Take Two Mah Jongg Tablets and . . .

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Mah Jongg is a beautifully designed game associated with the Far East and East Bronx, which is where my grandmother played it for decades. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller never played it, but he recently designed an exhibition about Mah Jongg, “Project Mah Jongg,” and its Jewish American influences at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. And he edited and designed an issue of 2wice titled Mah Jongg: Crak Bam Dot, devoted to the artifacts in the exhibition along with extra content by fashion designer Isaac
Mizrahi, who sketched mah jongg-inspired ensembles; Maira Kalman, who illustrated a
“mah jongg murder mystery”; Bruce McCall, who created “Miami Mah Jongg,”
juxtaposing ancient Chinese figures patiently tutoring a group of Jewish
women; and Christoph Neimann, who designed new tile iconography combining
the visual language of mah jongg with symbols of Jewish life. Essays are also included by Jennifer 8. Lee, on the
popularity of Chinese food with American Jews; Wendy Goodman, on the
designer Tony Duquette; Paul Shaw, on ethnic typefaces; and Daniel
Cappello, on the Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong. For more about the mah jongg exhibit go here.
 

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Daily Heller, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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