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Taiwanese Craftsman Fights to Save Foundry

August 24, 2010
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In the age of computerization, where metal type in China has been falling in popularity, there are a few who are working hard to save the cultural asset.

The Associated Press has published a profile on Chang Chieh-kuan, one of the few remaining lead-type printers in China and Taiwan. "Lead type makes an impression on paper that digital printing cannot," says Chang. "It allows people to feel the weight and power of the character."

Taipei once had 5,000 printing shops in the 1960s, but today only 30 old-style establishments remain. Chang's company, Ri Xing Type Foundry, is the last print foundry in the capital and hasn't turned a profit in 10 years. "If I can't save this business ... it would be a big loss for Taiwan," Chang said. "As for humanity, the Chinese-character movable letterpress is a huge cultural asset and could very well disappear."

Read the full story here.

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