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China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-05 06:24
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Woman of calligraphy

Born in 1902, Xiao Xian was the only woman among the four sage calligraphers rising from the cultural circles in East China's Jiangsu province. At age 20, her artistic gift won the recognition of Kang Youwei (1858-1927), the prominent thinker and reformer who was also a noted calligrapher. He spoke highly of Xiao's talent in a poem, saying her ability in writing was remarkable and unrivaled.

Xiao later pursued studies of calligraphy under Kang's tutorship. And she invested much time and effort in studying archaic scripts, including shiguwen, or the script carved on drumlike stones of over 2,000 years old, and the script on sanshipan, a bronze plate made in the late Western Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-771 BC). She traveled extensively before settling down in Nanjing, Jiangsu, and her diverse life experiences and broad vision rendered her work a vision of width and depth.

Writing the Heart and Mind, a long-term exhibition, is being held at Jiangsu Art Museum to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Xiao's birth this year. On show are over 130 calligraphy pieces to survey the progress of Xiao's writing, as well as her devotion to the calligraphy tradition, an integral part of Chinese art.

9 am-5 pm, closed on Mondays. 333 Changjiang Road, Xuanwu district, Nanjing, Jiangsu province.025-8961-0810.

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