Chinese Calligraphy: A Spiritual Art Form

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Tang Dynasty copy of 新婦地黃湯帖 by Wang Xianzhi, currently in the Taito Ward Calligraphy Museum (台東区立書道博物館).

Various forms of calligraphy can be found all over the world. However, Chinese calligraphy is something unusual. This Oriental form of art is like picture. What makes it different from others is that it helps in communication of an artist’s pure world by making use of the Chinese characters. The mystic of Chinese calligraphy also lies in its capacity to communicate moral honor, artistic feeling, passion and the character of the artist to all the readers.

Chinese calligraphy is a method which is used for writing the Chinese styles. Apart from this, it is also disciplinary division of education and art that people need to discover. When looked upon as a subject for education, it becomes important to learn about its evolution, development, technique and history. What we need to realize is that calligraphers are not just mere people with brushes in their hands who stroke the characters on a surface. They have the power of art and they acquire this art. For us, as readers, we need to evaluate this art, which perhaps will not be an assignment because; what lies in the essence of calligraphy of China is its thousands of years of rich history, rich culture and popular myths.

What is fascinating about Chinese calligraphy is that it was essentially and wholly and exclusively Chinese just like the chopstick. However, it became an unique feature the Chinese culture started spreading to Japan, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. The uniqueness and the excellence is today recognized by the world and to specify, it is acknowledged by the West, whom we call to be learned. The western scholars have developed a peculiar approach towards this art form. They first learn the characters of Chinese language. They then study how these characters are assembled and it is through this that they try to learn calligraphy. It is through this understanding of calligraphy that they try to understand and learn this ancient culture.

What the western scholars believe is that Chinese calligraphy is one of the oldest of any conceptual art and that it is the most undiluted one. 

People say that this art form has the dynamism which is present in dance, it has the swing which is present in music and it has the painting which can be found in an image. Tracing back the history, it can be found that China is not the home of calligraphy and nor is the East. The presence of this art form is profound and that it is a treasure, a true gem in the world of art. It has a history of thousand years which is why, it is so vibrant and distinct.

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