Typojanchi 2013
Seoul International Typography Biennale

August 30–October 11
10:00 am– 7:00 pm
Closed every Monday
Free admission

Culture Station Seoul 284
1 Tongil-ro, Jung-gu
Seoul 100-162, Korea
T. 82-2-3407-3500
F. 82-2-3407-3510


Hosted by
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Organized by
Korea Craft & Design Foundation
Korean Society of Typography


Typojanchi 2013
Administration Office
Korea Craft & Design Foundation
5F, 53 Yulgok-no, Jongno-gu
Seoul 110-240, Korea
T. 82-2-398-7945
F. 82-2-398-7999
E. typojanchi@kcdf.kr

Typojanchi 2011

Diamond Sutra
Monoprint on paper
Dimensions variable

Pan Qin
Born in 1967, China

Pan Qin is a graphic designer and educator. He is dean of the School of Arts, Ningbo City College of Vocational Technology and founding curator of the Ningbo International Design Biennial (IGDB). He is also serving as chairman of the Ningbo Graphic Designers Association, and deputy president of the Zhejiang Association of Creative Design. He has been active during the last twenty years in variety of areas, including letterform design, editorial design and branding. His work has been exhibited in more than twenty countries, and recognized by many awards including the grand prix at the international poster design competition Water for Human Kind in 2000, France; the 9th International Triennial of Environment Posters in Zilina Slovakia; the Huadong Design Award; the Chinese International Graphic Design Competition; and Graphic Design in China.

Pan Qin’s approach to the Chinese writing system is characterized by his sensitive yet unorthodox understanding of its structure and history. Since 2005, he has been studying the modularity of hanzi, the Chinese characters. The “type” system he developed is based on a small number of elemental graphic units rather than the tens of thousands of full characters. The resulting, composite characters may be visually crude by the standard of traditional calligraphers or typographers, but they are full of wild energy and curiosity. And they are still legible.

During the past few years, he has applied this system with the printing blocks he made for hand composition to create a monoprint version of Diamond Sutra, a Buddhist scripture containing 6,900 Chinese characters. Everyday he adds to the text in blue ink on an enormous scroll of rice paper, taking it as a daily meditative duty. According to Pan Qin, the project has nothing to do with design or art, nor even with any sense of beauty: it is mainly for his own spiritual practice, free from complicated social realities or restless desires.

Every now and then he will make mistakes and compose the wrong characters, but they are left without correction—mistakes are a part of life, too. In time, his skill will improve and his judgment will be further refined, inducing subtle changes in the letterforms. In the very long run—who knows—the system may evolve beyond recognition to an entirely new set of Chinese characters.

Diamond Sutra

Installation view at Typojanchi 2013

Diamond Sutra

Diamond Sutra

© Typojanchi 2013