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Lishan High School

Ms. Lillians English Project Study
Taipei, Taiwan
Calligraphy is one of the oldest treasures in Chinese culture. In the ancient time,
people used this kind of writing method to prescribe words. Later, the highly educated
people developed the way to combine the beauty and strength and put these elements
into their work. In sum, calligraphy was not just a writing tool but the lofty art.
Nowadays, although modern people use pens instead of calligraphy, some of the
calligraphers still try to pursue the spirit of writing this treasure, calligraphy.
I have learned calligraphy for more than ten years. The serene time while I am
writing calligraphy has trained me to stay composed and learn to enjoy the solitude. I
sank in the atmosphere it gave me and gradually fell in love with it.
I think thats why I want to introduce you this topic.
There are four topics we write about this field. !irst, what are the necessaries you
have to prepare before writing calligraphy" #ell, its called $four treasures of the
study%. &nd what do the four treasures stand for" 'ou will find out the answer
(econd, there are five writing styles of calligraphy. &nd how did they come into
being" )ow have they developed" *lease look at the second topic, )istory of
In the third article, you will see some famous calligraphers in the history and
know the stories about them and also appreciate their beautiful works.
+o you know in other countries have their own calligraphy as well" #hats the
difference between the calligraphy in Chinese and in other countries" In the last
article, we will lead you to enjoy the calligraphy around the world.
)ope you will become fond of this special art of writing.
our Treasures o! the Study
Ink -rush
Ink brushes are traditional Chinese pens. They
are often used in Chinese calligraphy and
painting. &bout the of ink brushes include
small, medium, and big. #e often use the
medium one to write calligraphy.
Ink brushes are normally made from the hair of
pig, sheep, mouse, rabbit, and wolf while some
people like the ink brushes which are made from
the hair of dear, tiger, and yellow weasel. &lso, some parents use their babys hair to
make ink brush to show how much they love their child.
I have one ink brush which is made from my hair when I was a baby. -ut I dont use
it to write calligraphy. I just put it on the desk to remind me my parents love me very
much so I shouldnt make them sad. /y heart feels very warm when I saw my baby
hair ink brush.
Chinese traditional ink is made from soot, the
smoke of pine, and glue. #hen we use it, first we
pull the water on the Chinese inkstone. Then we
grind ink on it. &fter we finish doing this, we could
start to write calligraphy.
Traditional Chinese paper is easy to preserve because the color we write or draw on is
not easy to fade away. The absorption of paper is very strong. Thats why people from
the ancient to the modern prefer to use it to write
calligraphy and painting.
Chinese Inkstone
Chinese inkstone is a stone for storing the ink. It
appeared in )an +ynasty. Like ink brush, ink, and paper, inkstone is an important
writing tool in the traditional Chinese writing. )owever, in /ing and Ching +ynasty,
inkstone became an artwork to be appreciated. Now we can see many kinds of
inkstone in National *alace /useum in Taiwan.
History o! Calligraphy
from left to right
(mall (eal (cript, Large (eal (cript, Cursive (cript, Clerical (cript and (emi1cursive
*hoto from2,65703666,66,.html
(eal (cript89
Clerical (cript and (eal (cript were created about the same time. -ecause people at
the time thought it took too much time to write (eal (cript. )owever, Clerical (cript
was counted rude in ;in +ynasty until it was the official writing in )an
+ynasty8&fter ;in +ynasty9. The feature of Clerical (cript is the strokes. The
beginning of stroke is thin while the ending is thick< we often call =silkworm head and
wild goose tail. /oreover, Clerical (cript spoiled the structure of ancient Chinese
script, so you can find its appearance different from (eal (cript.
Clerical script89
(eal (cript 8or called (mall (eal (cript9 originated in the unification of Chinese. &t
that time, ;in (hi )uang 8The first emperor in China9 had Courtier (i Li combine
Large (eal (cript and ancient Chinese script and create (eal (cript. The writing of
(eal (cript is smooth, bilateral and its strokes were simplified. &lthough (eal (cript is
hard to recogni.e to modern people, its uni>ue stroke has charmed artists.
Cursive (cript89
Cursive (cript 8you can call 4rass (cript9 is named because of its loose and
sketchy stroke like grass. It originated with the draft that bookman wrote before
writing an article during the )an +ynasty through ?in +ynasty. (o, it took the least
time to write Cursive (cript among all Calligraphy. Cursive (cript developed in three
phases. The early style was based on Clerical (cript< it retained most of the strokes
from Clerical. 'ou can read the article in $this Cursive (cript% word by word, so we
call this @hAngcBo89.
Contrast @hAngcBo with ?CncBo89, every word was linked in ?CncBo. (o, its
impossible to read the article word by word. It takes less time to write it than
@hAngcBo. Then, Cursive (cript develop into a kind of art in Tang +ynasty, we call it
DuEngcBo89. *eople like to write DuEngcBo because its beautiful script.
