Chinese is one of the oldest and most used languages in the world; however, it is also perceived as one of the most difficult languages to learn by many. While we are faced with problems of transiting into the digital era nowadays, there has been a renaissance and reviewing of Chinese typography in recent years.
Additionally, some typographical courses and workshops have been conducted in various places around the world.
To explore international design, visual culture, and identity through the lens of modern Chinese typography, a documentary entitled “Hanzi” is being produced through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter by filmmakers from New York, Hong Kong, London, and Taipei.
Please watch the following trailer of the documentary Hanzi.
The documentary features interviews with many outstanding figures from diverse fields in the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, etc. Among them are Shaolan Hsueh, founder and creator of Chineasy in London; Akira Kobayashi, a Japanese renowned Roman font designer; Sammy Or, a veteran Chinese font designer based in Hong Kong, and Ri Xing Type Foundry, the last traditional Chinese letterpress type foundry in the world, and more.
In addition to the introduction to Chinese characters, the film intends to keep the ideas and messages applicable to all languages and cultures. Meanwhile, it also touches universal subjects such as “How does language shape identity?” and “What role does handwriting play in the digital age?” Moreover, Hanzi encourages audiences around the world to revisit and rethink their own culture, language, and identity.
The documentary is currently in the process of the final phase of post-production, polishing the film with color correction, sound mixing, and graphic design. It will soon proceed to the distribution phase and submissions to film festivals.
Crowdfunded on Kickstarter, the production team has successfully come up with two documentaries, Design & Thinking and Maker since 2012. Both of the films have screened at schools and organizations the world over, including Google, Twitter, and Harvard University. The films have been well received by audiences since they were released.
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