Sunday, December 9, 2007

East Asian calligraphy

I think it is very interesting. In Chinese language,the evolution of some character are formed by the gesture itself. it's called hieroglyphic.Gesture can represent something and it is meaningful. It helps people to remember it easily. The following artical is from Wikipedia--
Asian calligraphy typically uses
ink brushes to write Chinese characters (called Hanzi in Chinese, Hanja in Korean, Kanji in Japanese, and Hán Tự in Vietnamese). Calligraphy (in Chinese, Shufa 書法, in Korean, Seoye 書藝, in Japanese Shodō 書道, all meaning "the way of writing") is considered an important art in East Asia and the most refined form of East Asian painting.
Calligraphy has also influenced
ink and wash painting, which is accomplished using similar tools and techniques. Calligraphy has influenced most major art styles in East Asia, including sumi-e, a style of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese painting based entirely on calligraphy.
Historical evolution of Eastern calligraphy
Ancient China
ancient China, the oldest Chinese character we still have are Jiǎgǔwén characters carved on ox scapula and tortoise plastrons, while brush-written ones have decayed over time. During the divination ceremony, after the cracks were made, the characters were written with a brush on the shell or bone to be latter carved, perhaps by a separate individual and in a specific workshop (Keightley, 1978).
With the development of
Jīnwén (Bronzeware script) and Dàzhuàn (Large Seal Script) we continue to see "cursive" signs. Moreover, it is evident that each archaic kingdom of current China had its own set of characters.
Imperial China
Imperial China, the graphs on old steles — some dating from 200 BC, and in Xiaozhuan style — are still accessible to us.
220 BC, the emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first to conquer all Chinese basin, imposed several reforms, among them Li Si's character uniformisation, which created a set of 3300 standardized Xiǎozhuàn characters. Despite the fact that the main writing implement of the time was already the brush, few papers survive from this period, and the main examples of this style are on steles.
Then, the
Lìshū style (clerical script) which is more regularized, and in some ways similar to modern text was then developed.
Kǎishū style (traditional regular script) — still in use today — is even more regularized. It can be seen that the Kaishu shape of characters 1000 years ago was mostly similar as that at the end of Imperial China. But tinies slides have be made, in example in the shape of 广 which is not absolutely the same in the Kangxi dictionary of 1716, than in modern books. The Kangxi and current shapes have tiny differences, while current stroke order is still the same, according to old style.
simplified Chinese script was created by the Chinese communist government after World War 2, in order to promote simplification of writing and increase the literacy rate. Simplified script is often considered a corruption of general Hanzi text and is not used in calligraphy.
Cursive styles and hand-written styles
Cursive styles such as
Xíngshū (semi-cursive or running script) and Cǎoshū (cursive or grass script) are "high speed" calligraphic styles, where each move made by the writing tool is visible. This styles especially like to play with stroke order rules, creating new visual effects.
Native writers, moreover, create their own style and stroke order rules to ease and speed their own use, which imply wide variations in the resulting character shapes from one word and one writer to the same word by another writer (and other stroke order/shape).

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