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Chinese calligraphy

Chinese calligraphy by Xiaoqian Li-Columeau

Calligraphy is the art of writing the signs of a language. Chinese calligraphy is characterized by the originality and richness of the Chinese writing. Chinese calligraphy allows a field of artistic expression very broadly.

The most famous Chinese calligraphy is the one wrote with a brush. Schoolchildren learn Chinese calligraphy through the sinogrammes with a ballpoint pen or a pen pen: this calligraphy is called pen calligraphy (not very surprising name it is true!) Those who calligraphy with brush are generally not good at calligraphy pen and vice versa, it is a mather of flexibility of the wrist.

In ancient times, Chinese characters were engraved on the bones of oxen or turtle shells, then on bronze. Then they made books with bamboo slats connected. It certainly uses a feather of bamboo and black soot for ink. The plume of bamboo is still used sometimes.

Brush calligraphy is done on rice paper or on silk (more fragile). The hardware of a calligrapher is called Four treasures of Study: the brush, the paper, the ink and the ink stone. The ink is in the form of sticks that is rubbed on the ink stone with water to obtain an ink fluid. Now, the ink is in a bottle, much more convenient and good quality. But this method does not have any appropriate densities.

Good calligraphy was traditionally reflects the level of a literate culture. A good doctor should be a good calligrapher (gloups!) and examination to become imperial official put more emphasis on the calligraphy of the candidate than on the contents of the copy!

The history of Chinese writing (more than 3000 years!) has developed many styles of calligraphy. In addition, chinese characters have various spellings: around 3 by characters. The characters “happiness” have a hundred different spellings. The calligrapher has already a wide range of possibilities. It can also varied over the full and loose to express their feelings. It may differently calligraphy characters of a text to reinforce or change their meaning. The message that Chinese calligraphy can get is very broad.

To learn Chinese calligraphy, it is better to know the basics of Chinese writing, otherwise it will learn on the job. We begin by studying the fundamental lines, then draw characters in the regular style. Then you learn the cursive style and finally the style of the grass, very cursive. The Chinese say that the regular style is like stand, the cursive style is like walking and style of the grass is like running.