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In today's world, there are countless works of art that utilize characters or letters.


In the context of Western art history, characters began to be incorporated as a primary visual element in artworks, likely around the early 20th century. Since then, numerous artworks using characters have been created.


I believe that all the characters expressed in artworks that have used characters up to this point were not painted or drawn but written.


Let's define writing here as recording characters, while painting or drawing is recording pictures, diagrams, or shapes. This is because these are the most common definitions.


Based on this definition, the act of recording a character by someone who recognizes it becomes writing, and the act of recording the same shape or figure by someone who doesn't recognize characters becomes painting or drawing.


In other words, as long as one recognizes and is conscious of characters, one cannot paint or draw them but can only write them.


Understanding this, it can be said that art pieces that appear to paint or draw characters at first glance are, in reality, written. This means that no one has ever painted or drawn characters to date. Because artists who have expressed characters so far recognize them. They write them as characters.


Sounds complicated? But it's important, so I'll say it again: based on this definition, characters have yet to be painted or drawn by humans as art throughout all of history.


So, how can one paint or draw a character? One method is to have a child, who hasn't yet recognized characters, paint or draw it.


For example, attach a stencil with character-shaped cutouts to a support material, then, using it as an underlay, let a child who doesn't recognize characters play with colors on it.


To a child who has yet to recognize the concept of characters, the shapes of characters are nothing more than just shapes. They wouldn't recognize them as characters, but rather as some ambiguous diagrams or shapes. This means they recognize the shapes of characters as mere abstract figures.


And as the child plays freely using colors and lines, they might accidentally create shapes resembling characters by adhering color to the cut-out sections of character forms. As a result, expressions in the shape of characters, recognized as diagrams or shapes, are painted or drawn onto the support.


For those of us who recognize characters, we can no longer perceive the expressions painted or drawn there in the shape of characters simply as diagrams or shapes. This is because we already recognize characters and can only view them through the filter of characters. However, characters are essentially a collection of diagrams or shapes. This means that what's painted or drawn there is not as characters, but are expressed purely as diagrams or shapes.


Perhaps the only ones who can appreciate this artwork in its truest sense are those who don't recognize characters. But most of the viewers are likely adults who do recognize characters. Consequently, this artwork can be seen as a piece of art that most cannot truly appreciate.


The child who creates this artwork might be the first artist to paint or draw characters. However, once they start recognizing characters, they might no longer see that mystical something, and sooner or later, they might abandon their brush.

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