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Chinese Calligraphy As Tattoos
Today, I went on a search for the perfect tattoo. I wanted something beautiful, simple and with deep spiritual meaning. I hadn’t a clue what I was looking for. Then I tripped over Chinese calligraphy. I was taken back by the words brush stroked eloquently and masterfully on the paper. They spoke to me.
Without even knowing what they meant, I could tell each word held a world of thought within it’s own. As I went thru the page, the calligraphy got only better, making it difficult which one I should choose to eternalize on my skin. I was so entranced with the Chinese calligraphy letters, I impatiently pushed right on thru to see how they were put together as words. Even more beautiful. All had a deep meaning applicable to the personality of one.
Chinese calligraphy is an ancient art form stemming back to almost 3000 years ago. This style of writing is said to be abstract art. Many masters throughout Chinese history have left behind their own unique interpretation of the Chinese characters. It was Tu Mang, however, who correlated it all together with form identification and style. He established names for the techniques used to describe the words. For instance, a “carefree” style has an unfixed or unknown direction. On the opposite end, a “carefully executed” form insists on careful execution and thought behind the work. “Mysterious” is to use your imagination. There are 120 existing expressions used for Chinese calligraphy, many born by great masters. This graceful serene art form called Chinese calligraphy is a greek word meaning “beautiful writing” and is seen everywhere from art galleries to restaurants, and tattoo shops.
Which takes me back to the search for the perfect Chinese word. Once I had the words I wanted to immortalize on my back, after learning so much more about Chinese calligraphy, it occurred to me I would have to choose a form as well. What kind of brush strokes would best represent the meaning of the words I had chose? I could go with a more classic, traditional style used in ancient times or even something called the “grass” style, looking more whimsical to me. I had not realized the depth of expression involved not only in searching a tattoo, but the actual essence, personality, and layers upon layers of meaning associated with this beautiful art. Beyond the style, there are phrases, and the writing itself…traditional vertical or modern horizontal. I could opt for quotes, 4 character idioms, or even 7 character extractions from famous poems. I could get my name or my children’s names translated to Chinese or frame the words with other Asian art. The more I searched on Chinese calligraphy, the more infatuated I became of the work, yet I was not getting closer to choosing a tattoo because, quite honestly, each word or quotation inspired a feeling in me. There were simply too many I identified with on a deeper, more spiritual level. For now, I would have to ponder .
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