FORTY FIVE SYMBOLS is a collaborative exploration of visual language that unites students, teachers, scholars, and ideas from six cities across four continents. All participating academic partners come from design or art schools and share the thrive to teach visual literacy, which is based on the idea that pictures, in the broadest sense, can be read and communicate meaning through the process of reading.
The jury of the FORTY FIVE SYMBOLS Globalmurmurs 2015/16 received submissions from a variety of countries including Taiwan, South Africa, Germany and the U.S. The participants demonstrate agency to depict social challenges and use sophisticated methods to translate their political voice into compelling visual artwork using the minimal approach of forty-five black and white symbols. The submitted visual narratives express individual perspectives on the topics of transforming gender & identity, shifting cities & urban inequality and global social & climate changes. The selection process of the jury was driven by the following criteria: Ability to translate topics into visuals, the level of exploration of the symbolic elements to transmit the message/story, systematic approach and uniqueness of the visual language.
Among the six winning entries of the international competition, four are students from University of Houston Graphic Design and will be included in the next publication of the FORTY FIVE SYMBOLS magazine. Based on the high quality of submissions, the jury selected nine participants—seven from UH—to publish digitally. Entries submitted to FORTY FIVE SYMBOLS by UH Graphic Design were on display in their exhibition 900, held at UH School of Fine Arts’ Third Space Gallery in February of this year.