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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Chinese Culture  »  Chinese Arts  »  Chinese Calligraphy
Chinese Calligraphy

As the quintessence of Chinese culture, Chinese calligraphy (中国书法) is an ancient writing art of Chinese characters evolving from oracle bone inscriptions, Shi Guwen (inscriptions on drum-shaped stone blocks) and Jin Wen (inscriptions on ancient bronze objects) to regular script, cursive script and running script. Originally, Chinese character was used to record something or express what people wanted to say. In writing, people tried to make the scripts look beautiful and elegant. Out of some special need, they were written in artistic styles.

The writing of Chinese characters has been developed into a special high-level art. Chinese calligraphy is a kind of very unique visual art with Chinese character as the main element. Relying on Chinese characters is the major symbol calligraphy to different Chinese calligraphy from other types.

Beauty of Chinese Calligraphy
Chinese calligraphy is built on the base of Chinese characters which is composed of stroke and lines rather than letters, so it is no exaggeration to say that Chinese calligraphy is the art of strokes. Vigor, shifting, rhythm, change and harmony are key elements of the beauty of the dots and strokes, and are also the key elements of the beauty of the characters and lines. According the different writing styles of stroke, Chinese calligraphy is divided into 5 typefaces in general such as: seal script, official script, regular script, cursive script and running script.

Typefaces of Chinese Calligraphy
Seal Script

Seal script, a general designation of Oracle, large seal script and small seal script, characters with the ancient hieroglyphic. The standard seal script is arranged in an orderly manner with long and round lines. Seal script became as a universal official style of calligraphy of standardization after Qin Shi Huang unified six countries.

Official Script
Official Script is a kind of solemn typeface. It is in a shape of oblong with long dashes and short shaft drawing, paying more attention to stroke’s ups and downs. Official script originated in Qin Dynasty, collated by Cheng Miao and peaked in the Eastern Han Dynasty. It had an underestimated effect on generations of calligraphy.

Regular Script
Regular Script is now prevailing traditional handwriting characters, revolving from official script. It is more simplified, to be horizontally and vertically straight. Regular script characters with width (or length) larger than 5 cm (2 in) is usually considered larger regular script, or dakai, and those smaller than 2 cm (0.8 in) usually small regular script, or xiaokai. Those in between are usually called medium regular script, or zhongkai.

Cursive Script
Cursive script is a kind of penmanship written in       a conjoined or flowing manner in order to write faster. Cursive script is produced in Han Dynasty, revolving on the basis of official script.

Running Script
Running script is a sort of calligraphy between regular script and cursive script, developed on the base of regular script. It is not as scratch as cursive script and not as neat as regular script.

Calligraphy Masters
Wang Xizhi (303-361), a notable calligraphy master in Eastern Jin, called “Sage of Calligraphy”. He was born in a noble family and was good at calligraphy in seven years old. It is said that he created nearly 1,000 calligraphy works, but none of the originals have survived. His work most are in running and regular scripts and only one is in the cursive script.

Wang Xianzhi (344-386) is the son of Wang Xizhi, who was well-known for the cursive script and running script.

Yan Zhenqing (709-784) is the celebrated calligraphy in Tang Dynasty. His powerful and vigorous handwriting in the regular or running scripts reflect his lofty moral character.

Liu Gongquan (778-865) is another calligraphy master in Tang Dynasty. His character is well-known for powerful, vigorous and smooth, and the strokes extend outwards.

Add On: Chinese Folk Instruments
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