About tête-bêche

The first work by Liu Yichang I read was Duidao. The title is a Chinese translation of tête-bêche, which describes stamps that are printed top to bottom facing each other.

Duidao centres round the intersection of two parallel stories - of an old man and a young girl. One is about memories, the other anticipation.

To me, tête-bêche is more than a term for stamps or intersection of stories. It can be the intersection of light and color, silence and tears.

Tête-bêche can also be the intersection of time: for instance, youthful eyes on an aging face, borrowed words on revisited dreams.


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