Tag Archives: design

Bauhaus in Shanghai

Image Courtesy of Bundesarchiv / Photographer: Thomas Lehmann

Bauhaus is turning one hundred. The iconic German art school first opened its doors in 1919, in Weimar, and was shut down just fourteen years later, when the Nazis came to power in 1933. Over the course of its brief life, it became synonymous with modern design. It stripped furniture and building façades of ornamental frills, and its minimalist aesthetic set the tone for architecture around the world. By the middle of the century its imprint could be seen everywhere from Japan to Israel to Yugoslavia—though perhaps nowhere is it so visible as in the United States, where many of the artists and architects who studied and taught at the school, a number of whom were Jewish, fled in 1933.

Today, the “International Style” that Bauhaus popularized is viewed with more ambivalence: on the one hand, it gave us austere masterpieces like Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building in New York, and on the other, it led to the soulless corporate blocks that make so many downtowns look identical. In any event, Bauhaus’s function-first ethos still has a devoted following, in Asia as much as in Europe or the Americas. And even though a century has gone by, it may still have something to teach us today. That’s the thinking behind a recent series of workshops held in Shanghai to mark the school’s 100th anniversary.


包豪斯(Bauhaus)即将迎来 100 周年纪念。其代表性的国立包豪斯学校于 1919 年在德国魏玛创办,十四年后随着纳粹上台而被迫关闭。但尽管办学生涯短暂,包豪斯学院却给世界带来了极为重要的影响,并成为了现代设计的代名词。包豪斯主义主张减除家具和建筑外立面的装饰细节,这种简约的美学为世界各国的建筑设计奠定基调。到了上世纪中期,包豪斯风格的影响已遍及全球,从日本到以色列,再到南斯拉夫,到处都能看到它留下的痕迹。但是,受包豪斯主义影响最显著的莫过于美国,因为在 1933 年纳粹当政,在包豪斯学院学习和教学的许多艺术家和建筑师,都纷纷逃离到美国,特别是受到迫害的犹太人。

而如今,很多人对包豪斯倡导的“国际风格”保持矛盾心态:一方面,它给我们带来了像现代建筑大师密斯·凡德罗(Mies van der Rohe)在纽约设计建造的西格拉姆大厦(Seagram Building)这样简朴的杰作,但另一方面,它也催生了世界各个城市中大同小异、没有灵魂的商业大楼。

但不管怎么说,包豪斯强调实用功能性的理念,在亚、欧、美至今依然盛行。一个世纪过去了,关于它的理念,还有很多值得人们去探讨和学习的内容。为此,近来上海为纪念包豪斯学院的百年诞辰,举办了一系列活动和工作坊。

Image Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China / Photographer: Guo Bin
Image Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China / Photographer: Guo Bin

Sponsored by the Department of Culture and Education of the German Consulate General in Shanghai, the workshops were organized by Shen Qilan, a Chinese curator, educator, and writer who maintains close ties to Germany, where she completed her doctorate in philosophy. “Bauhaus is an outstanding intellectual tradition, but it’s not often talked about here,” says Shen. She organized the events with two aims. “First, to introduce people to the existence and value of the Bauhaus tradition. And second, to ask what that tradition has to do with our current moment in 2018 or 2019. Often we see things from 1919 as documents, as something from the past. Yet Bauhaus, I firmly believe, is relevant to the present.”


这一系列工作坊由德国驻上海领事馆文化教育处主办,由中国策展人、教育家及作家沈奇岚负责组织。曾留学德国的沈奇岚,在那里修完了哲学博士学位,至今还与德国保持着密切的联系。“包豪斯是一个很出色的思想传统,但是这边好像说得不太多。”沈奇岚说。关于组织这些活动的她有两个目标:“一个是让大家知道,包豪斯这个传统的存在和它的价值,第二是,这个传统它跟我们当下的 2018 年、2019 年有什么关系,因为很多时候我们去看 1919 年的东西,它就是个文献,是一个过去的东西。但我强烈感觉到,包豪斯跟我们当下还有联系。”

The workshops began in the spring, with a series of four sessions titled Bauhaus Class 1.0. “Shen Qilan invited several prominent scholars from the Chinese cultural scene,” says Oliver Hartmann, head of the Department of Culture and Education. “The first class was really successful: there were 100, 120 people sitting there drawing, working with fabrics, being creative, learning from Chinese experts about Bauhaus.” That success led them to organize Bauhaus Class 2.0, a longer set of six classes in the fall. “The first course focused on Bauhaus’s past, and the second one focused more on its legacy,” he explains. “The second course also had a practical dimension, because we did city walks: students went outside to experience and compare buildings, and they also visited our experts in their studios.” Both courses filled up quickly with people from a variety of backgrounds who shared little more than an interest in design—at least one parent even brought a child. Students who attended all four classes in the spring, or all six in the fall, and successfully completed the homework, received a certificate.


这一系列工作坊从春季开始,包豪斯课堂 1.0 (Bauhaus 1.0)包括了四个课程。领事馆文化教育处负责人郝立夫(Oliver Hartmann)说:“沈奇岚邀请了几位来自中国文化界的著名学者。第一次的课堂非常成功,来了一百多人,大家坐在一起画画,发挥创意,以面料为主题创作,向中国大师们学习有关包豪斯的知识。”

这一次课堂的成功使得他们又组织举办了包豪斯课堂 2.0(Bauhaus 2.0),在秋季开办,共包括了六节课。“包豪斯 1.0 关注的是包豪斯的过去,而 2.0 则会更关注它的传承与影响。包豪斯 2.0 也会更注重实践。我们组织了城市漫步,让学生到街上去体验和比较建筑,到工作室里与我们的专家会面。”郝立夫说。这两次开课吸引的学员都来自不同背景,甚至还有一位带孩子来听课的家长。所有学员们齐聚一堂,而他们之间仅有的共同点就是对设计的兴趣。所有参加包豪斯 1.0 或 2.0 并成功地完成作业的学员,​​都会获得一份证书。

Still, what does Bauhaus have to do with Shanghai, a city that after all is better known for its art deco treasures and its postmodern skyscrapers? As Shen explains, Bauhaus had an important, albeit indirect, influence in China. “The most profound impact it had was on architectural thought. Of course there wasn’t any direct influence, because no Chinese students studied at the Bauhaus, but its thinking was passed on,” she says.

When the Bauhaus school opened in 1919, at the start of the interwar period, German society found itself in the midst of radical economic and political upheavals. “It was a time of large-scale industrial production, and society as a whole was figuring out how to respond, in thought, in art, in culture, in design,” says Shen. Bauhaus responded with designs that prioritized efficiency above all else: from high rises to chairs, its forms are sleek and linear, reduced to their core elements. “What’s fascinating is that, at a time of momentous change, a group of particularly independent-minded people came to use their own means to address problems raised by the society and the times.” They offered an elegant visual language for a newly industrialized world.


但是,包豪斯与上海之间到底有何联系呢?毕竟在上海,更为人熟知的是这里的 Art deco 建筑和后现代风格的摩天大楼。沈奇岚解释说,包豪斯对中国是有影响的,虽然说是间接性的。“最深刻的影响就体现在建筑思想上。当然,直接影响是没有的,因为没有中国学生去包豪斯学院上过课。但是它的思想流传了下来。”她解释道。

1919 年,包豪斯学院成立时,正值两次世界大战的战间期,德国社会正经历一系列激进的经济和政治动荡。“这是一个大工业生产的时代,而整个社会在变迁的过程当中大家在考虑如何去应对,就是思想上、艺术上、文化上、设计上,其实都是在一个锻炼的状态。”沈奇岚说。对此,包豪斯的回应是一系列以效率优先的设计:从高楼到椅子,所有的外形设计均是圆滑、线性的,简约到只剩下核心要素。“这一点很刺激,当时代大变迁的时候,有这一批特别有想法的人用他们的方式去解决时代和社会给的问题。”他们为新工业化社会带来了一种优雅的视觉语言。

One hundred years later, artists and architects face a different context and a different set of challenges. For one thing, cities today are vastly bigger than they were in 1919, as Shen readily acknowledges. “Today in Asia, cities with populations in the tens of millions are normal. With tens of millions of people, how do you design housing, how do you design offices, how do you design streets? The spaces we live in are totally different.”

Yet that doesn’t mean that Bauhaus is no longer relevant. “We can’t use products designed by the Bauhaus to meet our current needs,” Shen explains, “but the school’s thought, its belief in responding to the needs of the times—that’s something we can use in the present.” 


