Image courtesy of Chris Wu.


Satan’s Lawyer: Translation and Negotiation Through Design by Chris Wu

May 29, 2019
AAA in A, '09-'21

43 Remsen St. Brooklyn, NY

Asia Art Archive in America hosted a presentation by designer Chris Wu. Building upon a common mistranslation of the expression “the devil’s advocate,” Satan’s lawyer was a collection of observations and reflections from within Wu’s graphic design practice. Working primarily in the field of art in both Eastern and Western contexts, he perceived unexpected possibilities in the translations of narratives and visual forms across multiple languages and cultures. Analyzing these possibilities within shifting dynamics of political and cultural power, Wu speculated that  ‘good’ translation happened beyond the sole accuracy of vocabulary or grammar and is influenced by diverse, yet monolithic conditions — from pop culture, technology, to modes of mass communications.

Chris Wu is a designer and creative director based in New York. He is a partner at Wkshps a multidisciplinary design practice that crafts identities for art institutions, public spaces, non-profits, and global brands alike. Previously, he was a principal of the design studio Project Projects, winner of the Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Award for Communication Design, the USA’s highest recognition in the field. Chris has collaborated with clients such as the Guggenheim Museum, M+ Museum (Hong Kong), David Zwirner, New Museum, Para Site (Hong Kong), The Met, James Cohan, MoMA, SculptureCenter, Asia Art Archive, Gladstone Gallery, Modern Media Group (Shanghai), The Vera List Center for Arts and Politics on identity, exhibition, publication, and interactive projects. He received his Master’s degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.

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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.