Confucius (孔子/Kong Zi/K’ung Tzu): Forming a Chinese Social Identity
Throughout the world, perhaps no single Chinese historical personage is as recognized as Confucius is. Indeed, the writings of Kong Zi (the correct transliteration of his name) are comparable in their effect on the Chinese, and Asian, world view as are the Classical philosophies of Plato and Aristotle are in the West.
Artistic Excellence: the Definition of a Master in the Tradition of Chinese Calligraphy
Even a cursory study of Chinese Art, both in painting and calligraphy, must at some point deal with the personalities who shaped artistic values across history. The styles of individual artists have been central to the traditional arts of China since the Han, and as a result, personal style and emulation have been more important in China than they were in the West. While antique styles have endured in the West, in China these styles can be traced back far more readily to individual persons than to more abstract aesthetic principles.
Alongside Confucianism, Taoism forms the fundamental basis for much of Chinese Culture. Its origins lie in the philosophical works of Lao Zi, (老子/Lao Tse), in particular the Dao De Jing (道德經/Tao Te Ching), or Classic of the Virtuous Way. The name of the tradition itself comes from the central idea of ‘dao’, or ‘the way’.
Calligraphy and Painting – The Sister Arts of the Chinese Literati
In China, traditional painting and calligraphy may be taken together as the defining visual arts of the historical elites. These two art forms, sharing the very same materials, have for centuries defined the aesthetic sensibilities of the lettered classes. In the West, we often think of words and images to be entirely different modes of communication. In China, this stark separation has not been created. Here, we’ll attempt to decipher some of the ways in which Calligraphy and Painting influenced each other in the Chinese tradition so that we can understand each discipline a little more fully.
The Influence of Calligraphy Script Styles on Chinese Society and Culture
For millennia, the structure of Chinese culture society has been deeply affected by the strength of the written word. From the emergence of writing in the Shang Dynasty to the emergence of the bureaucratic Confucian hierarchy of the medieval period and even into the Modern period, literacy has been central to ways of formulating political power in China.