Old movable type printing amazes modern visitors
2014-May-19 Source: Szdaily web edition
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China's time-honored movable type printing amazed visitors to Hall 2 of Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center over the weekend.

Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of individual letters or punctuations. China is home to the world's first movable type system for printing, which was created around 1040 by Bi Sheng in the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Visitors were able to touch different types made of clay, tin, woods, lead, bronze and porcelain, on which Chinese characters are carved.

They were also invited to choose characters they liked and were taught how to print them on white paper.

"Although printing technology has developed fast, it is an amazing experience to select types one by one with my hands like ancient people and print characters I want," said a visitor, Zhang Yue.

Zhang printed his name on a white piece of paper.

"We are living in a fast-developing world driven by advanced technologies, but such traditional technology, which was advanced in ancient time, deserves conservation and inheritance," said Zhang.

The movable type printing exhibition was organized by Liu Meisong and Han Zhanning.

Liu is founder of Shenzhen-based Yobooo, and Han is a well-known designer. They have each been collecting and sorting out remaining movable types in the hope of integrating them into modern life.

Liu considers his duty to be conservation of movable type printing culture.

He started collecting various movable types five years ago and now has a collection of millions of lead types, more than 100,000 wooden types, over 20 type casters and many other printing machines.

A fellow enthusiast about movable types, Han started working with Liu last year to design and innovate Chinese character products.

"We hope to integrate Chinese characters into modern, creative designs," said Han.

Besides movable types, the exhibition also includes seals, paperweights and environmentally friendly bags.

Han added that there is a lot of potential for the development of movable types. Collections should not be kept at home, he added. Instead, they should be "promoted and shared so that traditional culture can be carried on."

Editor: Jecey
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