Rather than merely visualizing a given text, contemporary typography has come to actively engage in the production and distribution of the text. Exploring the themes traditionally reserved for literary studies, such as conditions, conventions and the nature of writing, typography itself becomes a form of literature. Meanwhile in literature itself, there is an experimental tradition of non-verbal—visual and material—devices. From concrete poetry to the OuLiPo group, metafiction and visual writings, the formal investigations have helped widen the boundaries of literature, inspiring many typographic designers. In addition, the widespread digital production and network technology have had a deep impact on the way we write, share and read texts, fundamentally transforming its nature and status. All these have contributed to the changing status of the text, from a solid common ground for communication to more intangible and transient clouds in the air.
Typojanchi 2013 attempts to read and write the new text emerging from the shaking tradition of literary culture, examining the conditions and possibilities of the super-expanded, super-fluid, super-dynamic and super-sensitive text.
The exhibition consists of four sections. “Typography as an Art of Language” deals with how typography becomes a potentially literary form by engaging with the discovery, production, manipulation and distribution of the text. “Forms of Reading” focuses on active interpretations of existing texts, and how new meanings and experiences are created by their typographic treatment. “Covers, Stories” shows examples of literary branding, focusing on the cover designs of select serial publications. Finally, “Writing in the Air” is a series of kinetic poetry created by close collaborations between young Korean typographic designers and poets.