Fegular (cript89
Fegular (cript emerged about the same time with Cursive (cript. Fegular (cript
origined in Clerical (cript and reached the summit during Tang +ynasty. &s the name
suggested, Fegular (cript is more regular than other calligrapic script. /oreover, its
one of the major calligraphic stlyes. Today, people regard Fegular (cript as normal
Chinese (cript.
(emi1cursive (cript
#e have to write Fegular (cript with careful strokes while with a more casual
attitude in (emi1cursive (cript. The words in (emi1cursive seem to run on the paper.
It is similar to Cursive (cript , which was invented to help people save time in
writing. There are two kinds of (emi1cursive (cript. Gne resembles Cursive (cript,
the other resembles Fegular (cript.
a"ous Calligraphers in History
#ang Hi.hi
#ang Hi.hi is one of the most famous calligraphers. &lso, he is referred to as the
$(age of the Calligraphy%.
-orn in ?in +ynasty 8075&+I60J&#$, he was %orn with a sil&er spoon. 't the
age o! se&en, he started to learn how to write calligraphy. '!ter he grew up, he
esta%lished his own style. There are se&eral episodes a%out hi". In order to
i"pro&e, he o%ser&ed geese nec(s, %ecause he considered the "o&e"ent o! the
%irds nec( si"ilar to the "o&e"ent o! our wrist when writing calligraphy.
)ne o! the "ost !a"ous "asterpieces o! *ang +i,hi is the -Pre!ace to the
Poe"s Co"posed at the )rchid Pa&ilion-. It was also re!erred to the %est Se"i.
cursi&e Script /a (ind o! calligraphy style$ in the world. This wor( led the art o!
calligraphy to its su""it.
#ang Hi.hi had seven children. )owever, the youngest, #ang Hian.hi was also
another well1known calligrapher in the history.
Lanting ?i Hu
)uai (u
)uai (u 8K05&+IKL5&+9 was born in Tang +ynasty. )e was not only a
-uddhist monk but also a famous calligrapher. )e was good at Cursive Script
writing. He was !ond o! alcohol, and a!ter getting drun( he pic(ed up the %rush
and wrote cra,ily. In !act, %eing loose was the greatest style o! his calligraphy. He
didnt care a%out the rules and went on his own way.
)usai (u was famous for his work called &utobiography. In this masterpiece, he
used fine brush to write >uite large characters. The strings were rounded just like they
were flying.
@hang +u
@hang Hu was also born in Tang +ynasty. )e was an e>ual of )usai (u in terms
of fame. (imilar to )usai (u, he eOcelled in Cursive (cript writing. -oth @hang Hu
and )usai (u usually created their masterpieces after getting drunk. Thats why they
are re!erred to as -the cra,y 0hang and the drun(en Su-
!amous work by @hang Hu
'an @hen>ing
'an @hen>ing8KJPIKL5&.+.9 was the governor of +ang +ynasty. 'an @hen>ing
was the only calligrapher who parallelled #ang Hi.hi. 1an 0hen2ing speciali,ed in
3egular Script and Cursi&e Script, and created his own style, called 1an style o!
3egular Script
)ne o! his well.(nown wor(s is #ra!t o! a 3e2uie" to My 4ephew. His
%elo&ed nephew died in the war. He was e5tre"ely sad and wrote this article to
grie&e !or his nephew. In the wor(, he showed his great sadness, and this (ind o!
depression let hi" re&eal his true !eelings instead o! repressing his e"otion.
+raft of a Fe>uiem to /y Nephew,.htm"catnoN,K
Calligraphy around the *orld
The art of calligraphy developed and originated from China. ?apan and Dorea, for
eOample, are one of the first countries that adopted the Chinese calligraphy. The
Chinese calligraphy was adopted along with the Chinese culture that these countries
tried to imitate, therefore even though the new calligraphy of these countries have
some locali.ed styles they are in whole very similar to where they derived from.
Qietnam has also developed calligraphy based on Chinese calligraphy. -ut after the
adoption of western alphabet in the early 0Jth century this Qietnamese art was soon
neglected and used no more.
Indian calligraphy had been deeply influenced by its religion< calligraphy is often
used in printing holy books of religions. Interestingly, the lack of modern printing
technology kind of forced the production of hand writing calligraphy and India ended
up with a rich collection of calligraphy.
Calligraphy on Indian holy book
Islamic calligraphy is deeply entwined with the religion of Islam, and it is often
seen in the ceilings of mos>ues. This calligraphy is considered more a visible art in
eOpression of the heavenly kingdom than plainly a way of eOpressing spoken
language. Islamic calligraphy is the link between the religion of Islam and the
languages of /uslims, and because of that some Islam considers it to be the most
respected Islamic art in their culture.
Calligraphy today is used in various diverse forms and situations such as memorial
documents, diplomas, invitations, maps, menus logo designs and many more. (ome
calligraphers can make a living on their talent of in this field. Through
modern technology, such as the computer and the internet, calligraphy has found its
new stage1on electronic screen. Calligraphy became an eye1appealing font choice in
many typing tools, and its many old and new creations swiftly reached throughout the
globe via the convenient web online.