“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?” —Zhuangzi

Inspired by the story of Butterfly Dream from Zhuangzi, the iconic Daoist philosopher in ancient China, the project proposes an unconventional way to interpret the Daoist philosophy.

The visual style associated with Daoism has always been leaning toward being simplistic and minimalist, commonly translating the founder Laozi’s claim of »Nothingness« into visual emptiness and the neglect of concrete forms. However, instead of the simplistic and harmonic looking result, the project seeks a more unprocessed way to approach Daoism. By a deep reflection on the philosophy, the project does not intend to make a visual paraphrase of what the philosophers say but focuses on the paradoxical and metaphorical language they use and utilizes graphic design as a form of articulation.

The publication is then more than a documentation of the design process but a manifestation of what Butterfly Dream looks like through the eyes of contemporary graphic design.

Yu-Min Tsai
Bachelor of Arts Integrated Design