Preserving traditional Chinese printing – Mr Chang

This article has been extracted from an article on the BBC News Asia website, written by Cindy Sui and dated 1st May 2012.

The movable-type printing system invented around 1040 AD helped to revolutionise the world by making books and other written material easily available. It is one of the most important inventions of mankind, increasing literacy and allowing money to be printed. But few people in the world still make the characters for such printing presses, even in China, where the system was invented.

In Taiwan, however, a man has devoted his life to this dying profession, making words the traditional way, one character at a time. Chang Chieh-kuan, 59, operates the last word-making shop in Taiwan, making Chinese characters out of lead. His shop is believed to be one of only a handful in the world.

Mr Chang typesetting Chinese metal movable type characters.

Mr Chang typesetting Chinese metal movable type characters.

With 120,000 moulds of different characters and more than 10 million lead character pieces, it has perhaps the largest reservoir of three-dimensional Chinese characters. Mr Chang now wants to turn the shop into an interactive museum. If he succeeds, it will be a rare place to see this great ancient invention in operation.

Read more of this article, by Cindy Sui, on the BBC News Asia website  here.

Mr Chang still casts Chinese characters out of lead.

Mr Chang still casts Chinese characters out of lead.

2 Comments

  1. Posted May 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    One way or another it’s a way that Chinese could preserve their culture.

  2. Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Our best wishes to Mr.Chang.We hope in future there will be a rare place to see the great ancient invention.

One Trackback

  1. [...] article about a working type foundry and plans to turn it into a museum (found here via Typoretum). /* /* Tags China, Lettering, Taiwan, Type [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*