100 年后, 艺术家和建筑师面临着不同的背景和挑战。首先,今天的城市比 1919 年规模要大得多,在新时代更需要我们在建筑和城市化方面提出新的解决方案,这点沈奇岚乐于承认。“现在在亚洲,几千万人口很正常,但是如果几千万人的话,住宅该怎么设计?办公室怎么设计、街道怎么设计呢?我们的生活空间,已经跟原来完全不一样了。”

然而这并不意味着和包豪斯也不再相关了。沈奇岚说:“我们不能用包豪斯设计的产品,去解决我们当下的需要。但是它的思维,它的那种‘面对时代要求去回应’的这个理念,是可以用在我们现在的。”

Both courses, Bauhaus Class 1.0 and 2.0, used the philosophy of this design tradition to look at the urban environments. One class, led by Bu Bing, turned students’ attention to the street just outside the cultural center, Middle Shandong Road. Students spent time watching the street, sought to understand it, and then invented their own symbolic system to respond to it. “You first observe the street, then you condense it to a symbol. You can capture this symbol in a photo, you can respond through dance, you can draw a map.” For students and teachers alike, this requires looking at a familiar environment with fresh eyes. “You have to look at the street again, this short stretch of road that’s only 400 meters long. We found that not one person had ever looked at it so closely.”


包豪斯课堂 1.0 和 2.0 这两个系列的课程,遵循这一设计传统的理念,审视着当代城市环境。其中一节课,由建筑家卜冰老师带领学生,将注意力投向了山东中路文化中心外面的街道。学生们通过观察街道、理解街道,然后创作出自己的象征系统。“你需要先观察街道,然后把它浓缩成一个符号。你可以在照片捕捉这个符号,也可以通过舞蹈、画地图来作出你的回应。”无论是对学生或是导师,这都需要你以全新的目光在熟悉的环境里搜索。“你必须到街上再看看,这 400 米长的短短的街道。但我们发现,没有一个人曾那么密切地观察过它。”

Image Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China / Photographer: Guo Bin
Image Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China / Photographer: Guo Bin

The Bauhaus workshops are part of a varied array of courses, exhibitions, film series, talks, and other events that the German consulate puts on in Shanghai. Shen sees these as an important platform for cultural exchange, where people can learn not just about a particular topic but about different modes of thought. “Germany has a very important tradition of kritisch zu sein, that is, being critical. If you say something, I won’t just agree with it—I’ll analyze it and maybe say that 70% I agree with, 30% I doubt,” she says. “They really respect intellectuals.” Both Hartmann and Shen stress the importance of making sure these exchange go both ways, so that people in the West can learn about China.


“包豪斯课堂”隶属德国驻上海总领事馆在上海举办的一系列课程、展览、电影、讲座等活动。在沈奇岚看来,这些活动是文化交流的重要平台,人们不仅可以从中学习像包豪斯这样特定的主题,同时能了解不同的思维模式。“德国有一个很重要的传统,这个德语叫‘kritisch zu sein’,就是说保持评价审慎的态度。如果你说了什么,我不会仅仅只是表达同意——我会分析一下,可能 70% 我会接受,30% 我要怀疑。他们很尊重知识分子。”她说。她和郝立夫同时强调要确保这些交流是双向的,让来自西方国家的人们也可以从中了解中国。

Shanghai is a few months ahead of the curve in celebrating the Bauhaus centenary. In 2019 events will take place around the world to commemorate the school, most notably a series of exhibitions called Bauhaus Imaginista. Shen is excited for so many people to learn about this tradition, whose life was a short as it was transformative. “Everyone can experience the power of art to change your life,” she notes. “That’s part of Bauhaus.”


上海其实是提前了几个月来庆祝包豪斯的百年诞辰。2019 年,全球将会举办一系列的活动来纪念这座著名的德国设计学院,其中最引人注目的是名为“Bauhaus Imaginista”的系列展览。沈奇岚很高兴能让这么多的人了解到包豪斯。包豪斯的生命很短,但它是一场巨大的变革。“大家会发现艺术它具有改变生活的力量。”她说,“而这就是包豪斯的一部分。”

Website: goethe.de/shanghai
WeChat: AKuB_Shanghai

 

Contributor: Allen Young
Photographer: David Yen
Additional Images Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China


网站: goethe.de/shanghai
微信: AKuB_Shanghai

 

供稿人: Allen Young
摄影师: David Yen
附加图片由 德国驻上海领事馆文化教育处 提供

Face Value

You're in my pictures.

These days it seems interactions with others are always mediated by the screen of some device. In our hectic lives, talking in person has become a luxury. Gone are the days of friendly banter and shooting the breeze, replaced by the tip-tap of our on-screen keyboards. But what if we could set our phones aside for a moment, look each other in the eyes, and spend more time speaking face to face?

To hold onto the important people in our lives, perhaps we need to do more than keep them in mind. Why not keep them in art? Shanghai-based designer Hema’s independent accessory brand Face to Face creates wearable pins with an individual likeness, letting you hold the memory of others close to your heart (in a literal sense). The cute, pastel-colored pins are created with a mix of unconventional materials, such as steel wires, pieces of metal, and even cereal grains, and finished with a transparent layer of resin. All of her pins are unique—one-of-a-kind, just like real people. “When I think of the people in my life, each one has their own distinctive traits,” she says. “So I wanted to record their faces in the form of pins.”


曾几何时,人与人的交流之间总是隔着一层荧幕,近在咫尺的陪伴渐渐变成我们紧凑生活中的一种奢侈,寒暄和话语也总是被键盘上的反覆敲字取代。如果,我们可以暂时放下手机,看一看彼此的脸,多一点面对面的时光——

为了把身边重要的人的脸庞好好记下,不只记在脑海,也要记录在创作里。现居上海的设计师河马(Hema)自创品牌 Face to Face ,主要的作品脸谱胸针收录了形形色色的人们的脸。扑上温柔的色彩,造以浑圆的形状,并结合多种异想天开的材质拼接,钢丝、金属、甚至是谷物,压印在通透的树脂里。每一个胸针就像我们所遇见的每一个人一样,都是仅此唯一的存在。“我想起身边的人们,每个人都很有自己的特点,于是想把他们的脸通过胸针的形式记录下来。”

I'm a Photographer
I'm a Storyteller

“At first I just wanted to make fun faces, so I made the pins. But ultimately, they’re static,” Hema says. “I also like things that are goofy and dynamic. I firmly believe movement brings vitality, so I began wondering if there was a way to make the pins more lively, have them tell a story.”

This desire led to her first animated works. The series Exhibition, based on her Face to Face pins, is inspired by childhood memories of her mother and others.


“我一开始只是研究怎么做有趣的脸,所以有了脸谱胸针,但它们毕竟是静态的。我也喜欢搞怪和动态的东西,坚信运动会带来生命力,所以想说是不是可以让胸针更生动一点,传递一些故事?”

于是就衍生出更多具有故事感的动态图像作品。以下是河马以胸针为主要创作素材,发想的动图系列《看展》,灵感来自小时候有关母亲的回忆。

 

 

First time seeing an outdoor film 第一次看户外电影
First visit to a museum 第一次去美术馆
You told me about the Loch Ness Monster 你给我讲尼斯湖水怪的故事
First time taking me to see grown-ups at work 第一次带我去观察大人上班
First time following a pop star 第一次追星
Seeing a magic show together 一起看魔术表演
First time exploring the outdoors 第一次野外探险
First time at the firefly park 第一次去萤火虫公园

In her Forest series, the familiar faces of her pins have become fully developed characters with their own backstories. As they wander through a forest of the artist’s imagination, they pass by each other and encounter each other again. The series is inspired by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, with each image directly based on quotes from the book itself.

Through all these works, Hema wants to help us hold onto the beautiful, one-of-a-kind faces around us.


在另一系列《森林》里,脸谱都化身为人,在一个不存在于现实的森林里来来去去,彼此错过、再相遇。这是河马以她最喜欢的日本作家村上春树的作品《挪威的森林》作为启发,依据书中名言所创作的动图。

通过这些创作,希望让大家都能好好记得我们身边那些美丽、而独一无二的脸庞。

 

What makes us most normal is knowing that we're not normal. 我们的正常之处,就在于自己懂得自己的不正常
It is wonderful for two people to love each other, don't you think? 人与人可以爱得那么深,实在美妙
How great? Great enough to knock down all the trees in all the forests of the world. 如何好法?好得像全世界森林里的树通通倒到地上
I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this? 希望你可以记住我,记住我这样活过,这样在你身边呆过
We were like kids who grew up naked on a desert island. If we got hungry, we'd just pick a banana; if we got lonely, we'd go to sleep in each other's arms. 我俩就像在无人岛长大的光屁股孩子,肚子饿了就吃香蕉,寂寞了就相拥而眠
Nobody likes being alone that much. I don't go out of my way to make friends, that's all. It just leads to disappointment. 哪里有人喜欢孤独,只不过不乱交朋友罢了,那样只能落得失望

Weibo~/FacetoFace
WeChat: faceworkshop

 

Contributor: Yang Yixuan


微博: ~/FacetoFace
微信公众号: faceworkshop

 

供稿人: Yang Yixuan

Cyclops Skaters & Odd Animals

Felix_Shaozi, the winner of the 2017 Vans Asia Custom Culture Competition, is a Beijing-based creative whose diverse body of work includes graphic design, illustrations, murals, comics, fashion design, and much more. This versatility is what keeps his work fresh and unpredictable, and lets him weave concepts and techniques from one medium to another.


