Term II: Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

At the end of last year I taught an eight weeks course on Chinese Calligraphy.  A number of students requested a continuation, so after an eight weeks break we will resume class next week.

I am not a professional teacher or calligrapher.  My role, as volunteer tutor is to share what I love and learnt.  I teach the use of tools and the basic skills but most important, I help the students see and appreciate the beauty of brush writing.  We set a goal and learn on the path of reaching that goal.

As some of the students were illiterate in Chinese, I introduce them to the language by starting with characters with fewer strokes, for example, 一,二,三 (one, two and three) to practice the horizontal stroke.  Our project was Peace: 和平, two characters that contained the basic strokes in brush writing:  horizontals, verticals, bends, left and right sweeps, lifts and dots.

Students were able to complete their project and learnt how to prepare their work for mounting by the eighth week.

At the end of last term I gave the students the project for this term.  It’s a twenty word, Tang dynasty poem.  It may seem a great leap from two characters to twenty; not so.  Once you have mastered the basic techniques, anything is possible if you practice, practice, and practice.

I have a composite class of varying abilities: students who can already write fluently with a brush and students who are still learning their abc (as a figure of speech).  For the former they will concentrate on structure and presentation of the whole poem, the latter will have the choice of twenty characters to improve their basic strokes and composition.  Whether they will learn to write the twenty characters by the end of this term will depend on their diligence.  The goal is achievable.


About Mary Tang

An urban orchardist everyday, a volunteer regularly, a poet sometimes and a blogger since March 2015. I travel when I can. Food is a constant.
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10 Responses to Term II: Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

  1. angela1313 says:

    I enjoyed going back and finding this series about your class. I remember my first Chinese friend taking great care in teaching me the stokes in the correct way and happily telling me my characters were ::”square”. She said my being a painter probably helped my brush handling and from reading about your class I can see better now how important that was.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. taphian says:

    wonderful, if I would be in Australia I would visit this class, too. That’s so interesting and beautiful, Mary, kind regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jan Schaper says:

    Your students are in for a great journey of learning and creation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Tang says:

    Sorry, Lisa; somehow I managed to delete your comment – thank you for your kind words.


  5. gaiainaction says:

    Wow! Looking great Mary, I love calligraphy to look at, have never done it.

    Liked by 1 person

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