Chinese calligraphy is one of the most respected art forms in China, and has a long history. Indeed, the most well-known calligrapher in history is Wang Xizhi (王羲之), born in 303 AD; his works are still widely studied today, by calligraphy students and experts alike. Chinese calligraphy is written with a pointed brush, known as a mǎobǐ (毛笔). The brush is a very flexible writing instrument which makes it possible to create a wide range of effects, from strong and stately to fluent and dynamic to nimble and fleeting.
Unlike in Western or Arabic calligraphy, where students typically start by learning a particular alphabet, students of Chinese calligraphy typically start by copying the characters written by a famous master. Since there are thousands of characters, the goal is not to study all each and every one of them; instead, the goal is to become familiar with the style of the master: their sense of balance, flow, contrast, etc.
In this workshop we will assume no prior familiarity with Chinese characters or Chinese calligraphy. We will start by explaining a little bit about the history of Chinese characters and how they are structured. Then we will take a look at some different styles of calligraphy to get a idea of the variety in character forms, as well as an understanding of the sense of beauty in Chinese calligraphy.
Then it will be your turn. We will study the regular script of Ouyang Xun (欧阳询, 7th century AD), which today is regarded as a model script, and a good starting point for new students. We will study the basic strokes, write some simple characters, and finish by writing a short but meaningful text. Of course, there will be plenty of room for asking questions and personal feedback throughout the workshop; if there is something specific you would like to write, we can probably accommodate that also.
Depending on participants the workshop will be taught in English or Dutch; of course, questions can always be asked in either language (or in Chinese).