Chinese Calligraphy Technique and Learning – The Aesthetic Concept of Balance

 

What is the Aesthetic Concept of Balance in Chinese Calligraphy?

When it comes to writing Chinese Characters, especially with an artistic aim in mind, it is important to have a sense not only of each individual stroke and radical, but also of how these elements relate to each other coherently and beautifully. A well-written character will have balance both within the space it is written, between individual strokes, and between the radicals. What is meant by this?

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Chinese Calligraphy Technique and Learning – The Aesthetic Concept of Regularity and Flow

 

What is the Role of Regularity and Rhythm in a Chinese Calligraphy Artwork?

One of the first things you’ll notice when viewing a calligraphic work in Li Shu or Kai Shu is that the characters are all of generally the same size. Similarly, it is common that each column of text will contain the same number of Characters. Even when it comes to Xing Shu and Cao Shu, you’ll note that although characters might be linked together, they each inhabit a similar amount of space on the page. Although there is certainly great potential for variety and expression in calligraphic characters, careful character spacing and sizing is the best ways to create a clear rhythm for a piece. This consciousness of regular spacing can be likened to the tempo of a piece of music. Indeed, the points at which characters exceed the assumed boundaries might be viewed as the sustaining of a single note, or an increase in volume. Thus, the dynamics of the work are exposed even as the over-arching scheme or tempo remains clear.

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Chinese Calligraphy Technique and Learning – The Aesthetic Concept of Wholeness

 

What is the Aesthetic Concept of Wholeness in Chinese Calligraphy?

As an aesthetic value, wholeness is perhaps one of the most difficult to attain in calligraphy. When we speak of wholeness, we are usually referring to the way in which individual characters achieve unity through the placement of elements within the character. If a character is whole, its individual lines and dots relate in an almost effortlessly unified manner. Although there may be many radicals in an individual character, achieving wholeness requires that each part coheres visually and that no part seems strained or unrelated to the whole.

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