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Poetic Curves

Handmade Stamps By Rakui Hana

Words / 文心
Translation / Ian Tsang

回想小時候對印章不大感興趣,主要的原因挺清楚的:每一次蓋章,不是缺了一角,就是圖案顏色深淺不一,看上去就是不漂亮。雖然我們總說,多蓋幾次就會能控制力度什麼的,但是過程的確讓人感到氣餒,還有一點那麼不甘心。明明印章上的線條是仔細而分明的啊。直到我看到了出生於東京的日本藝術/插畫家Rakui Hana的手刻印章蓋出來的圖案,才心甘情願地接受現實是自己小時候欠缺耐性罷了。

Rakui Hana在大學時主修英國文學與美國文學,當中包括兒童文學、英詩及莎士比亞的著作等,然後在2007年手刻了第一個印章——亦即是現在的標誌,一個背包打開、書本正在掉出來的男學生。之後就開始了手刻印章的旅程,從單一的字母、物件到後來能細分成生活、飛行的東西、科幻等不同類型的印章,這些作品都在慢慢的累積,形成了現在印章上栩栩如生的場景。最簡約的線條總是精準的抓到人物的神態,每一個圖案都充滿活力;透過姿勢、衣服和頭髮,你都能感受到畫面裡的風往哪邊吹。

Rakui Hana每年大概只手刻400個印章,而且只會在每年的一月、五月和十月才開放訂製。在你擁有屬於自己的印章前,需要了解一些特定的注意事項,例如需要等待的時間、圖案客製化的選擇等等。「Please do not order if any of the following policy is not good for you.」提醒你不要勉強,正如Rakui Hana不會勉強自己的節奏,只順著自己的步伐去走。如果只看著自身以外的節奏走,自己的世界就永遠都不會完整,因為永遠都慢了多久又缺了什麼。

I recall when I was little I did not have much interest in stamps, and the principal reason was very clear: every time when I used a stamp, the image would turn out to either have a broken corner or have an uneven color, and thus, was not pretty to look at. It is always said that after several attempts one will become able to control the amount of pressure to apply. Nevertheless, the process was certainly frustrating, and it was a bit difficult to accept the result given the outlines on the stamp are so detailed and clear. It was not until I saw the stamps hand-carved by Rakui Hana, a Japanese artist and illustrator from Tokyo, that I willingly accepted the fact that I was simply too impatient when I was a child.

Rakui Hana majored in British and American literature at university, having covered children literature, English poems and Shakespeare among other things. In 2007, she hand-carved her first stamp — which has become her current logo — depicting a male student with an open backpack, from which a book is about to fall out. That marked the beginning of her journey of hand-carving stamps. Among her stamps are single alphabets, objects, and in later times, a wide range of stamps which can fall into categories such as lifestyle, flying objects and fantasy. Her collection of works grow gradually, which leads on to her current creations that showcase vivid scenes. Outlines of the simplest form manage always to capture a person’s expressions, and each and every one of the images is bursting with life. Through gestures, clothes and hair, you can feel the way which the wind blows in the image.

Every year, Rakui Hana hand-carves only around 400 stamps, which are available for pre-order only on every January, May and October. Before getting your own stamp, you have to pay attention to a few points, including the waiting time and customized options for the stamp image. “Please do not order if any of the following policy isn’t good for you.” — this line reminds you not to go for it against your will just as Rakui Hana will not take on a rhythm against her own will. She will only follow her own pace. If you proceed following only any rhythm other than your own, your own world will never be complete because you will always finding yourself lagging behind to a certain point or lacking something.