Chinese Calligraphy

Chinese Calligraphy

Understanding The Basics Of Chinese Calligraphy

Though not very relevant in terms of its original functionality, which is all about communication, Chinese calligraphy has become a highly valuable art form in the modern society.  While it is definitely interesting to visually enjoy, learning a bit about its history can help individuals value its existence even more.  Chinese calligraphy, after all, goes a long, long way back.

The term “calligraphy” comes from the Greek words for beauty and writing.  In comparison to the modern form of writing that people of the present time have been utilizing to communicate in the non-verbal format, it incorporates a sense of style, giving it ample visual value.  Chinese calligraphy is formed through strokes created with the aid of a brush or similar other broad tip instruments.

Chinese calligraphy, more specifically, is all about the specific type that is being practiced across the Sinosphere.  This is the group of countries as well as regions, mainly in Asia, that is either presently the home of mostly Chinese people or had been significantly influenced by the Chinese culture.  This term was coined in 1990 by James Matisoff, a renowned linguist.

In China, this method of writing goes beyond a simple form of communication.  It is a highly appreciated and an essential part of their culture.  Chinese calligraphy is considered to be both an art and a discipline at the same time.  In the latter, the goal is to write well while the former is all about appreciating the aesthetic characteristics of each and every character.

Essential tools required to implement Chinese calligraphy works include the ink, paper, brush and inkstone.  Also referred to together as the Four Treasures of the Study, they are the traditional and basic things needed.  A pen is at times used instead of the brush in Chinese calligraphy at the present time, but its output is never deemed as prestigious as that of the brush.  Paper types come in a number of variations and are made of different materials such as bamboo and rice.  They are also presently sold hand in hand with desk pads and paperweights.  The ink used in Chinese calligraphy is made of soot and packaged in inkstinks while the inkstone can be clay, ceramic or any other kind of stones, which are usually found in the Yellow River banks.  The stick, accompanied with some water, is rubbed into the stone until the mixture achieves the ideal consistency level.  Presently, there are bottles of mixed inks sold in stores, but they are unable to achieve the high quality output that the traditional method produces.

An output of Chinese calligraphy is affected by a number of factors.  These include hair of the brush and its shape, size, stretch and type.  The ink also has a significant impact with its varied color and densities.  The papers ability to absorb the ink and the texture of their surface influence the overall result.  In addition to the tools of Chinese calligraphy, the calligrapher is also responsible.  The amount of water and ink he allows the brush to take as well as the application, which involves the direction, inclination and pressure involved in the process also has an impact.

Now, on to the next article Thailand Art.