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An asemic textform generative system


The origins of tianzige can be traced back to ancient China, where it was used as a tool for calligraphy practice. Over time, tianzige became popular for use in both calligraphy and handwriting practice, particularly in education settings. It is still commonly used today, especially for teaching children how to write Chinese characters. This grid system provids a structure for calligraphers to practice their strokes and characters in a standardized and organized way.

The grid system refers to the template of grids,

Tian Zi Ge” (‘tian-shaped’ grid) is usually in the color of red, with aiding guide lines appearing as a cross within each grid. 

Tianzige is one of the dominating memory anchors of many Chinese students throughout genrations. It is also one of my first contacts with comformity and adherence to my culture and society. After years of iterating strokes within each grid from childhood, I still feel a resistive tention towards this system. Thus I create an asemic textform system that copes with this grid system ---- structurally, each character is bounded by a grid; visually, the grids with strokes filling in looks just like any other generic tianzige practice sheets; however, none of the characters is real nor do they make semantic sense. 


left > right ------ process of generating the asemic characters within the grid system


I wrote a python script (source code credits to Allison Parrish's tutorial) to generate random strokes bounded by a grid, then I used a plotter to respectively draw the grids and the asemic text within.


​↑ some of the generated characters in tianzige


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