2017 年亚洲区 Vans Custom Culture 鞋履设计比赛的冠军 Felix_勺子,是一位来自北京的创作人。他的作品涉猎广泛而多元,包括图形设计、插图、墙绘、漫画、时装设计等等。这种多样性使他的作品永葆新鲜,且难以捉摸,让他在各种的艺术媒介中自由穿插着概念与技术。

Shaozi doesn’t believe in waiting around for inspiration to strike. As a curious and self-driven individual, he relies on experimentation and hard work to bring new ideas to fruition. Even if not every idea pans out, he thinks putting in the effort to express himself is still valuable. “Everyone has something they want to say,” he tells us. “For me, art and design are ways of speaking. I create because I have something to say.”


勺子不赞成对灵感持“守株待兔”的心态。作为一个充满好奇心和自驱力的人,他依靠不断的尝试和努力工作来实现新点子。即使不能都成真,他依然觉得努力表达自己很有价值。“每个人都会有想说的话吧。”他告诉我们,“对我来说,设计和创作,其实是一种‘说’的方式。我创作,是因为我有想说的‘话’。”

From a skateboarding cyclops to an amphibious fish walking on all fours, Shaozi’s illustrations are doused in a sense of mischief that highlights two of his most beloved subjects: skate culture and animals.


从一个滑板独眼巨人到一条四足爬行的两栖鱼,勺子的作品充满着滑稽搞怪的色彩,也凸显出他最爱的两个主题:滑板文化和动物。

“I think animals are much more beautiful than humans,” he admits.

This belief is made evident in his artworks. Many of the characters appearing in his illustrations – even anthropomorphic ones – are based on animal forms. This fondness for wildlife is also rooted in a bit of nostalgia: drawing animals stirs up childhood memories of visiting the zoo with his family and spending countless hours watching Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.


“我认为动物比人类更美丽。”他坦言,在他的插图中,出现的许多人物——甚至是拟人化的形象——都是以动物的形态为基础的。这种对野生动物的喜爱源于儿时的怀旧记忆:小时候的他常和家人一起参观动物园,花费无数个小时观看《动物世界》和 “Discovery 探索频道”。

For the 2017 Vans Custom Culture Asia Competition, Shaozi brought his love of animals and skateboarding together in his winning entry – an impish alligator designed in a vibrant green-and-red colorway on a pair of Vans’ iconic skate shoes. His interpretation of “Off the Wall”—the theme for 2017—stood out from the patterned and collage-style sketches submitted by many of the other talented participants. Nine months in the making, his shoe has now hit the shelves and is available on Vans.com.cn , shop.vans.co.kr, and at the Vans Hong Kong LCX Store.


在 2017 年亚洲区 Vans Custom Culture 鞋履设计比赛中,勺子将他对动物和滑板两者的热爱结合在了一起,创造出一只顽皮的鳄鱼,在一双 Vans 标志性的滑板鞋上,鳄鱼的红绿对比色分外鲜明。勺子对 2017 年的主题 “Off the Wall” 的诠释,在其他同样有才的竞赛者及他们提交的拼贴风设计稿中,脱颖而出,最终赢得桂冠。9 个月之后,他的鞋子已经在Vans.com.cn , shop.vans.co.kr、与香港的 Vans LCX 上架销售。

You can vote for your favorite designs for year’s Vans Custom Culture Asia True White Slip-On now. See some of the inspiring designs from this year below or click here to learn more!


今年的亚洲 Vans Custom Culture 定制鞋大赛,为你心中最爱的的 Slip-on 真鞋设计投票吧。点击此处,了解更多!

Weibo: ~/deutschshaozi247
Behance~/felix_shaozi
Instagram: @felix_shaozi

 

Contributor: David Yen
Photographer: Li Zi


微博: ~/deutschshaozi247
Behance~/felix_shaozi
Instagram: @felix_shaozi

 

供稿人: David Yen
摄影师: Li Zi

Mist Encounter

 

无法观看?前往优酷

In the outdoor plaza in front of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, a structure of scaffolding and mesh beckons passersby within the folds of its flowing fabric and swirling mist. Mist Encounter is an installation project designed by Serendipity Studio and Kuan-Wei Chen Architects, created with the goal of showing people how invisible air currents constantly interact with our bodies and movements.

Using a water mist system, the installation gives unseen airflow visible shape. As the mist drifts through and around the draped textiles, unrestricted by the boundaries of the square aluminum frame, it’s difficult to discern where the installation ends and begins. The free-flowing mist continuously takes on new forms – transforming based on the sun’s position and the wind’s intensity – to create different experiences for visitors throughout the day.

Mist Encounter is one of the many inspiring participants that blur the line between art and design in the 2018 Golden Pin Design Award. This year’s call for entries will end on June 28 at 5 pm (GMT+8). Visit the Golden Pin Design Award website for more details.


在台北市立美术馆门前的广场上,一个由鹰架和白色织网搭建的临时建筑装置吸引着路人踏入其飘逸的织网与薄雾旋流中。《供雾所》(Mist Encounter)是由偶然设计(Serendipity Studio)与陈冠玮建筑师事务所共同打造的一个装置项目,希望令观众意识到平时隐形的空气是如何与我们的身体和动作互动的。

通过使用水雾系统,将人们周围原本看不见的空气流动变得可见。薄雾在悬垂的织网周围浮动,不受方形铝框架边界的限制,令人难于辨别起点与终点。设计师将台北的天气情况纳入考虑,让自由流动的薄雾与太阳的位置和风的强度相互作用,让观众在一天中不同的时间能有不同的体验。

《供雾所》是 2018金点设计奖参赛作品之一,和许多精彩的参赛作品一样,它模糊了艺术与设计的界线。今年大奖报名时间将于 6 月 28 日(GMT+8)下午 5 点截止。浏览金点设计奖官网,了解更多详情。

Websites:
serendipitystudio.design
kwchenatelier.com

Facebook: ~/MistEncounter

 

Contributor: David Yen
Images Courtesy of Serendipity Studio & Ethan Lee


网站:
serendipitystudio.design
kwchenatelier.com

脸书: ~/MistEncounter

 

供稿人: David Yen
图片由偶然设计
 Ethan Lee 提供

Type-of-Graphics

This story is part of a content partnership and media exchange between Neocha and MAEKAN. To see more of MAEKAN’s content on Neocha, click here.

 

Typefaces are to text what accent and cadence are to speech: they create an immediately recognizable “voice.” Thanks to digital typography, designers have access to tens of thousands of different typefaces, each of which can steer a project in a different direction and give it a different visual identity. Don’t like the fonts on offer? You can always create your own — you just need to design some 250 characters, including upper- and lower-case letters and punctuation. If you’re working in a language like English, that is.

But what if you’re a designer working in Chinese, creating a typeface that needs tens of thousands of characters to be considered “complete”? How do you tackle a project that’s bound to outlive you, and why even start in the first place?

I sat down with Caspar Lam, of the New York-based studio Synoptic Office, to talk about his team’s new typeface, Ming Romantic, and the challenges of Chinese font innovation.


本篇文章来自新茶媒体合作伙伴 MAEKAN 的内容交换。在 Neocha 上阅读更多 MAEKAN 的文章,请 点击此处

 

字体设计之于文字,就像声调和抑扬顿挫之于一篇演讲来说一样重要,同样都提供后者一个能轻易被辨识出来的 “风格”。归功于数位排版,设计师现在可以在网上接触到上千万种不同的字体,让作品的视觉风格更加多元化。但如果你还是找不到想要的字体呢?你还有另一种选择:设计出 250 个大小写字母和标点符号,创建属于你自己的字体。当然了,前提是你用的语言是英语。

但是,如果你是一名中文设计师,创建一套数位的中文字体则需要设计出上千万个不同的字元,才能称得上“完整”。要如何完成这项说不定一辈子都做不完的工作,更重要的是,为何一开始还选择去做这件事?

