Arts around Us
English Letters, words, sentences
All things produced by people consist of more of less of ART.
Take a simple example by considering the words written in English.
For capital letters, ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ, we can consider it as a structure. All letters written are in same height, so it is a "Balance" structure. The "balance" is a basic component for "ART" - make it beautiful. Here what I mean balance is when we look at the centre of the structure, the weight of left hand side is equal to the weight of the right hand side - it is balance at centre.
In fact very few books are printed with just capital letters. They are usually printed in the combination of small letters and capital letters - people like small letters more than with capital letters?
Small letters: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.
If we classify the letters into two types first:
longer letters: bdfghijklpqty
shorter letters: acemnorsuvwxz
Surprisingly, longer letters have 13 and shorter letters also 13. It divides the total letters into half each for two different sizes (balance?).
People like to have a "CHANGE" in looking them. I classify the "CHANGE" be a basic component of "BEAUTY".
All letters written in capital letters is balance but have no change of structure. People like to use small letters, not only for the easy of distinguish of letters, but consists of a "CHANGE".
"Balance" and "Change" are the powerful components in "BEAUTY".
If there is no change, it will become very boring. Things that built without any change component I think cannot exist very long. It does not mean capital letters cannot exists very long, it exists very long or for ever in the application with small letters at the same time.
"Balance" and "Change" are the two basic components around us. "How to balance and how to change to make a structure beautiful " is not an easy subject to talk.
Twenty years ago, I wrote similar subjects for some teachers taught in British Council in Hong Kong to read. Their reply is "Interesting". In that writing, I also considered some words like "knit" and "knitting", we need to add one more "t" compared with common practice to make the "knit" become continuous tense. What is the reason for why we want to add one more "t". How about "behaviour" for English English being changed to "behavior" in American English?
In fact "balance" and "change" come from our feelings naturally. These feelings tend to make our man-made things or matters good or to have a good development.
However, as the rapid change of whole society, these feelings becomes less important or even deteriorate and people are more easily directed by their own knowledge.
Later more explanation.
C.F.Lau 7 Nov 2005
English word structures in 2-dimensions sense
In the discussion of 2-dimensional thinking in the "Discovery of Arts", I thought whether we can apply the theory to the English words.
If we consider the word structure in horizontal direction, we see that "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz" gives "i", and "l" occupying less than one space, we may think that it occupies 0.5 space; and "m" and "w" occupy more than one space, probably 1.5 spaces. Here we also see the the "Balance effect": two letters occupy 0.5 and two letters occupy 1.5 space; all other letters occupy one spaces. So the average of total twenty six letters are one space each.
Furthermore, from the past classification of English letters "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz", bdfghijklpqty are longer letters. We can further classify them to upper longer and lower longer. Upper longer letters are "bdfhiklt". There are total eight letters. The lower letters are "gjpqy". There are five letters. It seems that it is not so balance in some sense. However, for handwriting letters , we notice that letter "f" occupies both upper and lower spaces, and more strangely "z" is now classified to be lower longer letters. So from this classification, ignoring letter "f", we see that the upper longer letters are "bdhiklt" total seven letters and "gjpqyz" are also six letters. In fact letter "i" occupy a very little upper space. If we ignore the effect, then upper longer letters becomes six. From here we see that the balance effect in the consideration of design of English words structure. In some sense, although the letter "z" seldom appears in common words, the design of word structures also have some meanings inside.
C.F.Lau 20 Nov 2006
3-dimensional thinking with word structures
Next we come to 3-dimensional thinking in word structures. It is difficult to think that words can be constructed in 3-dimensional mind. We use plain paper to write words so they should have the sense of 2-dimensional view in constructing words. When I noted a TV recorded programme ˇ§Map Makerˇ¨ described two or three hundred years ago the first world map was made. The words written on the map are quite beautiful. Also some music notes written by original famous music composer two or three hundred more years ago, the pieces of works show their beauty from the view of arts, not just from the hearing of music. People liked to construct their written words in a beautiful way with variation in structures. Using fountain-pen can produce one side thin and one side thick, but the most important thing is the gradual changing form thin to thick line or vice versa at certain melody while writing. Using ball-pen can produce heavy and soft lines and the same it is important to have the variation of change in line constructions and their shapes. Normally we consider fountain-pen can produce more variations than ball-pen and I heard some history story that in some countries of Europe that using ball-pen was forbidden by government before. People using their hands to write something have more or less 3-dimensional motion patterns. It will be explained later. Nowadays people using typing, particularly after the discovery of computer, like here I present my message, I cannot produce the sense of it. Children have insufficient practice of hand-writing during their study period will have less sense of it and they will not produce and will gradually lose their appreciation power in 3-dimensional structures. This I think will also cause the sense of arts deteriorate. That is people will mostly focus on the practical usages but gradually lose in their senses of feelings and hence the drop of appreciation power in the beauty of natural things created by god or heaven. Chinese calligraphy has a very long history and had a very well development during a period more than one or two thousands years ago using Mao-bi (a rounded sharp brush made with very soft goat hairs or other animals' hair). The arts in writing had been seriously be researched and the large variation to represent structures of Chinese words. However, as the inconvenience of using it for writing compared with nowadays made ball-pen, the tool for writing becomes less and less common to be used and the power in representing the variation of structures is going to be recognized by less and less amount of people. In fact I believe that as people started to write or carve pictures they already had some sense in 3-dimansional thinking long long time ago. To 3-dimensional thinking.
C.F.Lau 22 Jan 2007
|C.F.Lau Painting Gallery Exhibition in New York|