Ancient Chinese calligraphy stems from its roots in tradition from a longtime history of fascinating dynasties using this as a form of art and communication. It is rare to find experts who can still use this technique, though if you walk the backstreets of old Hong Kong, you'll be sure to find some who are still able to do so. Ruth Fok is one who still practices calligraphy, yet couples it with a modern twist—what's called Rainbow Calligraphy. We discussed the how, the inspiration and the background behind the artist and maker with Cha Siu Papers' Faye Bradley.
Hi Ruth, thanks for being with us today, was really impressed when I came across your account and artwork. Could you tell us more about what you do?
Hello, thank you for having me! I am from Hong Kong. I work as a qualified Zumba instructor, as well as performing and teaching Rainbow Calligraphy for events and customisation upon request. I also have my own website business to sell my products.
How did you start your business in rainbow calligraphy? How long have you been doing it?
I got my inspiration from generations; the first my granddad to my dad who were traditional Chinese painters. In the ’80s my dad had a shop at the Peak in the tourist's area and would sell Chinese paintings. He would also use Rainbow Calligraphy to write customised tourist's names. I learned the skill from my dad since I was 14. I also worked for a hotel and I have performed at Nippon Airport.
What is your inspiration for each design?
The main colours for each design are red, yellow, and blue. I use the rainbow for the Chinese character then put the lucky symbols (e.g. dragon, Phoenix, fish, flower) for the concepts of each painting depending on the theme.
How do you find time to balance between Zumba instructor and rainbow calligraphy?
At the moment, teaching Zumba is my main job. Whenever it's Chinese New Year or Moon Festival, which matches the Chinese atmosphere, it becomes busier for business so I tend to host more private functions and spring dinners with my Rainbow Calligraphy.
How long is the process from designing to making?
Normally it takes three minutes for two Chinese characters.
What are your next steps for your business?
Hopefully, I will collaborate with an established brand that will use my designs for crossover partnership. I'd love to work with a luxury fashion label to incorporate my work into their fashion lines. It will be great to teach more people about Rainbow Calligraphy before it disappears.
我是香港本土出生長大。現在工作分別Zumba Instructor 、表演和教授中國彩虹書法、網絡平台。
6. 你點樣平衡你的時間在Zumba 同彩虹書法?
Would you like to have customised Rainbow Calligraphy designs by Ruth? Or host an event with live demonstrations and classes (can be one-to-one or small groups to larger events)? Contact Ruth Chinese Rainbow Calligraphy中國彩虹書法 for a unique opportunity and acquisition of a new skillset
Phone: +852 6621 2918