Japanese-inspired Calligraphy in American Sign Language

Sign language writing has its many potentials for calligraphy, the beauty of writing. Depending on the graphemes of different writing systems, calligraphy may vary from one writing method to another.

Deaf artists explore calligraphy in their signed language from ASL (American Sign Language) to LSF (French Sign Language).

ASL writing for ENSO
Image above: A Japanese word, "enso" (2015) by Jolanta Lapiak. Experimental ASL writing.


Image above: "Spring Dawn (2012-2013)" by Jolanta Lapiak.

Jolanta Lapiak has been exploring both philosophy of language (arche-writing, Derrida, and such) and a writing method for ASL since the beginning in her graduate studies in 2005. She is greatly influencd and inspired by Japanese calligraphy.

Dandelion seed in ASL writing
Image above: "Dandelion Seed" (2014?) by Adrean Clark.

Above: Adrean Clark described her calligraphy in ASLwrite as "top is left hand in '5' handshape, bottom is index finger with thumb stroke making the shape of the dandelion seed tip."

ASL writing ASL writing
Image above: "(untitled)" (2015) by Jolanta Lapiak.

Left image: "Travel, writing, photography, art, storytelling." These are the translation of the digits above.

Right image: "ASL Writing Art".

Other writing systems

smyle calligraphy
Artist: unknonw. Source: smyle website.

smyle calligraphy
Artist: unknown. Source: smyle website

The two images above are written in SMYLE used in French Sign Language. Their graphemes can be expressed that is very close in appearance to the Asian and Arabic calligrpahy.

Related posts

Introducing ASL writing. ASL Writing Dictionary