All images by Xiao Xu. Used with permission.
Photographer Xiao Xu hails from Los Angeles and shares with us his series on Wen Wan. “Wen Wan began as an artistic practice of bringing ink, brushes, tea and poetry into the landscape to make art,” Xiao explains in an email. “Typically people hold these objects in their hands even when at rest, to bring comfort. Everyone at all class levels engages in the holding of objects in a variety of materials such as jade, walnuts, wood.” Today Wen Wan is defined by the every day interaction between you and the Wen Wan object you carry. In other cultures, you may liken it to something like a talisman.