Masaki Yamabe: An Experiment For New HIRAGANA

  • ©, Masaki Yamabe, An Experiment For New HIRAGANA

Artist Statement:


    Although Hiragana characters are particular to Japan, they originated from the Chinese writing system in the form of Kanji. Before Kanji spreads from China, Japan lacked a uniform system of writing and indeed any real culture of writing. However, Kanji was inadequate as a means to express Japanese sounds although it was useful for writing. This is because the original kanji character was simply too complicated to represent the Japanese sound system. Unconsciously and over time, simplification of the brush stoke led to the origins of a secondary system, Huagana. But I would argue that the causal relation between Kanji and the birth of Hiragana is algorithmic, which in turn represents the essence or ‘deep structure’ of the computer. Thus the point of my transformation system is to allow the user to experience this structure, this algorithmic essence, by exploring dynamically and?in real time how one character from one system can change into a corresponding character in another system. And this experience is personal because the viewer selects and draws the character of his or her choice.

Category: