Chinese Culture Class-Calligraphy Writing Workshop

  • March 28, 2019

Calligraphy is an important component of Chinese art. Its presentation format is an art that hinges on Chinese characters. And Chinese characters are ideographic in nature. Combinations of strokes of characters are open to many possibilities. In comparison with other ethnicities’ phonographic writing system, Chinese characters are more figurative. Also, apart from possessing a complete set of rules of brush (dot, horizontal stroke, falling stroke, vertical stroke, hook, etc), the calligraphy of Chinese characters has also established a developed aesthetic system. Following the rules of the combination of Chinese characters and varying the combinations can express versatility in the styles of the art of calligraphy, creating aesthetics of different appearances and tastes.

The Three Basic Components of Calligraphic Creation: Use of Brush, Structural Combination and Layout

Use of Brush – The use of brush covers the use of ink at the same time. Calligraphy is an art of lines, endowed with the aesthetic of abstraction. Together with the uniqueness of Chinese brushes and methods of use of brushes, various linear patterns can be put down.

Structural Combination (also known as combination of character) – Refers to the structural and composite relation between the strokes of each character. It is to be noted that setting out the components of each word requires considering aspects of prioritization, concession and coherence among the components. As such, structural symmetry and harmony of the character can be achieved.

Layout – Refers to the overall spatial arrangement for the whole piece of calligraphy through the organization of the space between characters, the distance between the lines, the allocation of characters, etc. To be particularly well-arranged there must be a relation between the black and white colors on the whole artwork which is instrumental to producing the effect of void and concretion.

Though there is no denying that content is important, Chinese calligraphy can be enjoyed for its visual artistry. A full appreciation requires an understanding of the various styles and their traditions, the basic principles of stroke order and placement, and the philosophy that makes this the most respected of the fine arts in China.

A series of characters in these styles can go from dark and wet ink when the brush is freshly filled, to light and dry when the brush is nearly empty. These characters can also vary greatly in size. Even in the most cursive scripts, the accomplished calligrapher establishes rhythm, flow, and balance in what appears to be a completely spontaneous work.

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