我带着这样的疑问来到了纽约设计工作室 Synoptic Office,和字体设计师 Caspar Lam 一起讨论 明日体 的构思,以及在设计中文字体时所面临的挑战。

It all began with a simple enough request.

Before founding Synoptic Office, while working at a design studio, Lam was tasked with finding a romantic Chinese font for his client, Vogue China, which was looking something akin to Didone — an unadorned, modern typeface characterized by a striking contrast between thin horizontal and thick vertical lines.

The problem? No such type existed.


这一切都始于一个简单的提问。

在创立 Synoptic Office 之前,Caspar 曾在纽约一间工作室工作。当时他在为客户《Vogue China》寻找一种风格浪漫的中文字体,类似 Didone 字体这样的设计——简洁、现代、横竖笔画的对比强烈,竖线要细,而横线要粗。

问题是,并没有这样的中文字体。

After completing the project with Vogue China, Lam discussed the idea of creating a font with Synoptic’s co-founder and creative director, YuJune Park, and their design team, which included Abby Chen, Dustin Tong and Gabriela Carnabuci. “We were sitting together in a room and we said, ‘Oh, why don’t we make a Chinese typeface?’” Lam recalls. “How hard could that be? Literally, it was that naive.”

Thus began Synoptic’s five-year journey to explore and reinvent the way modern Chinese typefaces are created.


结束这个项目后,Caspar 与工作室共同创办人暨创意总监 YuJune Park 以及其团队成员,包括设计师 Abby Chen、Dustin Tong 和 Gabriela Carnabuci,一起讨论了设计字体的想法。Caspar 回忆说:“我们坐在一个房间里,讨论着 ‘我们为什么不自己去制作中文字体?这能有多难呢?’ 我们当时的想法就是这么天真。”

就这样,Synoptic Office 开启了一项长达五年的项目,重新探索和塑造了中文字体的设计方式。

Ming Romantic came about from a combination of circumstance, curiosity and, as Lam concedes, “youthful optimism.”

The team originally wanted to include an accompanying Korean typeface in a similar style, a plan they abandoned within the first month, once the enormity of the project became apparent.

Why? Several factors make creating a new Chinese typeface exceedingly difficult, many of which have existed since antiquity.

For starters, written Chinese is vast and intricate.

This complexity gives the script its richness, but it has also hindered its ability to make full use of technological innovations that elsewhere proved transformative.


明日体是對周遭环境的審視、好奇心、以及 Caspar 所说 “年轻的乐观主义” 结合之下的产物。

团队最初原本還计划创建一款类似风格的韩文字体。但是在项目开始的一个月后,他们就放弃了这个想法,因为很快他们就意识到这个项目的艰巨性。

为什么?创建新的中文字体之所以如此困难有很多原因,其中一些原因甚至可以说是自古以来一直存在的。

首先,汉字的数量非常庞大,结构复杂。

这种复杂性既丰富了语言,同时也阻碍了它像其它语言一样充分应用于新兴科技。

For the Western world, the impact of the printing press was huge. It’s probably a simplification, but when every book had to be copied by hand by a team of monks, a machine that could churn out Bibles at the pull of a lever was revolutionary.

It led to the greater dissemination and democratization of knowledge in the West. And as printing technology progressed, so did the typefaces conceived to meet different design challenges, such as cost-saving italics, which allowed a printer to fit more letters onto a block.


对于西方国家来说,印刷技术的影响是巨大的,毕竟在一个只能手抄《圣经》的时代,突然出现一个拉一下开关,就能大批生产出畅销书的机器,在当时绝对称得上是一项革命性的发明。

打印机的出现让知识得以在西方国家更大范围地传播出去。随着印刷技术的不断发展,字体设计也在不断向前推进,以迎合更多不同的设计挑战。例如,人们发明斜体字,让打印机可以将更多字母装入同一个方格,以节省成本。

“If they created a block for every character, that’s also a huge undertaking. You needed an emperor or somebody with a lot of money hire a lot of people to do this type of work and sustain it.”

“如果你为每个字都创造一个方格,那将是一个巨大的工程。你首先需要一个像皇帝一样富有的人的资助,才能去雇用一大堆人来做这件事。”

These developments would eventually lead to the first modern” Roman typefaces, Bodoni and Didot, with their sharp serifs and high contrast between vertical and horizontal line weights. The set of typefaces that descend from these two, collectively known as Didone, would also become the conceptual basis for Ming Romantic.

In case you’re wondering why it’s called Ming Romantic, it’s named for the dynasty during which ceramic, wood, and bronze movable type gained popularity, in a marked a shift away from calligraphic script styles based on brush strokes. And the Mingti typeface, also named for this period, marked the starting point for their exploration.

Although movable type was invented in China as early as 1040 AD, printing was long limited by the costs of producing large character sets.

Individual characters or even whole texts were carved onto woodblocks, which were then inked and stamped onto paper, in a process known as xylography. But this process required the support of a wealthy patron such as the emperor. If there was no block for a given character, a new one had to be carved.


发展到后来,诞生了第一批现代罗马字体 Bodoni 和 Didot,这些字体有着明显的衬线、和强烈的横竖线粗细对比。以这两种字体为基础发展的字体都被统称为 Didone,同时也是明日体的灵感之源。

也许你会想知道为什么取名为 “明日体”,它的命名取自明朝。在这个朝代,陶瓷、木材和铜板活字印刷术得到了广大的普及,意味着中文字体开始有了不同于手写书法字体的风格转变。同样的 “明日体” 也标志了一个世代,是对中文字体重新探索的开端。

虽然活字印刷术早在公元 1040 年就在中国被发明和使用,但关于中文印刷业及字体的后续发展,最大的限制因素是生产如此大量字符模具,随之而来的巨大成本。

在古代,人们喜欢在木版刻上文字或整篇文章,然后再将印有墨水的木版压印到纸上,这一过程被称为 “木版印刷术”。但这背后需要相当雄厚的资金支持,通常只有皇帝才做得到。因为这项工作必须有人随时待命,一旦木板被用完了,就必须马上再雕刻一个新的出来。

And a similar issue persists today. A non-designer can do a quick browse of DaFont and find tens of thousands of different typefaces for English, but a committed search of similar sites for Chinese will yield only a fraction of that number — even as the demand for new Chinese typefaces has grown.

While an alphabetic typeface can be created by a single designer with sufficient passion or compensation, making a usable Chinese typeface requires a team of designers working together over several months — or in Synoptic Office’s case, several years.

This is because a typical Western typeface needs only about 250 characters, a number that includes the alphabet in upper and lower case, punctuation marks, and special characters like currency signs and the ampersand.

The problem is that a modern Chinese typeface needs those Roman characters along with 2,500 to 3,000 common-use Chinese characters to be useable for simple texts such as titles.

As it happens, the 250 or so Western characters used in most Chinese typefaces are included for completeness and are usually copied from other typefaces. The results are Roman characters that are jarringly out of place next to the Chinese typeface, something of a bastardized Times New Roman. Lam and I joked that these characters look like an afterthought, a job left to a hapless intern.

But for a typeface intended for professional use – for body text, for example – where the variety of characters is bound to be greater, thousands more are needed. Some estimate that as many as 80,000 are needed for a typeface to truly be considered “complete.”


同样的问题至今仍然存在。即使你不是设计师,也能在 DaFont 这样的字体网站上轻松找到成千上万种英文字体。但是當搜索中文字体时,结果却廖廖无几。然而人们现在对于新的中文字体的需求正在与日具增,也有越来越多人愿意资助这项工作。

要创建新的罗马字母字体,只要有资金资助和足够的热情,一位设计师单枪匹马就能完成这项工作。然而,要创建一款可用的中文字体仍然需要一个团队的设计师工作好几个月,或是像 Synoptic Office 这样,努力了数年才行。

一般来说,西方字体只需要大约 250 个字符,其中包括大写和小写字母、标点符号以及其他特殊符号如$或 &。

问题是在现代中文里,除了需要那些罗马字符外,光要写出一个简单的标题,就需要 2500到 3000个常用中文字符了。

大多数中文字体中附带的 250 个西方字符只是为了确保其完整性,通常都是直接借用其它字体的。结果是两者摆在一起看起来极不协调,像是一种变异的 Times New Roman 字体。Caspar 和我开玩笑,这些被借用的字符感觉就像是一个倒霉的实习生,被派去收拾別人的烂摊子。

但是对于一款用于专业用途的设计字体,譬如用在正文部分,字符的种类一定要更丰富才行。起码需要超过八万个字符以上,才能算的上 “完整”。

“Theoretically, you could work on this forever, because the character set is so huge. If we want people to use it quickly, maybe we should set expectations and say ‘well, maybe we won’t complete it on the first go.”

