Lin Jyun-fang and Cious Jhe-fong are both from Kaohsiung. In 1994, they co-founded BiSouth Studio. The company specializes in transforming Chinese calligraphy into digital format. It is best known for its BiSouth Chinese Calligraphy Collection.
Based in Kaohsiung, they began their business when they advertised for new and improved Chinese calligraphy fonts to integrate into designs. They began collecting ancient Chinese calligraphy and digitalizing them. Many of their colleagues and friends began asking for the files. They began to realize that there was a huge demand for digitalized Chinese calligraphy. In 1998, they released the digitalized forty-thousand piece BiSouth Chinese Calligraphy Collection. In 1999, they promoted their collection at the Macworld Expo Taipei, and it was well received. The success of their first edition, not only boosted their confidence, but also inspired them to begin developing their hundred thirty-five thousand words, second edition, which took another six years to produce.
Mr. Lin believes his Industrial Engineering and Systems Management degree, earned from Feng Chia University provided him with the skills he needed to operate BiSouth Studio. His computer programming background contributed significantly to his ability to organize numerous calligraphy pieces into a database. Mr. Lin explains that BiSouth uses a vector graphic format, which enables them to maintain an excellent image quality, when their images are put on billboards. He is glad that BiSouth calligraphy continues to be utilized in advertising. Combinations of various Chinese calligraphy layouts are created by each client’s interpretation and aesthetic.
They hope they will always bring out the true value and beauty of this traditional art form. Back in the Tang Dynasty, Master Huairen spent twenty-five years collecting the semi-cursive script of the greatest Chinese calligrapher in history, Wang Xizhi. Mr. Lin, however, is glad he is collecting calligraphy in more modern times. He firmly believes the only way to preserve these cultural assets is to make sure they continue to be part of a modern culture. He feels that a digital designer should fuse traditional and cultural elements with a more modern interpretation.
Besides digitalizing Chinese calligraphy, BiSouth also produces digital Chinese calligraphy stamps, ancient Chinese woodblock prints, decorative patterns and old photographs. However, BiSouth Studio has more recently suffered losses and a decline in sales due to rampant piracy and free downloading. Yet, Mr. Lin’s fondness for Chinese calligraphy is unwavering. He is determined to continue developing more patented Chinese calligraphy products.
Ten years ago, Mr. Lin moved back to his hometown of Kaohsiung. He had enrolled a program which cultivated local artists that was subsidized by the Bureau of Cultural Affairs. His engagement with the city helped BiSouth Studio develop. He enjoys living here because of its mountains, ocean and Love River. He is also glad that he lives in close proximity to his parents; he visits them when he is not immersed in his work.
No. 49, Sinmin Road, Sanmin Distric, Kaohsiung City