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Handwriting Art

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

A new art experiment with Chinese Characters. When I was a high school student, I went to Normal University’s affiliate school to learn to become a teacher. At that time, one of the requirements to be a great teacher was to practice calligraphy from some famous calligraphy artists with all types of tools: chalk, pen, and brush. Every morning, we were required to display all of our calligraphy boards outside of our classroom in the corridor so everybody can see them. Imagine the pressure we had!

The calligraphy boards were wooden boards (around 60*70cm) pained into black ink. We used white chalk to write a new traditional poem every day. No one dared not to take it seriously since all the peer students, teachers, deans, and even headmasters are watching. They would stand in front of and discuss the boards. And, of course, the great ones would be elected to display in a more prominent place as good examples. We can choose and practice whichever calligraphy artist’ style we love but has to be displayed in a super tidy way and need to fit in all the characters from the poem assigned.

That was not the worst part! The worst part was: when we made any single mistake, we had to use water to wash all the written text away otherwise there would be a white stain left. Sometimes we even had to repaint it with ink. It was super frustrating! So we practiced and practiced until we were confident in finishing all in 1 round. Then we cleaned the board with water and went to relax or took a walk. When we came back, the board was nice and clean, we took a deep breath and then wrote the whole poem in one go(if we are lucky enough).

This routine was repeated every day for at least 5 years. Boring, and dirty (ink and chalk everywhere). When we graduated, we were happy about the improvement we made but even happier that we didn’t need to practice it anymore after school.

But strange thing is that it is part of our blood already. From time to time I will miss it and start writing again. That could be because of the uniqueness of the calligraphy. Since there is no exact same handwriting existing in this world. All the strength, position, mood, and even breath will influence how it looks like. And it is not strange your own handwriting are looking totally different if you are in different emotions!

This time when I was writing, my mind started flowing, and my lines were getting smoother and smoother, feeling like the writing was assisting me to get rid of all the worries, struggles, and chores and it ended up with only 1 line for the whole character and it continues like this until I wrote all the words in only 1 line! Then I started playing around and controlled how the general form looked to be coherent with the meaning of the characters. It was a super cool experience! In this way, my new creation: One-line modern calligraphy art was born! Should have figured out a better name on it, need a bit of help here ;)

Life is like this, when we do the same thing again and again, we will get bored from time to time. And could start complaining and even start reflecting if this is the thing we really like to do. Some people totally abandoned it and started a new area. Some people, after taking a break, might realize that it is actually what they really like. Try it with letters, could be a great way of soothing. :)

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