Hello everyone! My name is Hei Shing. I’m here today to share some of my experience in London and in this course.

And these are the books I’ve made in this year during the course. I really enjoy studying this course and making books here. My works always focus on a kind of multi-cultural diversity with a contemporary artistic sense, especially on the Chinese and English cultures.

And now, I would like to talk about my final book project. My project is focusing on this 1300-year-old Chinese poem, “Drinking alone with the moon”, which best describe and explain my story and emotional feeling in London this year.

Here is the normal English translation of this poem, which I combined 2 existing English translations.

And the other one is a direct translation, which translated one word by one word without grammatical linkage. Actually, you can also feel about the whole story from these separated words.

Briefly, this poem is talking about the poet drinking alone among the flowers without anybody nearby. So, he invited moon and shadow as his friends to play with him. When he is awake, they drink and dance very happily. But, after he is drunk, each goes his way. At last, the poet expects to meet these two friends (moon & shadow) again on the cloudy river of the sky.

And then, here is my own interpretation of this story. There are five key words in this poem, which I would like to emphasize in my project.

Each of them signifies one thing in London.

1) “Flower” is a representation of London, showing the positive and beautiful side of London; just like the English garden and parks.
2) “Wine” symbolized my favorite book arts and this course here.
3) “Moon” is so bright and attractive but far away from me. It signifies my friendship here; so fantastic but also fragile.
4) “Shadow” is my self-reflection, showing the mixture of complex feelings including confusion, happiness, and loneliness.
5) “Myself” shows my own personality, quiet but creative.

Therefore, my story is something like: I come to London alone to study this Book Arts course. Then, I established a kind of friendship with the people here. The relationship is so close but so fragile. We don’t know when we will be separated. I also reflect and understand myself more in this totally different world.

And then, after I choose this poem, I try to make use of typographic experiments to deconstruct it. Why did I have to do this? This is an experiment of showing my own confusion about language. I am a Chinese from Hong Kong. My mother tongue is Cantonese and Chinese. After coming here, I want to learn better English. So, I try to think in English as well. In the daily life or study, I always have to translate something into Chinese and translate something back into English. So, that’s why I feel confused and messy. Sometimes, I am lost in translation. I don’t want to understand anything anymore.

No matter Chinese or English, sometimes, I just see the form and shape of the typography instead of the content and context of words. I’m tired to try understanding the meaning and definition. I just want to appreciate the quality of typography.

Then, I try to deconstruct this poem into graphic fragments in this way.

… Talking about the tracing sketches ……

I have mentioned before. I would like to focus on these five key words of making my final artwork. This artwork will probably include a typographic installation, five typographic posters and five sculpture-like books.

These are the five testing posters.

Flower one: colourful, division of the Chinese character, symbolize the top view of the garden

Wine: I’m using the water-like dots for the wine.

Moon: all the moons in Chinese character

Shadow: the black graphic blocks for shadow

Myself: it is showing the enclosed space in Chinese typography, which shows the sense of isolation.

The following pictures are showing my material testing for the five books.

At last, I want to ask you guys a question, which is always in my mind recently. As an artist, how much (of the concepts or ideas) do we have to tell the audience through our art?
I want you to think about it as well.

That’s the end of my sharing. Thank you very much!

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Hei Shing

書就是… A Book is…


A piece of paper reflects not only time but also space. Books are formed by binding papers together to become containers of words that serve as a reservoir as well as a spring of wisdom.

January 2021

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