Chinese Calligraphy: Past and Present

Christine Kuan
Mar 17, 2013 11:48PM

Chinese calligraphy is meditation, self-expression, and language fused into one. It may be written in many styles, but my favorite is grass (cursive) script--possibly the most difficult and emotionally expressive of all the styles.

Because Chinese characters have changed over the centuries, most recently with the introduction of simplified characters in mainland China in the 1950s and 1960s to increase literacy, this art form is very challenging to understand (even for the Chinese). Often important historical works use words and forms of characters no longer found in the modern Chinese language.

Even if you can't fully appreciate what is being written in these works, you can sense the beauty of the writing and the feelings conveyed by the artist-scholar. And, you can see why contemporary Chinese artists, like Xu Bing and Gu Wenda, make language such a central part of their work. 

Discover genes: East Asian Calligraphy and East Asian Calligraphy Influence.

Christine Kuan