Few examples of the felt letters and hiragana. From left to right, top to bottom: O す り V / W R ふ か / る い S Z
Students learn best if they enjoy and love what they do. Besides all the learning and assignments, I regard it as essential that they develop passion and joy for their profession. Suffering becomes visible in design, while the joy of creation lets the outcome (no matter whether type, book or graphic) look light, simple and natural.
Some students struggle to develop this joy in the context of class assignments. I have been teaching at a women’s college in Kyoto, Japan since April 2017. And it is sometimes hard to judge whether the young women are actually enjoying their studies or not. Sometimes, we require input from an outsider, as well as a situation that is out of the ordinary. So we held a workshop on a Saturday, run by the Japanese design studio Dainippon Type Association, to trigger the passion of the students.
In Hong Kong, I have seen several small stores selling colourful replica of contemporary luxury made by paper, spread all over the mega city. Mimicked handbags of must-have brands, smartphones and even favourite dishes of Hong Kong dining are artfully recreated, and sold to be offered to ancestors by burning the paper artefacts. From time to time, I observed people burning the offerings in metal barrels at the backstreets.
A small store for paper offerings at Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.
Shortly after my arrival in Hong Kong in the year 2010, I visited the Hong Kong Art Fair. As the name indicates, it is a commercial event, a trade fair, selling and buying art. Towards the end of walking aisle after aisle through the fair, I found myself in front of a large-sized calligraphy by the internationally acknowledged Japanese calligrapher Inoue Yuichi. My heartbeat changed, rising, and on that very same day, I decided to take calligraphy lessons.
Inoue Yuichi, 龍 (dragon), 1960. 130,5 x 180 cm