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Ming Romantic book launch: Synoptic Office in conversation with Chris Wu

A promotional poster for the event. Against the black background on the left hand side there is a scattering of small white dots, in front of them the faint outline of two overlapping rectangles which have a green neon border and no fill. Yellow words in the foreground read, "Ming Romantic: Collected and Bound. A new eBook from Synoptic Office. Published by Library Stack and NN Contemporary Art.”

Join us on 10th February 2022 for the online launch of eBook publication Ming Romantic: Collected and Bound, 2nd Edition, presented by NN Contemporary Art and Library Stack. The book folds together reproductions of historical documents with contemporary texts to examine how Chinese typography can evolve through the use of digital tools and manipulation of form.

To celebrate the book, authors Caspar Lam and YuJune Park (founders, Synoptic Office) will be in conversation with their colleague Chris Wu (co-founder, Wkshps) about the origins of the Ming Romantic typeface, their shared practices across the field of graphic design, and the wider research into Chinese typography that Synoptic Office has helped catalogue in The Chinese Type Archive.

About the project

Authored by Synoptic Office (Caspar Lam and YuJune Park) with contributions from designers Chris Wu, Gabriela Carnabuci, Abby Chen, Dustin Tong and Jonathan Lee, the book illustrates the design process of Ming Romantic, a display face that reinterprets a style of a printed type originating in China’s Song and Ming dynasties. The typeface imagines how the character set could look when divorced from the effects of the brush. The book ​​comprises three sections: “Possibilities: Typographic Speciation”; “Translations—Putting It Together: Conversations about Language & Form, Ming Romantic, and It’s Our Ming”; and “Myths: Chinese Typography from Afar.”

Ming Romantic inaugurates the publishing program of NN Contemporary and Library Stack, focusing on digital media works within The NN Contemporary Art Branch of Library Stack, a joint lending library at <https://nn.librarystack.org>. In dialogue with NN’s own research and exhibition aims, this Library Stack branch will contribute to a longer-term exploration of the digital infrastructure for the loaning and borrowing of digital objects, new definitions of ‘the local’, and alternative publishing models for the culture sector.

About Synoptic Office

Synoptic Office is an award-winning design consultancy founded by Caspar Lam and YuJune Park. It works globally with leading cultural, civic and business organizations to communicate ideas, build experiences and cultivate new audiences. Synoptic Office has been recognized internationally and selected to participate in BIO23 and BIO26, the Biennial of Design at the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, and has exhibited at the Ningbo Museum of Art in China and the 26th International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno. Synoptic Office is the project lead on The Chinese Type Archive.


Caspar Lam holds an MFA from Yale and degrees in biology and design from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been a visiting critic at the Hong Kong Design Institute and served as an Adjunct Associate Research Scholar at Columbia University’s GSAPP. Caspar is currently the Program Director and an Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Parsons School of Design. He sits on the board of directors of AIGA NY.

YuJune Park is a designer, the Associate Director, and an Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Parsons School of Design. YuJune is the co-founder of Synoptic Office with Caspar Lam, a multidisciplinary design studio operating in the space between design, technology and education.

Chris Wu is a designer and creative director based in New York. He is a partner and director of Wkshps, a multidisciplinary design practice that crafts identities for art institutions, public spaces, non-profits, and global brands alike.

Access Notes

The event will happen on Zoom Webinar. A link will be emailed to attendees. This event will be live captioned, transcription will be available afterwards and it will be recorded for archival purposes. For help with how to set up Zoom and accessibility enquiries, email maria@nncontemporaryart.org.

This event will be recorded for archival purposes.

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