In China, for the long period of time Chinese calligraphy and writing skills were treated with special reverence. The same term that means “civilization” (wen), also means “design” and “writing”. During the traditional times, written paper was considered holy, so using it for normal purpose was considered inappropriate. Older people gathered scraps of paper for ritual purposes – in order to burn them in special pagodas.
The earliest Chinese writing system used the drawings for the presentation of objects. This can be seen even now in some simple characters such as “mouth”, “forest” (two trees) and “dawn” (the sun above the horizon).
For a long time Chinese calligraphy has been regarded in China as a separate art. The traditional theory of aesthetics assess the individual brush strokes, taking into account the four characteristics which should build the perfect harmony of good style of Chinese writings:
1. Bone: such is the impression of force emanating from the stroke that it seems impossible to break it, but you can see its fragility.
2. Body: well-fed body feature , but without the addiction and the tendency to gain weight.
3. Muscle: the impression that one stroke is connected to another stroke by invisible bonds, as one character is connected with another.
4. Blood: consistency of the ink, which is not like water or mud
However, we should feel that the writing is “alive”. Composition of characters should give an impression of balanced motion, as if “a dancer swayed and slipped, walking and jumping over the side”. The final inspiration for Chinese calligraphy, which can be considered the earliest abstract art in the world, was nature. The form of strokes reflects something of the original shape of the leaves, vines, clouds, rocks, flames, drops of water and wrinkles.
When you think about Chinese culture, you shouldn’t forget about Chinese language and Chinese calligraphy. I hope that this article might be for you the beginning of your Chinese Course. If you find it interesting, please share about it with others:
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