Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Culture / Art

Outstanding character

An acclaimed 82-year-old calligrapher continues to write new chapters in his field, Lin Qi reports.

By Lin Qi | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-19 06:17
Share - WeChat
Zhang Hai (left) hosts a tour of his exhibition at the National Art Museum of China. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

Zhang Hai remembers how impressed he was by his primary school teacher's neat writing on the chalkboard.

"I said to myself then that I want to write as well as he does someday."

The 82-year-old fulfilled his childhood dream years later — but using different tools on a different medium.

Zhang is regarded as a leading figure in the creation, research and teaching of calligraphy, and serves as the honorary chairman of the China Calligraphers Association.

He continues to endeavor in this field, seeking further breakthroughs to carry on its cultural lineage.

The work he created after turning 80 is part of his calligraphy exhibition, Moving Steady to Get Far, running at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing through Saturday.

A calligraphic couplet by Zhang, which translates as "a remarkable book I savor for a long time, an old friend I'm always missing". [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

The preliminary stage of calligraphy accompanied the formation of Chinese characters, including those inscribed on animal bones, tortoise shells and bronze ware millennia ago. It gradually evolved into a category of aesthetic values and an independent form of fine art, and developed major styles, including zhuanshu (seal script), lishu (clerical script), kaishu (regular script), xingshu (running script) and caoshu (cursive script).

Like many masterful predecessors of calligraphy in history, Zhang attempts to push forward the frontiers as an important vehicle showing not only the skeletal beauty of characters, but also as a highly individualized form revealing the writer's emotions, as he makes the brush an extension of his body and mind to create chemistry between pen and paper.

1 2 Next   >>|
Most Popular
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349