Calligraphy is regarded in China as the art of writing, beautiful handwriting with the brush, or the study of the rules and techniques of this art. As a traditional art, calligraphy occupies the same position as painting in the history of Chinese art and constitutes an indispensable part of the heritage of national culture.
Calligraphy is used to express the ideas, accomplishments, and feelings of the calligrapher. What’s more, it is also an expression of the outlook on culture, history and life in various ages, a tangible parallel to ideology, and a medium for conveying cultural information of all kinds.
In China, many people can write a good hand, but only a few of them could become calligraphers. It takes painstaking effort and years of assiduous practice to qualify oneself as an artist in this field.
Calligraphy: Leader of All Art Forms
Few nations in the world have calligraphy as a form of art. In China, calligraphy has maintained a close rapport with the country's cultural development.
Calligraphy is an expressive art. According to an old Chinese saying, "the way characters are written is a portrait of the person who writes them." Expressing the abstract beauty of lines and rhythms, calligraphy is a reflection of a person's 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. In addition;Calligraphy is also a
practical fine art. Exotic calligraphic inscriptions written on paper, wooden plaques or stone tablets serve as decorations of a deep artistic value.
Calligraphy manifests the basic characteristics of all Chinese arts. Closely associated with paintings, calligraphy takes precedence over painting since it greatly inspired the art of painting. Moreover, calligraphy has influenced other typically Chinese art forms like classical poetry, seal-cutting, sculpture, traditional music and dance, architecture and handicrafts.
The Difference of Chinese Calligraphy and Other Calligraphic Arts
Two aspects of Chinese calligraphy distinguish it from other calligraphic arts: the nature of Chinese characters and the use of the brush. The structure of Chinese characters, each of which occupies a square space, and their rich connotations make them an ideal calligraphic medium. The softness and elasticity of ink brushes make them ideal tools to express the changing styles of calligraphy. A line made with the stroke of a brush may present different tastes of writing styles. This can be completed only with an ink brush. Various types and sizes of characters require different kinds of brushes.
The Actual State of Chinese Calligraphy and My Opinion
Nowadays, Chinese calligraphy faces great challenge. The rapid development of the Internet has facilitated writing. Admittedly, typing words is much more convenient and efficient. And it is natural that people want to find new ways of doing things. However, the rise of typing words does not necessarily cause the doom of traditional ones, since they have some irreplaceable merits. There is no denying that there are always people who just attracted to the pleasure of handwriting.
As far as I’m concerned, however developed the Internet is, traditional Chinese
calligraphy have good reasons to exist. And it is even wildly accepted by the West. As once Picasso said, "Had I been born Chinese, I would have been a calligrapher, not a painter." Many calligraphic elements are being adopted by modern western art.