Thursday, 16 April 2009

Calligraphy has always enjoyed an important position in Chinese Art. Historically, many philosophers and scholars loved it, not only as an art, but also as a mental discipline since progressing in this art demands both concentration and perseverance. If calligraphy was practiced for a long time, it would dispel boredom, dismiss worries and relieve emotional stress.

Ou-Yang Sau (1007-1072), one of the Eight Great Scholars of the Tang and Sung dynasties, was a leading official at the imperial court who had extremely complex duties. Yet, in his leisure time, he often practiced calligraphy. In one of his essays, he explained why he never abandoned it. “In my childhood, I had many hobbies, but upon reaching middle age I gave them up, either because they no longer interested me, or because I am physically unable to engage in them. The only one that remains, and in which my interest grows with the passage of time, is Calligraphy… I therefore realize why so many scholars in the olden days have paid so much attention to it.”From an artistic point of view, the practice of calligraphy is the beginning of cultivation of the Chinese arts. It enables a learner to acquire a sharp perception of all things in the universe, from simple lines to complex forms and movements.

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