Along with several calligraphy artists, Chu Chia-ching (竺佳慶), 33, has created a handwriting culture brand, Write Time (手寫時光), to promote the writing of traditional Chinese characters to the rest of the world.
Chu said that when he was a student, he was very interested in making money.
He majored in electrical engineering at National Chung Hsing University, and while his classmates were studying theory or doing experiments, he was working part-time and signed up for finance classes to learn how to invest, he said.
Photo courtesy of Write Time
After graduating, he became an engineer and although his salary was already relatively high, he traded stocks and futures contracts, quickly earning several million New Taiwan dollars, he said.
His good fortune did not last, Chu said, adding that later on, he accumulated a debt of several million NT dollars.
During that time, he felt completely lost and helpless, Chu said.
He often ate only bread so that he could pay off his debt more quickly, he said, adding that the experience inspired him to reconsider the meaning of life.
At the time, calligraphy had become a local trend and a friend of his, calligrapher Yeh Yeh (葉曄), shot to fame, Chu said.
He practiced calligraphy with Yeh and after it helped his mind to calm, many of his beliefs changed, he said.
“The deeper my understanding, the more I discovered that the beauty of traditional Chinese characters is unique to Taiwan,” he said.
Chu began shooting videos to promote handwriting culture, used them to launch free online lessons and designed handwriting-related products, he said.
In the beginning, it was a difficult task and not many people responded, Chu said, adding that there were even friends who laughed at him, doubting that there would be a market for handwriting-related products and suggested that he focus on figuring out how to pay off his debt.
He did not give up, Chu said, but instead looked into why promoting handwriting had been so difficult.
He realized he needed to view things through other people’s needs, Chu said, adding that people would become interested in handwriting when they received easy-to-use tools and paper, and experienced the beauty of handwriting.
He searched for artists who were willing to collaborate with him and tested more than a hundred pens and different kinds of paper, Chu said.
He designed a multifunctional practice sheet notebook — which included letter-tracing grids on alternate lines, handwriting tips and QR codes linked to handwriting videos — and other creative promotional materials that proved to be popular, Chu said.
His designs successfully marketed his products to Hong Kong, Macau, China, Malaysia, Singapore, the US and elsewhere, Chu said.
To promote the writing of traditional Chinese characters, he took marketing classes related to culture and creativity, consulted with others on entrepreneurship and even sent calligraphers overseas, Chu said.
Last month, Write Time participated in AppWorks Demo Day, an event held by Taipei-based venture capital firm AppWorks Ventures twice a year. At the event, businesses pitch their ideas to an audience of more than 1,000 investors, potential partners and the media.
Write Time has worked with international brand Pierre Cardin’s stationery department and received government funding, Chu said.
His latest goal is to improve his own penmanship, he said, adding that most people today use computers and forget that writing is an indispensable basic skill.
When he can write well, he can inspire people to relearn how to write and rediscover the culture of traditional Chinese characters, Chu said.
Through the use of words, he wants to continue to promote the “Made in Taiwan” brand to the rest of the world, Chu added.
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
Peggy Chen (陳佩琪), wife of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), yesterday said that the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) claim that Taiwan had warned the WHO about possible human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 was “far-fetched.” The US on April 9 said that the WHO had put politics first and ignored Taiwan’s early warning in December last year, which the WHO denied the following day. The WHO said that it received an e-mail from Taiwanese authorities on Dec. 31 last year, but that “there was no mention in the message of human-to-human transmission.” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC,
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
The One Bear Museum in Hsinchu County’s Guansi Township (關西), a teddy bear museum once touted by the county government as a “luminous pearl” along Provincial Highway No. 13, is facing possible closure. The museum’s building, which was provided by the county government, has a serious water leakage problem and lacks a parking lot for buses to bring in tour groups, Hsinchu County Councilor Lo Shih-shi (羅仕琦) said on Saturday. The county government should step in to rescue the museum, or the negative reviews about the museum on the Internet might affect visitors’ impression of the township and the county, he said. The