Chinese Calligraphy
Few nations in the world have calligraphy as a form of art. In China, calligraphy has maintained a close rapport with the countrys cultural development. Calligraphy, or shufa, is one of the four basic skills and disciplines of the Chinese literati, together with painting (hua), stringed musical instruments (qin) and board games (qi).
Chinese calligraphy is the art of turning square Chinese characters into expressive imagesby the responsiveness of rice paper and speed and pressure of a pointed Chinese brush.
Calligraphy is an expressive art. According to an old Chinese saying, "the way charactersare written is a portrait of the person who writes them." Expressing the abstract beauty of lines and rhythms, calligraphy is thud a reflection of a persons emotions, moral integrity, character, educational level, accomplishments in self-cultivation, intellectual tastes and approach to life.
Chinese characters, which convey ideas, are regarded as the most abstract and sublime art form. Calligraphy manifests the basic characteristics of all Chinese arts.
Paper- The texture is fine and somewhat absorbent.
Chinese ink- It is solid, and usually comes in the shape of sticks. Black ink is made from the soot of pinewood or oil smoke, and a gum substance. Often, these sticks are decorated and highly prized by themselves.
Chinese inkstone- Inkstones are made from stone or pottery. They are flat and hard, and are sometimes shaped into beautiful objects. The calligrapher puts water on the inkstone, then grinds the stick of ink against it. This makes ink that can be brushed on paper. It is important to grind enough ink to finish what you start. If you have to grind more ink, you may not be able to make it the same shade.
Chinese brush- Brushes are made from animal hair that is bundled together and put on bamboo reeds. The Chinese use hair from wolves, sheep, rabbits, deer, foxes, or mice depending on the type of writing. For small delicate writing, use rabbit hair. For bold writing, sheep hair is good. You must take good care of the brushes to keep the point stiff and straight.
Brush rest- These stands are used to hold extra brushes. They are usually decorated.
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