Forget Sorrow Grass: An Archaeology of Feminine Time is an exhibition about women's space and time at The Times Museum in Guangdong. Curated by Jianru Wu and Sirui Zhang, the exhibition brings together work by 15 contemporary artists who respond to the concept and implications of feminine time, space, and labor.
Suzy Chan, a designer based in Macau, was tasked to design the exhibition identity, graphics, and ephemera. Chan focused on the feeling of how women lack private space and time, because they are instead directed to the family or the household. At the same time, Chan felt the importance of highlighting the resilience and softness of women, and searched for a typeface that could capture these coexisting complexities. We got a chance to hear from Chan on her thought process of choosing Beatrice Display as the primary typeface.
“Many women, even if they don’t have an equal voice in the family because of social or historical reasons, they still do not hesitate to invest their power and energy into the family. They are sometimes tolerant, sometimes strong — and I saw the strength in their softness. The atmosphere I wanted to convey in this design is a gentle and powerful feeling, and Beatrice Display fits this very well,” Chan said. “Beatrice Display is a flexible font that changes character at different weights. The thin weight feels more gentle, and as it gains weight it grows stronger. Beatrice Display has a beautiful stroke contrast, and the curves move with a sense of power. I really couldn’t find a better font.”
After deciding on Beatrice Display, Chan paired a typeface by Founder Type and described how the contrast of strokes in the Hanzi resonate with the Light weight of Beatrice Display. For the exhibition poster, Chan’s design emphasizes household labor and lack of space by crowding the poster with a collage of furniture and houseplants. The typography adds to the density and ordered chaos: exhibition titles and details in both English and Chinese tightly border the poster, while contributing artists are methodically scattered in the center.
Client: The Times Museum
Designer: Suzy Chan
Typeface: Beatrice Display
This interview has been edited for clarity. Images courtesy of Suzy Chan.