The story of Pangu 盤古開天

  • The project is to create my own visual language. I chose the story of Pangu, which is a Chinese mythology that every Chinese culture based people are very familiar with. It portrays how the world was created by a giant named Pangu. I transformed the words in this story into my own pictogram language. Then I used these symbols and grammar I created to present the story of Pangu visually. A dictionary-like booklet is made for this story and my pictogram language.

  • Pangu, the one an only character in this story is the first word I created. Pangu is a giant who separated earth and sky, yin and yang by standing on the ground, holding the sky until his death. That's why this word looks like a man standing up stretching his arms and legs.

  • The cover of the dictionary is made by leather and the story pattern was carved on it by laser cutting.

  • This pattern is telling the whole story of Pangu. In the very middle is Pangu who was born in a mass in the beginning of everything. The first layer is the first chapter, telling how he woke up and found his surrounding highly disturbing. That’s why it’s distorted the most. The second layer is the second chapter then so on. The shape become more and more stable from the inner to outer part, which represents the world became steady because of Pangu's hard works. In the end of the story, Pangu died and his body transformed to everything appears in this world. For example, his left eye blazed into the sun and right eye gleamed into the moon. 
    The outermost, rectangular layer is the whole story, combining three chapters, framing this sacred story as a decorative purpose.
  • In the dictionary, I started from introducing how I created the nouns, adjectives, verbs and simple grammar. Here's the noun part below.

  • It's easy to see the connection between each words. Like the word Pangu is consisted of the character of head, legs and limbs. 

    As stated above, in the end of the story Pangu died and his body collapsed and a miraculous transformation took place. His legs and limbs transformed into mountains. That's why the character mountain looks like the combination of the characters of legs and limbs.

  • In the later part, I utilized the words I recreated to compose sentences, telling the story. Here's the second chapter below. You can see that these language system is actually pretty uncomplicated. Each new word was given a new form and sentences are simply words connected by bottom line.


  • In the chapter part, you can see which chapter belongs to which part of the story pattern by tracking the mini version pattern down left of the page. The very chapter you are reading is with more noticeable color, standing out from the whole pattern.


  • Thanks for watching!