In China, the mastery of Chinese calligraphy is a sign of intelligence. It is an artistic discipline that manifests itself in the choice of signs and their layout. The practice of Chinese calligraphy is often compared to the learning of human walking. According to Chinese teachings, studying regular style is like learning to stand.
This art has evolved over the millennia, to become more and more democratized in the country and throughout the world.How to choose a Chinese calligraphy kitto preserve tradition while adapting to modernity ? It will be easier to make your choice once you understand the origins of this traditional Chinese culture that has endured over time.
The underside of Chinese culture reveals a very ancient wisdom. Writing is an art in its own right, imbued with philosophy and self-control. Indelible ink does not tolerate any errors, which implies foolproof assurance on the part of the calligrapher. Before choosing your Chinese calligraphy kit and embarking on this activity, here is a short summary of its history.
Sinograms have existed since ancient times. Also called Shu Fa, Chinese calligraphy is part of the traditional art of Asian writing. Specialists agree that the Chinese people have been transmitting their thoughts on paper for about four millennia, far ahead of the Romans who apply to it many centuries later.
Opinions differ on its origin since some claim that it is the first Chinese emperor named after Fuxi who is the initiator. Other currents of ideas name Cang Jie like the one who drew the first sinograms. According to beliefs, the greatest Chinese calligrapher is Wang Xizhi who influenced a large number of calligraphers and academic in Asia.
If you have chosen to purchase a calligraphy kit on the Internet or that you were interested in this article, you understood that you can get something out of it. Indeed, sinogram tracing is conceived as a way of connecting mind and body. The effects are similar to meditation. It promotes self-control and allowsraising one's soul into a higher spiritual dimension.
There are tens of thousands of Chinese signs. The improvement of the mastery of this writing is therefore necessarily spread over a period that can go from a decade to a whole human life. To be introduced to this discipline is to take a long-term path. During the imperial era, calligraphy was used to select persons of responsibility at the imperial court. It reflects the emotions, the level of study, the moral integrity and the personality of the person.
With different dynasties and currents of thought, it had trend variances in Chinese calligraphy. The basic design remained the same, but the styles evolved according to the needs of the leaders. Modern calligraphy is therefore slightly different from the traditional one. However, the four pillars also called "treasures of the calligrapher” from this writing are the same.
A traditional Chinese calligraphy kit is chosen for different reasons. Whether for the observance of custom or as an interior decoration. It is usually composed of an ink stick made from soot and Musk, an Inkstone, rice paper and brush neatly and harmoniously arranged in its wooden box. It is more prized by calligraphy experts.
A modern calligraphy kit is especially useful to start practicing because the grip is much easier. Unlike the traditional kit, the modern kit does not require the rubbing of ink on the stone to achieve the ideal texture and achieve its calligraphy. The ink comes in a container in liquid form. For use, it is enough to pour it into the inkwell and dilute it slightly if necessary.
Chinese students of the third millennium are increasingly using the pen to write. The Chinese keyboard of a computer is even equipped with sinograms so that you no longer need to trace the characters. But without the brush, the calligraphy is not quite the same.
In thetraditional Chinese art, the brush is the extension of thought and the connection passes through the body. The tool for writing is an integral part of the resulting visual art. The choosing a calligraphy kit and the result you want to get, therefore, depends on the quality of the brushes and the variety of models presented.
To choose your calligraphic material, know that the weight, the shape, the length of the hairs and the arrangement of the hairs are very varied... indeed, each calligrapher has its affinities and style. The strength of the wrist and its flexibility influence the type of brush to draw the sinograms.
4 qualities to consider :
For people at the more advanced level, other forms of calligraphy brushes exist on the market (round tip for rounded strokes, flat tip, etc.).
Traditional calligraphy brushes are usually made with a wooden handle, especially bamboo, and animal hair.
Some brushes are composed of mixed bristles for example half goat hair half Hare hair or 70% Hare hair and 30% goat hair.
It is important to maintain your calligraphy brushes well so as not to wear them too quickly. Generally, the bristles of a new brush are stiff due to bristles covered with glue to protect them.
Indelible and always black, traditional Chinese ink is particular in its original manufacture and use. Currently, there are modern and easier to use substances especially for beginners. It's up to you to choose the one that suits you.
When we do the choosing a traditional Chinese calligraphy kit, Chinese ink is supplied in raw form including a stick of black color. It is a rod obtained by burning wood and oils particular to obtain this Black color.
When rubbing the stick against the Inkstone with a little water, a liquid, flowing or slightly thick texture is obtained. It all depends on the inspiration of its user and the results that he expects. The style of the calligrapher is nuanced by the concentration of the ink and the way it leaves its imprint on the paper.
One of the four essential treasures of the calligrapher is the Inkstone. It is an art object in itself. It is personal and must be maintained with care.
This special tool is used to contain and dilute China ink. A black paste is obtained by rubbing the ink stick on the rough and previously moistened surface. This ritual must be done before starting writing in order to prepare his mind and body.
When choosing your calligraphy kit, be sure to check the quality of the stone. Ink stones are usually made from jade stone or porcelain. Opt for a stone with a smooth surface and satin to the touch. If the stone is of good quality, you will quickly get thin and thick ink and will not damage the brush bristles. As for the shape, you have the choice between a rounded shape or a rectangular shape depending on your taste.
The Inkstone should be rinsed with water and a soft sponge after each use. It is important to have a clean surface before starting your calligraphy activity. In addition, ink can damage the stone if allowed to dry because it tends to adhere to the stone.
As explained above, the paper used in traditional calligraphy is made from rice flour or rice straw. We call it Xuan Zhi and there are 2 different types :
Other alternatives appeared later. Here are some examples :
Now that you know everything about Chinese calligraphy and the tools needed to make your calligraphy successful, all you have to do is make the right choice. Know that at Artisan d'asie, we offer craft calligraphy kits for beginners, for intermediate levels and for expert levels.
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