Mahjong is a board game that encapsulates the rich history and cultural traditions of East Asia. Due to the cultural and geographical isolation in the process of Mahjong’s transmission, different countries and regions have their own diverse mahjong rules (e.g. the rules in Taiwan, Hong Kong, various regions of China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore etc.), but because all the different rules are relatively easy to interchange, people who know Mahjong - though having different language, cultural and ideological backgrounds - could sit down and play mahjong together: in this case those conflicts, nationalities, political positions, problems, ideologies, struggles - found common ground. Mahjong thus becomes the situation/place where people meet, communicate, exchange, and make friends.
In the wish to further extend and promote this precious situation, we decided to form a collective „Mahjong Friends“ and started the project with people from different regions. We hope to use mahjong as a means to help more people understand the intricate history and delicate, tense current political situation in East Asia, as the game itself is full of political metaphors. As the first publication of Mahjong Friends, Mahjong: an International Manual introduced the basic Mahjong rules as well as the culture/stories behind the patterns of Mahjong tiles through witty descriptions and vivid illustrations, accomplished with a poster full of Mahjong archive & history, as well as a piece of tiny Mahjong cheating paper, this *very cool and deep* Mahjong Manual book aims to bring peace to the world.
Mahjong Friends present
12 x 20 cm, Risoprint 56 pages + 1 poster + 1 Cheating paper
Sponsored and financed by @coloramaworkshop Self-publishing summer school stipend. Printed in COLORAMA, Berlin May 2023 First Edition of 168