Sunday, November 20, 2011



It was an eye opener for me during the introduction to Chinese Calligraphy class at the Wawasan Open University. It is not simply just writing the strokes anyhow. Even with my own name I have gotten all the strokes wrong. There is a sequence to write each stroke in the Chinese character and emphasis is place at certain points when writing the strokes.

Luckily, we had a very good teacher, Ms Huang. She is from Sichuan, China and she has been doing calligraphy since she was 4 years old and had been champion in many competitions.

This class is an introduction to calligraphy for those who do not know Chinese or maybe a bit a Chinese. There was a Malay lady in the class too.

Ms Huang briefed us on the 4 Treasures before the class.

The ink stick above, the brush, paper and ink slab. The best brush are made from rabbit's or goat's hair.

Nowadays for convenience, the bottled ink is being used. Besides, bottled ink is more constant in the sense, the quality of the ink is the same. You won't get thin/watery ink or too heavy ink if you were "grind" the ink yourself.

My niece "grinding" the ink. You need to add water to the ink-slab and keep going round and round till the water becomes ink. This is a very simple ink slab. I have seen very elaborate and decorative ink slab in China.

Ms Huang also gave us a history of the evolution of the Chinese word- from picture form to the present day. No doubt most of us have no knowledge or maybe a little of the Chinese characters, it is easy to guess the word from the picture form.

After that we were taught how to hold the brush and got to practice the different strokes.

She is a very patient teacher, giving us individual attention and correcting our strokes throughout the 4 hours.

At the end of the class, Ms Huang wrote our names for each of us.

It has been a thoroughly enjoyable class. As our Malay friend said "its interesting to learn something new".

Will I take up this hobby? Why not, afer all I am Chinese and proud of it.

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