Letterform Archive – An Exploration of Hong Kong Type Design


An Exploration of Hong Kong Type Design

An Exploration of Hong Kong Type Design
with Favianna Rodriguez

Co-presented by Book Arts & Special Collections, San Francisco Public Library
Online Lecture at Letterform Archive
Tue, Jul 12, 2022
6:00pm–7:30pm PT

This lecture will encompass two type design and research projects: Hong Kong Beiwei Zansyu and Hong Kong Type.

"Hong Kong Beiwei Zansyu" refers to one of the most popular and significant calligraphy styles in Hong Kong with numerous applications on the street and daily life, like shop signs dating back to the 1950s. Its history can even be traced to the Southern and Northern dynasty (420–589).

"Hong Kong Type" is a Chinese metal type designed by Samuel Dyer from the London Missionary Society of the 19th century. The production was conducted in Hong Kong Anglo-Chinese College from 1847–1857 and was considered to be the most beautiful Chinese type in that era.

The Hong Kong Heritage Museum showcased Hong Kong Type No. 4 during its 2020-2021 "Between the Lines" exhibition for which Adonian Chan designed a typeface based on Hong Kong Type. The redesign of Hong Kong Type explores how ancient design inspires the design of today.

This and all Letterform Lectures are a public aspect of the Type West postgraduate certificate program. Register to attend remotely.

About Favianna Rodriguez

Favianna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and social justice activist based in Oakland, California. Her art and praxis address migration, gender justice, climate change, racial equity, and sexual freedom. Her practice boldly reshapes the myths, stories, and cultural practices of the present, while healing from the wounds of the past. Favianna's work serves as a record of her human experiences as a woman of color embracing joy, sexual pleasure and personal transformation through psychedelics as an antidote to the life-long impacts of systemic racism. Her signature mark-making embodies the perspective of a first-generation American Latinx artist with Afro-Latinx roots who grew up in Oakland, California during the birth of hip hop and the devastating war on drugs.

In addition to her expansive studio practice, Favianna is the co-founder and president of The Center for Cultural Power, a national organization igniting change at the intersection of art, culture and social justice. She has received the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship, the Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity, and the SOROS Equality Fellowship. An artist entrepreneur, she has co-founded various institutions, including the EastSide Arts Alliance, a cultural center and affordable housing complex in Oakland, CA, and Presente.org, the largest Latino online organizing community in the US. She is currently working on a film about generational womb trauma and healing.

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