ATypI Hong Kong 2012
墨 [mò] between black and white
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘墨 [mò] – between black and white’. Mò – meaning ink – is at the heart of Chinese calligraphy and painting as well as a metaphor for intellectual pursuits. ‘Know the white and guard the black’ (知白守黑) is an expression from philosopher Lao Tzu that speaks of a virtuous life as well as an aesthetic sensibility. A Chinese calligrapher aims to achieve equilibrium of black and white not in an absolute sense, but an organic and intuitive balance. The importance of the balancing of black and white is a shared value between both Eastern and Western typographic cultures. When we put something in black and white, we speak of the essence of the written word as a means to exchange and preserve information and knowledge for all, playing an important role in our culture and society. ‘Between black and white’ not only celebrates this shared tradition but also acknowledges that black and white form a complementary relationship with each other, hence a wide spectrum of viewpoints are possible between the two.