“理论上,你可以花上一辈子的时间去设计,因为中文字实在太多了。如果想要人们可以更快的使用到,也许我们应该换个方式,不用一次就全部完成所有的字。”

It bears mentioning that Synoptic Office isn’t a type foundry – that is to say, they don’t create typefaces full-time. I asked Lam how they executed a project of such magnitude in the background, while working on other jobs, over five years.

He began by comparing approaches used by type foundries. One of these involves writing a character by hand, scanning it into a graphics program and live-tracing it. But as Lam notes, this was not a suitable approach for Ming Romantic, as their design aim was to distance it from handwriting and instead explore typography.

Taking a page out of the software development playbook, Synoptic is releasing Ming Romantic in successive versions. This means the team’s work can be published even before it’s complete – and with so many characters left to go, it can be hard to pinpoint when that will be.


值得一提的是,Synoptic Office 并不是一间专门的字体设计公司,他们没办法投入所有时间来做这件事。于是我问 Caspar,他们是如何在五年多的时间里,利用工作之余持续进行一个如此大规模的项目?

他首先跟我比较了字体设计公司和 Synoptic Office 使用方法的不同。其中一种方法是先手写,扫描进绘图软件里再描图。但是正如 Caspar 所说的,这种方式不太适合明日体,因为它的设计精神本来就是要摆脱手写字型,以去探索更多印刷字体的风格。

Synoptic Office 则是采取分阶段,以不同版本推出的发布形式。这意味着字体可以在完成前就先曝光,毕竟这个项目要完成的字符如此之多,很难精确的预定出具体的完成日期。

Yet even with the advantages of graphic design software and scripting languages that can produce characters with similar elements based on successful iterations, individual characters still need to be finessed or adjusted to be visually pleasing, Lam explains.

That means carving out time every day for drawing a character on a blank grid on a screen. In the beginning, the time commitment meant the net output was maybe only one to three characters a day.

These characters sit on a large master list that the team goes through over and over again until items are completed, with milestones set in increments of 500 characters.

Intrigued, I ask him how the team celebrates.

“With a cup of coffee,” he laughs. “Or maybe just walking around, because it takes a toll on your eyes. I already have very bad eyesight, so you can feel your eyes degenerating after a while, and you know that this is actually not good for you in the long run!”

Besides the consistency of the entire character set, Lam points out another crucial criterion – Does it look Chinese?

“After the initial explorations were done, it became a little more robust and efficient. Because then you could copy a lot of the forms you drew previously and then modify them for forms that are similar,” he says.


因为绘图软件和脚本语言的帮助,他们可以依据重复的笔画元素去创作更多字符。但是 Caspar 解释说,即便如此,他们仍然需要一个一个字去加工处理或调整,视觉上才能达到一致平衡,让人看得舒服。

这意味着他们每天要抽出时间在电脑上绘制字符。一开始,他们每天只能做一至三个字符。

“最初试验工作的阶段完成后,工作流程就变得更加顺畅和高效率。因为你可以复制之前绘制过的偏旁,然后在做类似字符时直接在它的基础上修改就行了。”

团队把这些所有字符列成一份工作清单,过了一遍又一遍直到项目完成。每完成 500 个字符,对他们来说都算得上是一个里程碑。

有趣的是,当我问团队会如何庆祝时,他笑着说:“就喝杯咖啡。或者是起来走走,因为这项工作挺伤眼睛的。我的视力本来就不好,过了一段时间又感觉到视力在退化。长远来看,这其实对健康不是很好。”

但是,除了要针对所有字符的一致性进行测量和调整之外,Caspar 还指出另一个关键的标准——新的字体看起来够像中文吗?

Contrary to a popular myth, Chinese characters are not pictograms. Over 80% of characters are logosyllabic (or pictophonetic, if you prefer). What that means, simply, is that a typical character contains an element that hints at its meaning (the character’s “radical”), and an element that hints at its pronunciation.

In their countless combinations, these elements take on slightly different shapes and proportions that the design has to account for. What’s more, not only do characters have to follow universal visual design principles, they also have to look authentic.

As someone whose Chinese handwriting, acquired at university, looks like the legible but clumsy penmanship of a child, I don’t have the lifetime of practice necessary to judge authenticity.

But authenticity is important, and to show why, Lam mentioned the contrasting case of writing by Chinese learners of English. Sure enough, a glimpse at some writing samples shows a few extra features that are decidedly not native to English handwriting styles. These anomalies are pretty easy to spot, especially if you’re just working with the standard 26-letter Roman alphabet.

For example, you’d likely think something was off if the capital ‘D’ in Delaware appeared as small as the adjacent lower case ‘e.’

With so many “moving parts” in a character, in both typography and writing, there are a lot of extra things that could look off to the Chinese eye. This made creating Ming Romantic more daunting, but also more interesting.


人们向来有个误解,以为每个汉字都是 “图画” 一样的象形字。但其实超过 80%的中文字都是意音文字,或者说是形声字。大部分中文字由不同的 ‘偏旁’ 组成,有些偏旁表示发音,有些则表示意义。一部份的字仅由一个偏旁组成,一部份则由不同偏旁共组、或者是延伸的变体。

在这些由无数种偏旁组合出的中文字中,偏旁的形状、大小比例、位置会稍有不同,都会影响到字体的设计。除了要符合客观的美学要求,更重要的是,它们必须拥有 ‘正宗性’,也就是看起来要够像中文字。

由于我自己一直到大学才开始学写中文,写字看起来就像小学生那种一笔一划、很生疏。我可能还没有资格去判断明日体是否真的像正宗的汉字。

但这件事却很重要,例如在一些英文的书写样本中,你可以察觉到一些不符合传统英文手写的装饰细节。这些不对劲的小地方很容易就能被发现,特别是当我们用标准的 26个罗马字母时。

例如, Delaware 这个单词的大写字母 D 与相邻的小写字母 e 一样大时,即使这是字体的设计意图,你也能看出有点不对。

中文字里面有这么多组合的部分,不论是印刷体还是手写体,更为容易出现让你觉得去看來奇怪的小地方。这也让设计明日体的过程充满更多难关和乐趣。

“We wanted to pursue it because it was such an interesting topic for us. In our studio, we tend to pursue projects that we find to be of cultural relevance and of cultural interest.”

It would be unfair to suggest that the point of Ming Romantic was simply to see how a Chinese typeface could be created from scratch. Aside from the practical challenge of producing a typeface through more intuitive and efficient methods, Ming Romantic also poses a stylistic, and even cultural challenge to the existing visual norms of printed Chinese.

Despite the small but growing body of innovative Chinese typefaces, Chinese culture remains heavily attached to its history in the calligraphic arts for its expressiveness.

Lam describes a sort of “mental barrier” in the Chinese context, offering the example of his family and friends’ questions about Ming Romantic.

When they’d ask what kind of calligraphic face he was working on, he’d have to explain the difference between typography and calligraphy: the former has “an aspect of mechanical reproduction and product,” while the latter is a means of personal expression.

It’s this ingrained attachment to an esteemed tradition that makes giving the two arts “their space” a great, if unacknowledged, challenge for Chinese typography.


“我们之所以投入这件事,是因为它对我们来说非常有趣。我们喜欢做与文化相关或具文化意义的工作。”

如果说明日体,仅仅是为了试验看看中文字如何从头开始创作,这是不恰当的。除了一一克服创建中文字体的困难,明日体的创作尝试用更直观、更有效的方法去制作中文字体。这在视觉设计、甚至文化领域上都是一大挑战,也是对现存中文视觉规范的突破。

尽管中文设计字体目前为数不多,但有在逐步成长。其中很多设计都包含书法的元素,这项传统艺术凭借其丰富的表现力,始终是中华文化的代表。

Caspar 指出人们对于汉字有一种 “认知上的障碍”。他举例道,当他与家人朋友谈论自己在创建明日体时,他们都会问他是在研究哪种书法。这时他必须解释印刷体和书法之间的区别,前者是 “机械复制的产品”,后者是 “个人表达的手段”。

正是对这种根深蒂固的想法进行质问,使得区分这两种字体艺术,成为一个尚未被人们意识到的挑战。

“Even Chairman Mao was a calligrapher. It’s a very reactionary activity for a revolutionary, but it highlights the sort of myth we have as part of our cultural identity, or who we are as Chinese.”

“就连毛主席也是一位书法家。对于他这位革命家来说这是一种相对保守的行为。但书法确实强调了一种文化上的身份认同,充分说明了 ‘我是一个中国人’ 的概念。”

As the first combination of traditional Chinese characters and a high-contrast modern Western typeface, Ming Romantic is an exciting development, but Lam points out that history isn’t entirely devoid of similar attempts.

