The Origins of Calligraphy

Calligraphy

A mysterious art…

Calligraphy first originated in China thousands of years ago, and then progressively spread over Korea and Japan. This mysterious art is still a growing success in Europe because in addition to its aesthetic aspect, it is also a true lesson of serenity and harmony.

Chinese painting has always held us in its spell because of its style, technique and vision of the world. From only a few modest lines, Asian artists create a whole universe of mist, lakes, mountains and strange creatures.

A Vision of the World

Asian painting is very different from ours, because of its technique but also because of its cultural references. Classic Asian paintings tend to represent the world and its objects from a realistic point of view. It leans on a strict and structured organization of the painting with a fair distribution of shadows, lights, and most of all a strong presence of colours. On the contrary, calligraphy works with a single element. Even though this art form explores the world with a great precision, its purpose is not to represent reality exactly but to allow you to understand the suggested movements the artist has created with the brush. For the artist, it is all about expressing essential ideas and feelings in a simple form which makes the art of allusion and suggestion predominant.

Calligraphy

The Importance of the White Space

Contrary to what one might think, the white spot left by the artist holds a significant importance. This white surface is not a simple blank space as it would be in a western painting, but actually the keystone of the work. The white spaces come to life and create an impression of deepness which the artist manages to interact with his subject. Taoism is an origin of this concept, which is influenced by Buddhism. The white space left by the artist is a direct reference to religion and can at first sight disconcert western artists who are used to filling the page.

True symphony

Calligraphy from the Far East encourages personal expression in its fullness. It demands spontaneity but also a harmonious integration of the mind and concentration in the work. The artist, like a musician, places his colour notes on paper. Harmony is not only on paper, but in the whole gesture.

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