Shifty Characters

figure_1_shifty_characters

One of the keys to understanding the Chinese writing system, and therefore calligraphy, is comprehending the various nuances as well as the specific terminology native to the art of Far Eastern calligraphy. To assist the reader and in parallel with articles, some time ago we launched www.shodopedia.com, a website which currently has over 300 calligraphy terms and calligraphy related historical facts or topics elaborated upon. We plan to add to this database regularly. Thus, at this time I would … [Read more...]

Preparations for a calligraphy exhibition

figure_1_dec_2011_exhibitions_preparations

At times I am asked to submit works for calligraphy exhibitions in Japan. There are various events that take place here and there, and some of them are more interesting than others. In this article I would like to show you what the preparations for such an event look like. This year's major exhibition is the 40th Anniversary Exhibition of the All Japan Calligraphy and Literature Association (40 回記念全書芸展, よんじゅっかいきねんぜんしょげいてん, yonjukkai kinen zenshogeiten), to which I belong, that will take … [Read more...]

Hand-written Chinese characters vs. computer font.

figure_1_hand-written_characters_vs_computer_font

If you learn Chinese or Japanese languages, or any other language that is based on the Chinese writing system, you will sooner or later come in contact with the living language. This is where the artificial reality of various text books will most likely fail to guide you through a jungle of nuances that create a rift between what we call in Japanese 活字 (かつじ, katsuji, i.e. "print font", which is nothing else than a computer font that you see in any book, website or newspaper), and the … [Read more...]

Importance of the stroke order in writing Chinese characters.

figure_1_sho_to_write

Before even considering writing kanji (漢字, かんじ, "Characters of Han (dynasty) China" i.e. Chinese characters), regardless whether we choose a pencil or a brush, one needs to comprehend the correct stroke order for individual characters. Not many people (outside the Far East) would give it a thought, but the stroke order (i.e. the order in which you write the lines of each kanji) is more important than it may seem. From the calligraphic point of view it affects not only the characters' balance and … [Read more...]