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ryuurui (Offline)
Japanese calligrapher
Posts: 880
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tokyo
07-28-2010, 05:49 PM

Originally Posted by kitski View Post
Calligraphy is the art of writing beautifully. In Japan, calligraphy is also called Shodou.[/i]
Hi Kitski. 書道 has nothing to do with writing beautifully. Perhaps 習字 does. Calligraphy ought to be a way of expressing your feelings, which is why it is referred to as heart painting (although it has nothing to do with painting either) or mind imagery. In Japan calligraphy is only called 書道 or 書, 習字 is not calligraphy, nor 書道 is 習字.

道 in a word 書道 has a particular meaning, it's combining 首 (head) with left radical standing for movement. Moving in certain direction mentally, turning your head (heart and soul) and undertaking a journey. Shodo is a path of searching for your inner self, not pretty kanji writing.

It does not mean that calligraphy cannot be aesthetic, but it also does not mean that abstract calligraphy is not beautiful (or powerful). Both writing and watching calligraphy (mind you, not reading) are ways of meditation. The attraction and unexplained charm of calligraphy comes from the defined white space of paper (or other surfaces) to which viewer attunes his heart to. Things that are only beautiful will not have that effect.

My calligraphy master said to me once: By following your teacher style, you kill your 書, by calling such work a calligraphy you kill your heart.

Even perfectly followed example of someone else style will be visible and sensible as calligraphy carries and emanates energy. If it is not pure it will be distorted. That is why, it is no matter how beautiful it may seem, all what matters is the energy (in Chinese it's called 行気 - unobstructed flow of the spirit through work).

Sorry for preaching but I live through calligraphy, could not help throwing a word or two of explanation.

Last edited by ryuurui : 07-28-2010 at 06:02 PM.
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