sense of our global interconnectedness.
The classical book typography was inspired by Wang’s work as a poet. We also had a desire to create a poster that would be visually “softer” than our usual work for The Soap Factory with the hope that it would be more inviting to a broader audience.
The design was used as an 11x17" mailer, an 18x24" screenprinted poster that The Soap Factory sells, and an exterior sign on the street. Typography based on the poster was used for the exhibition title wall.