Chinese Calligraphy - Chinese Culture Introduction

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Chinese Calligraphy




   As the art of writing Chinese characters (hàn zì 汉字), Chinese calligraphy, or shufa, is boasting as long a history as that of China itself. It is one of the highest forms of Chinese art, serving the purpose of conveying thoughts while also showcasing abstract beauty of lines. Calligraphy is one of the four basic skills and disciplines of the Chinese literati, together with painting (huà ), stringed musical instruments (qín ) and board games (qí ). However, rhythm, lines, and structure are more perfectly embodied in calligraphy than in the other three skills.Calligraphy (shū fǎ 书法) has traditionally been regarded as China's highest form of visual art - to the point that a person's character was judged by the elegance of their handwriting! Decorative calligraphy is found all over China, in temples and adorning the walls of caves and the sides of mountains and monuments. The basic tools of calligraphy - brush and ink - are also the tools of Chinese painting, with linework and tone the all-important components.Despite the ravages of time, war and ideology, there's still a lot to see architecturally. Traces of the past include the imperial structures of Beijing, the colonial buildings of Shanghai, the occasional rural village and Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist temples. Funerary art was already a feature of Chinese culture in Neolithic (xīn shí qì shí dài 新石器时代) times (9000-6000 BC), ranging from ritual vessels and weapons to pottery figures, jade and sacrificial vessels made of bronze. Earthenware production is almost as ancient, with the world's first proto-porcelain being produced in China in the 6th century AD, reaching its artistic peak under the Song rulers.




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