back to top

Can You Figure Out This Language Puzzle?

Artist Xu Bing's writing might look indecipherable at first glance, but take a second look.

Posted on

Artist Xu Bing has been a successful printmaker and sculptor for years, but he's especially known for his invention of an art form/visual puzzle hybrid called "Square Word Calligraphy."

Xu Bing / Penguin Young Readers

Bing writes English words in the style of Chinese characters — seemingly indecipherable to Chinese and English speakers alike, but legible with a closer look.

The book is technically for kids but, honestly, it took me longer than I'd like to admit to figure it out. Your turn:


For more information on Xu Bing and Look! What Do You See? click here.

Arianna Rebolini is the books editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Arianna Rebolini at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.