The Story of Chinese Writing
with Paul Tong and Siu-ching Lui
About the Program
Chinese writing is the oldest continuously used writing system in the world. A feature of the Chinese written language is that it is separate from the spoken language, so that the written word can be appreciated in its own right. Over three millennia, its use by countless people has contributed to its form, meaning and aesthetics. In a sense, each character is a work of graphic folk art design.
This talk focuses on the visual form of the Chinese written characters. Through a visual walk-through of various common characters, it touches upon:
- how to read its structure
- how the components come together to provide meaning
- how the original pictorial form evolves into the current script.
- the historical stages of script evolution.
- calligraphy as art form
Artifacts are presented, such as traditional Chinese books, seal-carvings, rubbings from calligraphy stelae and antique roof tile. The connection between Chinese painting and calligraphy is explored. There is also a live demo of how to write Chinese characters with a brush. The audience is encouraged to try out the writing with pencil/brush and paper.
About Paul and Sui-ching
Paul and Siu-ching have been practicing Chinese Watercolor Brush Painting for over 20 years, having studied under renowned artist Hsu Dan in New Jersey. While both of their professional backgrounds are in engineering, they were attracted to the imaginative, spiritual and atmospheric perspective of Chinese brush painting.
Over the years their work has been exhibited at the local libraries and art centers, with their most recent works (January 2022) exhibited at the Jewish community center at Bridgewater, NJ. Previously, Paul has taught Chinese Brush Painting at the New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts, Morris and Somerset County Artist Associations, and currently serves as president of the New Jersey Sumi-e group. Recently, in light of the Pandemic, they have been conducting classes online via Zoom.
Another important part of their life is international folk dancing. They dance regularly with several recreational folk dance groups in New Jersey, and share their favorite dances by teaching.
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