Essentially, Calligraphy is a visual art that makes use of linguistic signs to create an aesthetic experience that transcends or complements the literal embodied meaning. Calligraphy may thus be seen as an extension of writing wherein the artist or author subjects the form of linguistic signs to aesthetic modulation.
Aside from simply ensuring that your tools and accessories are laid out in an organized manner, the placement of the Studio itself is important for a truly traditional Calligraphy experience. Light, of course, is vitally important. Many calligraphers prefer to write with natural light. Placing your desk by a window will allow you to observe the world around you and ensure that, while you remain focused on writing, you are conscious of, and part of your surroundings. While good access to natural light is the ideal, this will not be possible for everyone. It’s always a good idea to find a good articulated desk lamp to ensure that you have direct light on your workstation. Selecting the light bulb is also important. It’s best to avoid fluorescent light, as this can tire your eyes out quite quickly. If your light creates glare on your paper, it needs to be further away or of a different wattage. If the light is to dim, this will also strain your eyes. If the light is too bright, or too close to your work, it can be very distracting.
In the history of the Chinese written language, few individuals have had as deep or lasting impact as Li Si. While it is unknown exactly when he was born, Li Si would, at a remarkably young age, become a figure central to the chaotic era that saw the first unification of China. Receiving instruction from the great Confucian philosopher Xun Zi (荀子/Hsun Tsu), Li Si moved to the state of Qin and was accepted as a counsellor of King Zheng (glossary: Qin Shi Huang) who would go on to conquer the other Chinese states and become the first Emperor.
The Role of Calligraphy Artworks for Chinese Holidays and Special Events
Just as in Western cultures, part of special events and holidays is the exchange of pleasantries. These traditional sayings are often quite short. One thing you’ll find when beginning to study Chinese culture is a certain tendency to try and reduce common experiences and sentiments to the smallest number of characters possible. The number of four character sayings in Chinese is quite remarkable. For the aspiring calligrapher, this makes it easy to express your wishes in a traditional way when giving people cards, scrolls or framed works to commemorate specific events.