Design Feature #43

Hanzi Landscape

Hanzi Exhibition

Text by Benny Au, Jiang Hua, Kan Tai-keung, Kasai, Kaoru, Yu Ming-long
Images by PMQ

After thousands of years of inheritance and evolution, hanzi (Chinese characters) still stands firm and upholds a unique system despite the impacts from different eras and cultures. It is widely used by people in different regions, being one of the oldest texts in the world.

In this distinctive written text system, each word, in its most original form, only possessed a single meaning. Years after years, these characters have gradually developed more complex definitions, conveying the ideology and philosophy of different generations and ethnics. It allows us to journey through the realm of its unique visual elements and fascinating cultural symbols. The value and aestheticism of hanzi, especially in our present days, are worth to be looked deeply into.

Hanzi Exhibition explores the changes, development and future of hanzi through its interaction with modern social life, its meaning transformation and the influences of new technologies. With graphic design as its core, the exhibition showcases works featuring Chinese character(s) as the main visual element, and by creative minds from regions where hanzi is still being used — Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau, Japan and Korea. In addition, we also invited young designers to contribute new and forward-looking creations to the exhibition.

These designs go beyond the typography of the words. They carry a sense of the present time and are closely connected to the rhythm of our life, giving hanzi new interpretations and insights. Through these works, one can appreciate the genuine charm of hanzi from various perspectives, and get inspired by the textual landscape of our time.

Here let's also read the articles written by Jiang Hua, Kan Tai-keung, Kasai, Kaoru and Yu Ming-long, the master designers who come from 4 different regions respectively, knowing more about their design experience and personal feeling on Hanzi.

Jiang Hua (Mainland China)

...Hanzi is our nature and fate

Look up at astronomy

Observe below on geography

Seek from within oneself

Take from outside objects

An accumulation of wisdom of thousands of years...

Read the article:

Kan Tai-Keung (Hong Kong)

...In my early works, hanzi mainly appeared in one single colour or solid black ink. For instance, in the Poster of Graphic Design Course by Studio II, I simply features two Chinese fonts – one is the Chinese character “集” (gather) in Song font drawn with ruling pen, the other is the Chinese character “一” (one) written with Chinese ink brush – to convey the education vision of integrating the styles and techniques of modern and traditional, as well as East and West...

Read the article:

Kaoru Kasai(Japan)

I don’t remember the exact time, but it must have been when I started to learn Kanji that I began to wonder about the characters. Although niwatori (Japanese for chicken) is the word for a bird (鳥 tori) that lives in the garden (庭 niwa), it is not written as 庭鳥 (lit. garden bird), but 鶏...

Read more:

Yu Ming-long(Taiwan)

...Artistic writing or hanzi pattern are a combination of craftsmanship and modeling. Integrated into daily life, they enrich the sentiment behind the words, carrying a temperature of life. It is, to people who always believe in this culture, a support to their souls deep down...

Read more:

Hanzi Exhibition

Now - 10 July 2018

Qube, 2/F, PMQ

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