When he and Park discussed their font at the Typographics 2016 design festival, they showed many remarkable examples of typefaces from the 1950s and after – a relatively unrecognized heritage of Chinese experimentation in typography.

“Experimentation in Chinese type has a somewhat rocky history, because Chinese has tended to allow the forms which are considered canonical, while the rest of the experimentations tend to get buried,” he explains. Outside the art and design worlds, the visible lack of provocative Chinese fonts in everyday life seems to confirm this.

“So you always hear about the great calligraphers or the things that worked. And the things that haven’t worked, you have to search really hard to find them.”


作为中文传统字体和西方现代字体的首次结合,明日体是中文印刷字体中一次令人兴奋的发展。但 Caspar 说其实之前早就有过类似的尝试。

当和 YuJune 在 Typographics 2016 设计节上讨论明日体时,他们展示了1950年代以来许多重要的字体设计案例。这些字体可以说是中文印刷体被埋没的文化遗产。

“中文印刷字体的发展并非一帆风顺,因为中国自古以来只鼓励符合常规的东西,而其余实验性的设计往往会被埋没掉。”他解释道。在艺术和设计界之外,日常生活中很难看到有趣的中文字体。这正好印证了 Caspar 所说的。

“所以你总是能听到人们在谈论哪位伟大书法家,或是哪些已经成功的事迹。而那些还没成功的,你往往要很努力、花上更多力气才能找得到。”

To fully grasp the impact of an achievement like Ming Romantic, you could think of it this way: how many projects fail to reach their full potential, or are never even started, because they lack a typeface to express their visual identity? It’s as if you only had, say, Times New Roman, Arial and (perish the thought) Comic Sans at your disposal.

While Lam stops short of suggesting Chinese design would “mushroom” if it had more typefaces for its creative energies, he does believe more typefaces would allow for more directions and greater freedom. For now, he can proudly count Ming Romantic as the first Didone-style Chinese font and celebrate the end of the first leg of a much longer journey.

At the time of this writing, Ming Romantic’s initial release, unveiled in New York on February 1st, included 2,300 traditional characters in three weights.


要真正明白明日体的成就,你可以这样来思考:有多少失败的设计项目尝试做到跟他们一样的事情、或根本还没开始,因为缺乏合适的字体基础来符合设计上的需求。这就好像跟你说:你当然可以自己设计,但只能用 Times New Roman、Arial、Comic Sans 这三种字体来做一样。

虽然 Caspar 并未明说,但如果中国能有更多创新字体来引导其创作能量,中文设计字体的发展会更快速。更多的字体选择可以为设计作品提供更多方向和创作空间。现在,他们可以自豪地把明日体称为第一款 Didone 风格的中文字体,团队也终于可以庆祝,在这一段漫长旅程中取得了阶段性的胜利。

在写这篇文章的同时,明日体于2月1日在纽约推出第一版,一共收录 2300个繁体字,三种不同的粗细版本。

After our chat, I asked Lam by email what was next for Ming Romantic. Aside from taking some much-needed rest to distance and reflect on the project, he mused about a potential simplified Chinese version, subject to demand.

True to Ming Romantic’s original spirit, there may even be bolder explorations down the road.

“One idea which I find fascinating is exploring ‘ligatures’ in the typeface,” he writes, referring to combinations of two or more characters into one, such as in Æ. But in light of the very history that inspired Ming Romantic, that could be a slippery slope.

“In some way, this is a dangerous idea because ligatures have their origins in handwriting, and going too deeply into this area would turn a typeface into a script.”


上次见面后,我又发了邮件问 Caspar 明日体的下一步计划是什么。Caspar 表示,除了打算休息一下,也要继续思考明日体更多可能性,例如创建简体字的版本。

忠于创建明日体的初心,他们之后可能会有更大胆的作为。

“我还有一个想法一直很感兴趣,那就是字体中的 “连字”。指的是将几个字元组合成一个字元,类似英语的Æ。但有鉴于当初启发他们创建明日体的那些经验,这种想法可能会带来 ‘滑坡效应’。

“某种意义上说,这是一个危险的想法,因为连字起源于手写体。如果在这个领域继续深入,这一款印刷字体可能会再次变为手写体。”

Media Partner: MAEKAN

Contributor: Nate Kan
Images Courtesy of Synoptic Office


媒体合作伙伴: MAEKAN

供稿人: Nate Kan
图片由 Synoptic Office 提供

True Colors

In India, one of the minority of countries where homosexuality is illegal, the LGBTQ community continues to face discrimination and hardship on a daily basis. A decade ago, in an even more conservative environment, with fewer places to voice their frustration, many queer people would go online in search of someone who shared their experiences. For them, perhaps the greatest source of support was simply being understood.


印度仍是世界上少数把同性关系列为非法行为的国家,生活在这里的 LGBTQ(女同性恋、男同性恋、双性恋、变性者等“性别酷儿”人群)日常也充满着歧视和困境。时间往前推溯十年,在民风更是保守的当时,身为社会少数人群的他们,痛苦没法对谁诉说,也许只能上网去寻找一个与自己拥有同样遭遇的陌生人。他们最有力的支持来源,无外乎“能被理解”。

Founded in 2008, Gaysi Family is India’s largest online queer forum. It’s a digital space where the gay desi community can express themselves however they like. (“Desi” is a term for the inhabitants and diaspora of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and the website’s name is a play on “gay desi.”) The site boasts a variety of contributions from the queer community, including personal stories, works of fiction, poems, songs, illustrations, and comics.

“The purpose of Gaysi is to let you know you’re not the only one,” says MJ, one of the founders, who is openly lesbian. “The coming out process is never easy because who you come out to is not just one person. Sometimes it’s your whole family or the entire society. And the fact that you know you have company can be very helpful.”

In 2013, they launched a new endeavor: Gaysi Zine, a print publication that portrays LGBTQ life through a meticulously curated round-up of stories and visuals, with a larger dose of art.


Gaysi Family 2008 年创立,作为印度最大的线上同志论坛,欢迎所有来自德西desi,即生活在南亚次大陆上的印度裔和拥有相同文化意识)且拥有同志身份认知的人,来到这自由地说出任何想说的话,因此酷儿人群各种形式的投稿作品,从亲身经历、小说、诗歌、插画、漫画都广见于网站上。

“Gaysi 的目的就是要让你知道你不是唯一。出柜无论对谁来说都很困难,因为你出柜的对象往往不是一个人,而是家庭、甚至整个社会。知道有人与你站在一起,会有很大的帮助。创办人之一 MJ 说,她同时也是一名公开出柜的同性恋者。

到了 2013 年,他们有了新的尝试——发行《Gaysi Zine》,一本文字与图像创作的合集,增添更多艺术成分去描绘 LGBTQ 的生活。

With a blend of topical and artistic content, Gaysi Zine is currently gearing up to publish issue six. The magazine is an extension of Gaysi Family’s ongoing mission to provide an open and inclusive space for the queer community. As before, 80% of every issue’s art and stories come from the region, and by using a style with bold, commanding visuals, Gaysi Zine lets readers leap over the language barrier and experience queer life in an accessible way.


作为一本兼具议题和艺术性的杂志,《Gaysi Zine》即将发行第六期,它沿袭着 Gaysi Family 的主旨,致力于提供酷儿人群一个公开、包容的空间。并且和往常一样,它有 80% 的内容都由住在印度地区的 LGBTQ 人群提供。其沟通方式具有强烈的视觉风格,让人能跳脱语言分界,直接体会酷儿的感受和情绪。

“Stories on the website are shared in black and white of words. But color is the essence of queers,” says Priya Gangwani, one of the magazine’s editors. “Images can capture our life much more precisely.”

Gangwani recalls how hard it used to be to find LGBTQ information in India. Before she discovered Gaysi, she thought she was the only one to have such “abnormal” thoughts about people of the same sex. As she’s gone from reader to regular contributor to editor, she’s witnessed to the country’s shift away from the repressive times of the past to the more progressive attitude of today, when queer visibility is gradually growing in India’s mainstream media.  With Gaysi at the lead, these shifts are changing the face of India’s queer community.


网站上的故事毕竟是由黑与白的文字被分享的,但酷儿的世界是缤纷、充满多样的色彩,图像更可以捕捉我们的生命精随。作为《Gaysi Zine》的编辑之一,Priya Gangwani 和我们分享道。

回想起自己在发现 Gaysi 之前,因为社会上资讯极度的不流通,Priya 还以为自己是全印度唯一对同性抱有异常遐想的人。从发现 Gaysi 到成为固定撰稿人,再到如今成为其编辑,Priya 仿佛见证了从那样压抑的年代走到现在,同志议题在印度主流媒体的能见度逐渐提升的过程。而由 Gaysi 所引导的力量,也正渐渐改变着印度酷儿族群的样貌。

Gaysi Zine – Issue #5 is now available on the Neocha Shop in limited supply.

