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Calligraphy 书法

The art of calligraphy is widely practiced and revered in the East Asian civilizations that use or used Chinese characters. These include China, Japan, Korea, and to a lesser extent, Vietnam. In addition to being an artform in its own right, calligraphy has also influenced ink and wash painting, which is accomplished using similar tools and techniques. The East Asian tradition of calligraphy originated and developed from China, specifically the ink and brush writing of Chinese characters. There is a general standardization of the various styles of calligraphy in the East Asian tradition. Calligraphy has also led to the development of many other forms of art in East Asia, including seal carving, ornate paperweights, and inkstones.

 

Tools : The Four Treasures of the Study The paper(纸), ink(墨), brush(笔), and inkstone(砚) are essential implements of calligraphy: they are known together as the Four Treasures of the Study (文房四宝) in China. In addition to these four tools, desk pads and paperweights are also used by calligraphers.

 

Paper, paperweight and desk pad

Special types of paper are used in calligraphy. In China, Xuanzhi (宣纸), traditionally made in Anhui province, is the preferred type of paper. It is made from the Tartar wingceltis (Pteroceltis tartarianovii), as well as other materials including rice, the paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera), bamboo, hemp, etc. 

Paperweights are used to weigh down paper. Paperweights come in several types: some are oblong wooden blocks carved with calligraphic or pictorial designs; others are essentially small sculptures of people or animals. Like inkstones, paperweights are collectible works of art on their own right.

The desk pad (画毡) is a pad made of felt. Some are printed with grids on both sides, so that when it is placed under the translucent paper, it can be used as a guide to ensure correct placement and size of characters. These printed pads are used only by students. Both desk pads and the printed grids come in a variety of sizes.

 

Ink and Inkstick
The ink is made from lampblack (soot) and binders, and comes in inksticks which must be rubbed with water on an inkstone until the right consistency is achieved. Much cheaper, pre-mixed bottled inks are now available, but these are used primarily for practice as stick inks are considered higher quality and chemical inks are more prone to bleeding over time, making them less suitable for use in hanging scrolls. Learning to rub the ink is an essential part of calligraphy study. Traditionally, traditional Chinese calligraphy is written only in black ink, but modern calligraphers sometimes use other colours. Calligraphy teachers use a bright orange or red ink with which they write practice characters for students and correct students' work.
 
Brush
The brush is the traditional writing implement in calligraphy. The body of the brush can be made from either bamboo, or rarer materials like red sandalwood, glass, ivory, silver, and gold. The head of the brush can be made from the hair (or feather) of a wide variety of animals, including the wolf, rabbit, deer, chicken, duck, goat, pig, tiger, etc. There is also a tradition in China of making a brush using the hair of a newborn, as a once-in-a-lifetime souvenir for the child. This practice is associated with the legend of an ancient Chinese scholar who scored first in the Imperial examinations by using such a personalized brush.
Today, calligraphy may also be done using a pen, but pen calligraphy does not enjoy the same prestige as traditional brush calligraphy.
 
Inkstone
A stone or ceramic inkstone is used to rub the solid inkstick into liquid ink and to contain the ink once it is liquid. Chinese inkstones are highly prized as art objects and an extensive bibliography is dedicated to their history and appreciation, especially in China.
 
 
 Source : wikipedia  Editor: Dong Wenwen
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