Beijing-based artist and creative director Nod Young has a great portfolio filled with beautiful personal projects as well as commercial work for the likes of NIKE, Adidas and Coca Cola. My favorite piece of his might be this typographical project, The Puti Tree.
Based on the text of two poems from the Zen Buddhist tome Platform Sutra, The Puti Tree teaches “not to believe all that which exists, not even the reflection of ourselves in a mirror”. It’s a teaching that hopes to bring a state of Zen. According to the poem, one must attempt to release themselves from the perceived limitations of existence. For Young, this is also something that can help bring creative freedom. “It is difficult to achieve true creative freedom”, he said when discussing this work, “we are overly concerned with aesthetics and meaning.” For Young, these poems bring a sense of clarity. I feel he reflects this beautifully in the work, pairing down the words to their most basic visual elements.
More about Nod Young’s work can be seen on his website. Prints are also available on that page.