To pay via PayPal or international credit card, please check out through our Shopify. To pay with AliPay or WeChat, please visit our Weidian.

 

Product Details:

  • Year of Publication: 2017
  • Number of Pages: 156 (including front and back cover)
  • Size: 21.5 x 28 cm
  • Price: $30 USD

Gaysi Zine》第五期现已于 Neocha商店限量发售。

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  • 出版年份:2017
  • 页数:156 (包括封面和封底)
  • 尺寸: 21.5 x 28 厘米
  • 价格: ¥190 RMB


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Website: www.gaysifamily.com
Instagram: @gaysifamily

 

Contributor: Yang Yixuan


网站www.gaysifamily.com
Instagram: @gaysifamily

 

供稿人: Yang Yixuan

Unexpected Boxes

A behind-the-scenes look at how Unexpected Boxes was created.

Taiwanese artist Sydney Sie is a photographer and graphic designer who creates surreal, dream-like pictures that blur the line between imagination and reality. Using pastel colors and playful illusions, her work radiates a gentle feminine energy that eases viewers into each scene. Sie approaches every project like they’re her personal playgrounds, places where she can use candy-colored backdrops, mundane props, and familiar body parts to play games of hide-and-seek with the viewers.


来自台湾的谢昕妮(Sydney Sie)是一名摄影师,也是一名平面设计师。如果说要用一个词来概括她的作品,那或许就是:如梦似幻。

她的作品经常充斥着渐变的色彩、错位的视觉效果和柔软的女性气息。平凡的人物和场景,似乎统统隐匿在纯色背景之后,相片中呈现出来的只有经过筛选的景物,宛如置身真实与虚假的边界,并将其镶嵌到一个糖果色的故事气氛中去。

An image from Unexpectable Boxes
An image from Unexpectable Boxes

From the color usage to the methodical compositions, Sie’s experience as a graphic designer shines through in her photography work. But this intermingling of cross-medium concepts doesn’t end there. Having graduated with a degree in animation, influences from her major are also evident in her work – this is perhaps most apparent in her usage of close-up shots and attention to layering. Sie believes merging concepts from all three is what allows her to tell a complete story. In her eyes, photography should be more than just documenting reality – they’re opportunities to create something completely original and never before seen.


无论从色调还是构图的角度来看,Sydney 的作品都带有平面化的风格,那是因为平面设计出身的她,在研究所时期读了动画专业,所以她常用特写镜头,构图也更分解化。但 Sydney 觉得,这样反而更接近“完整呈现”,因为对她来说,摄影不仅仅是“记录”,更是“创造”。

A behind-the-scenes look at how Unexpected Boxes was created.
A behind-the-scenes look at how Unexpected Boxes was created.
A behind-the-scenes look at how Unexpected Boxes was created.

“I like to capture the surreal moments of ordinary life,” Sie tells us. “Rather relying on the pre-existing beauty of subject matters I’m capturing, I like to create unique settings and look at things from atypical perspectives.”

Each one of Sie’s projects is a window into the varied terrains of her active imagination, and this willingness to push the limits of her creative boundaries is what has captivated viewers again and again.


“我喜欢去捕捉现实生活中的超现实时刻……我喜欢去创造一个新的空间,或是新的构图,不依赖本来就很美好的东西。”但或许这就是 Sydney Sie 作品的魔力,让人在她创造的色彩梦境中,不断流连徜徉。

An image from Unexpectable Boxes
An image from Unexpectable Boxes
An image from Unexpectable Boxes
An image from Unexpectable Boxes
An image from Orange Requiem
An image from Orange Requiem
An image from Orange Requiem
An image from Orange Requiem
An image from Orange Requiem
An image from Orange Requiem

Website: www.sydneysie.com
Behance: ~/sydneysie
Instagram: @sydneysie
Vimeo: ~/sydneysie

 

Contributor: Chen Yuan


网站: www.ydneysie.com
Behance: ~/sydneysie
Instagram: @sydneysie
Vimeo: ~/sydneysie

 

供稿人: Chen Yuan

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What’s the Point in Growing Up?

 

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Born in Taipei, having studied in Milan, and now based in Shanghai, Ning (aka Kang Yung-Ning) is a designer and entrepreneur whose intercultural experiences have broadened her mind and shaped her creative interests. In the past, she’s found success as a high-end menswear designer, stylist consultant, and lecturer. In more recent years, she co-founded XSPLUSLAB, an eyewear brand designed specifically for kids, and Speechless, an online fashion and lifestyle platform. Eager to learn and experiment, Ning’s career path has been a path filled with many twists and turns. Even now, it’s difficult to define her job roles and responsibilities, which might change on a day to day basis. She sums everything up by simply saying, “It’s a bit complicated!”


生于台北,留学米兰,现在长居于上海的 Ning(康韵宁) 形容自己是一位专业“不务正业”的跨文化人士。除了担任一线品牌的男装设计师、造型顾问和学院讲师之外,她还创办了儿童眼镜品牌 XSPLUSLAB 以及时尚创意平台 Speechless。当被问及怎么定位自己的时候,Ning 的反应是,“哇,这很复杂,实在一言难尽!

Despite her cross-disciplinary interests, Ning has been able to balance all of her creative and entrepreneurial pursuits. Unsurprisingly, when asked what she would prioritize to if she had to choose between her personal life and work life, Ning went with the latter. But she admits, it’s often difficult for her to determine where one ends and the other begins. “I discover inspiration for my work everywhere in life,” she says. “It might come from spotting a row of interesting buildings, a particular floor tile, how random colors interact with one another, graffiti art on the street, or even a fallen leaf.”


在不同领域间游走,天秤座的她也形容自己是一个很平衡的人,尽管有很多不同的身份,也能尽量让这些角色达到彼此平衡,并且每个工作都全力以赴。如果要工作与生活二选一,Ning 毫不迟疑地选择工作,原因是她认为做自己喜欢的事,工作也像生活一样。她喜欢四处搜集与流行,时尚,艺术及生活相关的资讯。“生活中大大小小的事物都能为我带来灵感,走在路上看到一排特殊的建筑,路上的一块砖头,不同的色彩搭配,墙角的一个涂鸦,甚至是一片落叶,都能带给我灵感。”

In early 2016, Ning met Vic, an eyewear designer. At the time, Ning worked full-time as a menswear designer. But the two had a mutual interest in using their respective expertise to create something fun for kids; this resulted in the idea of designing playful eyewear for children. To their surprise, the project – initially created just for fun – received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. This success would sow the seeds for the two to launch XSPLUSLAB not long after. Their vision for the brand is simple – create eyewear for stylish kids and adults with a child-like sense of wonder. But aside from simply designing glasses, Ning aims to communicate an underlying message of “Never grow up.” She hopes the brand can help foster creativity in the youth and inspire people of all ages to live their life without constraints.


2016 年初,Ning 碰到了她现在儿童眼镜品牌的合作伙伴 Vic,那时的 Ning 以从事男装设计的工作为主,而 Vic 是个很资深的眼镜设计师。因为两人对于小朋友的生活方式有着共同的想法,他们以做着玩的心态设计制作了一些儿童眼镜,没想到反响非常好。此后,两人就将这个概念发展为了现在的 XSPLUSLAB,一个专为有自我主见的酷小孩和童心未泯的有趣大人设计眼镜和配饰的原创品牌。而制造眼镜之外,Ning 也更想将这种“不想长大”的生活态度传递出来,和大家分享勇敢创新、充满创意的生活方式。

Aside from XSPLUSLAB, a large portion of Ning’s time is dedicated towards Speechless, an online platform that curates a collection of quirky lifestyle and fashion-related stories. “On one particularly hot day, when I was walking around town with my friend, I noticed a group of older folks in public with their shirts rolled up, revealing their stomach. To me, it felt almost like a fashion statement. I thought it was so much fun, but I couldn’t quite explain why. Not long after, I realized I had other interesting observations and ideas about fashion that I wanted to share. And so, Speechless was born,” she says, explaining that her long-term vision is for the platform to grow into an archive of stories that’s able to captivate people of all professions, races, cultures, and genders. “Maybe it’s a naive idea, but we’re open to everything. On this platform, I want people to not worry about ‘stepping over boundaries.’ There shouldn’t be any!”


