Events / workshops

The beauty of sounds, an illustration workshop with Chiyun Yeh

May 28 @ 16:00 - 18:00 JST


The beauty of sounds, an illustration workshop with Chiyun Yeh

What does your language look like?

Do you know ㄅㄆㄇㄈ?

Bopomofo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ), also known as Zhuyin (注音), is a phonetic transcription system used in Taiwan for transcribing spoken Mandarin Chinese. It was created in the early 20th century and consists of 37 characters, which represent the sounds of Mandarin Chinese. Bopomofo is primarily used for teaching Chinese pronunciation to children and foreigners learning Mandarin, and it is also used in some electronic devices and computer input systems.

Chiyun Yeh’s unique take on Bopomofo

Over the course of a year, Taiwanese artist Chiyun Yeh undertook the task of illustrating each of the Bopomofo symbols using fashionable and elegant female characters as her inspiration. The resulting collection is comprised of 37 distinct artworks that not only captivate the viewer with their pleasant aesthetics and color palette, but also invite them to explore the Mandarin pronunciation system that is primarily used in Taiwan.

Chiyun was motivated to undertake this project because she realized that very few people were familiar with Bopomofo. The illustrations served the purpose of sharing her own culture, while also enabling her to learn about her audience’s mother tongues and sparking meaningful conversations about sounds and words that were linked to personal experiences such as childhood and school memories.

What does your language look like?

In this workshop, Chiyun Yeh will take the conversation a step further by inviting participants to illustrate the unique sounds and words of their own mother tongues. Through this engaging and interactive experience, attendees will have the opportunity to try their hand at watercolor pencil illustration, and then share their creations with others.

Don’t miss this lively exchange of art, language, and culture!

【Workshop Program】

First Section: Input

-About “Do you know ㄅㄆㄇㄈ?”
-Chiyun Yeh’s creative process


Second Section: Practical Exercise
-Watercolor painting

Sharing and closing


【Material for the Workshop】

Participants will be encouraged to try out one of Chiyun Yeh’s favorite mediums, watercolor pencils. FabCafe will provide simple watercolor pencils, brushes, and paper.

If you already have your favorite watercolor set or brushes, feel free to bring them!

【Recommended for…】

People who are interested in art and illustration as a powerful tool to convey all sorts of information.
Creative professionals interested in typography, iconography, symbol design, and branding, including graphic designers, branding designers, and typeface designers.
People interested in cultural and linguistic exchange through creative ways of expression.

【Workshop details】

Date & Time
Sun, May 28, 2023 11:00 – 12:30

FabCafe Tokyo
150-0043 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 1-22-7 Dogenzaka Pier 1F
Google Maps

Fee: 2500 yen *Fee includes basic materials.
Capacity: 18 participants.