“He who knows other men is discerning; he who knows himself is intelligent. ” — Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher.
Discovering who we are has been a constant pursuit of mankind since time immemorial. Philosophers also question their own nature and wonder about the individual's place in the universe, the future, and even the afterlife. Throughout thousands of years of discovery, Chinese ancestors discovered that at every moment in the world, there are various invisible forces on the earth that affect a person's character and destiny. Over time, a system to discover who are you was developed known as the Four Pillars of Destiny, the "Ba-Zi".
I use this project opportunity for me to discover the ambiguous and mysterious power of human beings. I study deep into the Four Pillars of Astrology and use it to create a guide for everyone to understand the potential of their lives and who they are in the universe.
Along with the process, I was doing my own brainstorming, sketching, and trying to figure out an appropriate way to combine the Chinese Characters with the visuals. As well as studying the perfect binding method for the book.
The image-making process started with Blender because I wanted to create a system that I could apply to a potential phase 2 of the project. I then moved to photoshop for photo retouching and use illustrator to create the main layout.
I pull out initial ideas from my sketches and start to explore on layouts, materials, colors, typeface and so on.
Meanwhile, I explored on different papers and binding methods, and try to figure out the best of it.
All the images reflect the forces by combining the original symbols, which are Chinese Characters with the natural elements and colors. On the sides, there are descriptions in both Chinese and English to help readers recognize the content deeper.
Ten Celestial Stems (Chinese: 天干; pinyin: tiāngān)
Twelve Terrestrial Branches (Chinese: 地支; pinyin: dìzhī)
I am grateful to my thesis advisors Chang Kim and Julio Martinez who helps me judge the visual style and image making, and 秦震 (Ion Chin), who provides me with the in-depth content of the Four Pillars of Astrology.