说起 Speechless,这个 Ning 一手创立的线上生活形态资讯平台,背后还有个可爱又有点搞笑的小故事。“当初和朋友走在街头,看到夏天时大叔们因为天气闷热,把衣服卷到肚皮上散热,一群人站在路口形成有趣的‘时尚风景’,觉得说不出的逗趣景象,加上自己有许多对于生活趣事和时装及美感的看法想跟大家分享,于是便有了Speechless。” Ning 想借助这个平台,和一群对新鲜事物充满好奇的人们分享资讯,他们不按常理出牌,喜欢打破沙锅问到底,勇于打破常规,当然还有,充满幽默感。Ning 希望透过 Speechless 推广一种没有边界,跨产业、跨种族、跨文化、跨性别的理念,创造一个单纯且有趣的意见交换与分享平台。“在这里因为我们单纯而开放的多元精神,大家不必在意互踩界线!哈哈,因为我们也没有界限!”

“I’m both a dreamer and a dream maker,” Ning tells us. “I’m interested in sharing my experiences with people eager to learn so that they can make it closer to their own dreams. I think the best way to live life is to keep an open mind about everything. Kids and adults think differently. Adults already have preconceived notions about many things in life, but kids are different. They look at things in a different light – they don’t see limitations.” Ning often reminds people to retain their child-like sense of wonder about the world, to be receptive to different ideas, and create by thinking outside of the box. She wants people from all walks of life – especially designers, stylists, and fashion enthusiasts – to see that life can be lived without the mental limitations we often place on ourselves and spread the message that by harnessing our creativity, we hold the key to unlocking endless possibilities.


我是一个梦想家(Dreamer),也同时是一个梦想实现家(Dream maker) 。因为我在做梦的同时,也会把自己的经验传达给很多学生,帮助他们更靠近梦想。” Ning 和我们分享道,我觉得最有趣的生活状态就是对任何事物都采取开放的态度。”所以 Ning 常提醒自己用小孩子的态度对待世界,“孩子的生活和成人的生活不同,成人对事物已经有既定的印象,可是小朋友不一样,小朋友没有带有色眼镜,也没有任何的限制。” Ning 希望用更开放的心胸和更多元化的想法去创作,把这种没有界限的生活方式带给所有人,包括设计师,和那些对时尚和设计有热情的人们。

If you’re interested in checking out more designs from Ning and XSPLUSLAB, they’re now available at the POY Art Designer Concept Store.

 

Address:
Aegean Shopping Mall
1588 Wuzhong Road 1F 123A
Minhang District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China

 

Website: xspluslab.com
Facebook: ~/xspluslab
Instagram: @absolutespeechless
WeChat: SPEECHLESS_Official

 

Contributor: Ye Zi
Videographer: Yang Bingying & Ye Zi

Photographer: Chan Qu


想看到更多 Ning 和 XSPLUSLAB 的更多作品,可以到半境空间设计概念店参观。

 
 

地址:
中国
上海市闵行区
吴中路1588号 1F 123A
爱琴海购物公园

 

网站: xspluslab.com
脸书: ~/xspluslab
Instagram: @absolutespeechless
微信: SPEECHLESS_Official

 

供稿人: Ye Zi
视频摄影师: Yang Bingying & Ye Zi

照片摄影师: Chan Qu

The Eye of Binhai

 

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Tianjin Binhai Library is a futuristic space that was recently unveiled in October of 2017. Designed by Dutch architects MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, the library is part of a greater plan to launch a cultural district in Tianjin.


2017 年 10 月,天津滨海图书馆正式开幕。该图书馆由荷兰 MVRDV 建筑设计事务所与天津市城市规划设计研究院合作设计,并作为天津滨海建成文化中心的一部分。

The highlight of the library is the auditorium. Boasting a spherical centerpiece that looks like an iris within the oval-shaped opening, the atrium has been nicknamed “The Eye.” Inside the atrium, terraced bookshelves run from floor to ceiling, rippling across the ceiling as if following the contour of the luminous orb.


整个图书馆的最精彩的部分是中庭的发光球形报告厅。这中庭有一个球形的中心,看起来像一个椭圆形的虹膜,因此又被命名为“眼睛(The Eye)”。再往里走,成排的书架从地板开始堆叠,既作为阶梯、座椅,且一直延伸到天花板,仿佛描绘出了中间发光球的轮廓。

The actual library is impressive in its own way. While less visually striking than the atrium, the building contains five levels and an area of 33,700 square meters with enough space to house a collection of 1.2 million books. The first and second floors contain reading rooms, books, and lounge areas, while the upper levels contain meeting rooms, offices, computer and audio rooms, as well as two rooftop patios.


而整座图书馆也独具自己的特色。虽不及中庭发光球的视觉震撼,但图书馆总面积达 33,700 平方米,足足有 5 层,设计藏书总量达 120 万册。一楼和二楼设有阅览室、藏书区和休息区,上层则设有会议室、办公室、电脑和音响室以及两个屋顶露台。

From initial design to opening, the library took only three years to complete, making it MVRDV’s fastest completed project to date. It’s a breathtaking achievement of design that’s quickly establishing a reputation as a must-see landmark for those visiting Tianjin.


由于施工周期比较紧张,图书馆从最初的设计到最终落成只花了三年的时间,成为 MVRDV 迄今为止进度最快的项目。这可谓是一个惊人的设计成就,并已成为天津必去的标志性地标。

Address:
347 Xu Sheng Road
Binhai New District, Tianjin
People’s Republic of China

Hours:
Tuesday ~ Sunday 10:00 ~ 18:00
Monday 14:00 ~ 18:00

 

Websitemvrdv.nl
Facebook: ~/MVRDVRotterdam
Weibo~/mvrdv

 

Contributor & Videographer: George Zhi Zhao
Images Courtesy of MVRDV


地址:
中国
天津市滨海新区
旭升路347号

开放时间:
周二至周日 10:00 ~ 21:00
周一 14:00 22:00

 

网站mvrdv.nl
脸书: ~/MVRDVRotterdam
微博
: ~/mvrdv

 

供稿人与视频摄影师: George Zhi Zhao
图片由 MVRDV 提供

Blue & White Porcelain

Shann Larsson is a Hong Kong-based mixed media artist of Eurasian descent. Having been raised in Germany, Sweden, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, Larsson’s creative process has been deeply influenced by her exposure to these different cultures. Her latest project, Blue & White Porcelain, is a playing card deck that reflects the influences of her mixed cultural background. While the front-facing graphics and coloration are based on 14th-century Chinese ceramics, the card backs are influenced by modern Scandinavian porcelain, which tends to incorporate abstract and geometric characteristics. Building on the Chinese influences, the graphical elements on the rest of the cards, aside from the aces, are all based on the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.


Shann Larsson是一位现居香港的多媒体艺术家。身为一名欧亚混血,她成长于德国、瑞典、印尼和香港这四个地方,而这样的成长背景也深深影响到了她的作品创作。这在她近期的一件产品设计作品《Blue & White Porcelain》亦能体现出来。在扑克牌的牌面设计上,Shann以中国明朝时期青花瓷的纹样和颜色作为灵感,而牌背则借鉴了另外一种较为现代的瓷器——产于斯堪的纳维亚、独特风格的瓷器,其中包含了抽象元素和几何特征。在图案设计中,Shann还融入了中国的十二生肖,来展现牌面的大小等级。

In the printing process, Larsson used a Spot UV varnish on individual cards and the packaging, which gave it a special coating that augmented the colors of her watercolor paintings; the glossy surface is also a reference to the lustrous qualities of real ceramics. Understanding that design is a balancing act, Larsson finalized the project with the use of the simple, minimal Novecento font, which complemented her complex graphical designs.


在制作产品时,Shann选用了一种叫做局部UV的印刷方式,赋予卡片和卡盒一种微妙的光泽感,这样光滑的触感也正呼应了产品的瓷器主题。为了视觉上的均衡,Shann选用了简洁的字体Novecento,这种干净极简的字体正好中和了牌面上精细又复杂的设计图案。

Blue & White Porcelain recently won a Junior Award at the Red Dot Award: Communication Design event and it’s now available in the Neocha Shop.


《Blue & White Porcelain》还是2017红点奖:传达设计部分的得奖作品!现正于Neocha商店限量发售。

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Sharon Larsson的《Blue & White Porcelain》

¥90

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Website: shannlarsson.com
Facebook: ~/shannlarssonsart
Behance~/shannlarsson 
Instagram@shannlarssondesign

 

ContributorYe Zi
Images Courtesy of Shann Larsson


网站shannlarsson.com
脸书:~/shannlarssonsart
Behance: ~/shannlarsson 
Instagram@shannlarssondesign

 

供稿人: Ye Zi
图片由Shann Larsson提供