Asian Media Online
Beginner Chinese Calligraphy
The Han Dynasty in 100 A. is the first origin of Chinese characters. The Chinese dictionary completed at that time included around 9,353 characters. The next version of the Chinese dictionary came out of Qing Dynasty and was called the “Kangxi” dictionary. The 42 booklets contained over 46,964 characters, which most are not even used today.
There are variants on the characters, revised and refined in the current simplified edition of the Chinese language. This edition was put out by the People’s Republic of China in 1956. This book narrowed the characters down to about 6,500. This is considered a simplified form and is the most common form used today, although some remain committed to using the old traditional ways. Chinese characters have been defined as complicated yet beautiful in their meaning.
They are complex in relation to other writing languages. Romanization is used in terms of relation or simple visual information, however the meaning of the character remains mysterious as the art styles behind it. Some Chinese characters mimic similar tones of other characters, yet have different meanings. Some characters written with just an added dot or stroke, turn into something completely different. Of Chinese history, the crowning achievement to their culture, is the Chinese characters. They are an abstract art form displaying incredible depth of meaning in just a few brushstrokes. This thick symbolism has made it’s way into mainstream art from centuries gone and desirable still today. Words like love, faith, endure, tranquility, written in a one character form creates a personalization amongst the observer admiring it. Many of these characters live on walls in homes to communicate a feeling. Many masters have created their own unique style and now exists over 120 different styles of written Chinese calligraphy.
Learning to draw these characters requires patience, proper tools, clear concise instructions and of course, lots of practice. Acquiring this skilled art form can be hours of entertainment and enjoyment because it is so unfolding in a multi conceptual way. You will learn the proper directions and different styles (one or two you may adopt as your own), and you will also learn each character’s simple, yet intense meaning. More than likely, you will choose a few complimentary to your own personality and self-expression. Rich information and cultural history is born from learning to write Chinese characters. The ability to dive into a whole new world is invigorating and creating the beautiful work is self actualization process all on it’s own. Whether you embark on learning to write one character well to display as art on your wall, or you continue with the craft to put words together, even learning to read Chinese, it is rewarding. The more you unravel the mystery living inside each of these characters, it seems to create added curiosity and a desire to keep going. The ancient art of Chinese characters are popularized in cultures other than Chinese. The styles and forms of characters seen everywhere, are now a highly demanded art to learn.
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