Welcome to the Wonderful World of Chinese Visual Arts

Chinese Calligraphy

By Jennifer
The materials that are used in Chinese calligraphy are paper, ink, brush, and ink stone and “they are known together as the Four Treasures of the Study” (“East Asian Calligraphy” par. 2). The paper that is used is made of rice and it's specifically for the special ink that is produced from ink stone. Most of the brushes are made from some sort of animal hair and the stick of the brush is made from many different materials. Most commonly used material for the stick is bamboo, and then there is also wood, gold, silver, or copper.

Along with different material, in this specific Chinese art, there are also five different styles that a writer is able to do their calligraphy in. The five styles are similar but unique in their own way and they are: Seal Script, Official Script, Cursive Script, Running Script, and the most common style, Regular Scripit.

Calligraphy is an art in China that began as far as people can remember and it is still very popular today. It is a pleasant factor to know that the public is still interested in learning more about this special tradition of calligraphy. In China, calligraphy is a major subject from elementary to high school and even in education beyond that. Today, and also in the past, calligraphers are considered to be artists, for they create their own poems, lyrics, and letters.

These are some of the different styles of calligraphy.
These are some of the different styles of calligraphy.

This is a picture of a traditional Chinese Calligraphy set that provides all the necessary items to do calligraphy.
This is a picture of a traditional Chinese Calligraphy set that provides all the necessary items to do calligraphy.

This image is a traditional piece of Chinese Calligraphy writing.
This image is a traditional piece of Chinese Calligraphy writing.

Chinese Paper Cutting

Paper cutting is one of the most popular art forms in China. It uses scissors or knives to cut shapes and pictures into paper, and create works of art. Paper cutting is important to Chinese culture because of its long history, its symbolic cultural meanings, and its many traditional uses.
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Paper cu tting was originally inspired in 6th century China by the gold and silver foil cuttings women pasted into their hair at the temples and that men used in sacred rituals (Chinese Paper Cutting, Cutting Tools, Scissor-Cut Handicrafts, par. 1). Paper was originally a luxury, but this changed from the 7th to 13th centuries, when paper cuttings became popular holiday decorations for holidays such as the Chinese New Year, and the art of paper cutting began to spread around the world.

Most paper cut images have symbolic meanings centering around three themes; prosperity, health, and decoration (CHINESE PAPER CUTS FOLK ART | PAPER CUTTING CRAFTS, par. 2). Some common paper cuttings are animals from the zodiac and Chinese characters. Red, a lucky color is the most popular color paper used in paper cutting (Chinese paper-cut, introduction to Chinese paper-cut, China travel information, par. 3). The Chinese external image 985c9a054f870709f63f6d57719b4cce.jpgalso use symbols for long life, long marriages, and long friendships (Paper Cutting, a Popular Folk Art). Other common images in paper cuts are those of the eight immortals, which represent long life, and the image of a peach shows immortality (Paper Cutting, a Popular Folk Art). external image papercuts-gold%2Bfish.jpg

Chinese paper cuttings are used in many rituals in a person’s life from their birth to their death. When a baby is born, a paper cutting is made to mark the birth. Common images in these birth paper cuts are of the baby sitting on a lotus flower or of them being welcomed into the family by one of the gods. On the child’s twelfth birthday, the grandmother on the mother’s side will make a special set of paper cuts to symbolize
long life which the family will hang in the center of the wall of the house. When the child grows up and is married paper cuttings are displayed all over the house. Paper cuttings feature in all birthday celebrations once a person is considered an elder. Most paper cuts for these occasions represent long life and happiness (Paper Cutting, a Popular Folk Art).

Works Cited

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Calligraphy. Thinkquest. 1 Mar. 2009 http://library.thinkquest.org/20443/g_calligraphy.html.

"Chinese paper-cut, introduction to Chinese paper-cute, China travel information." China Tour, China Tour Packages, Custom China Tours, China Based Tour Operator. 01 Mar. 2009 http://www.china-tour.cn/Chinese-Arts/Chinese-Paper-cut.htm.

"Chinese paper cutting -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 01 Mar. 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_paper_art>.

"Chinese Paper Cutting, Cutting Tools, Scissor-Cut Handicrafts." China Travel Guide,China Tours,Tibet Beijing Packages,24/7 Service. 01 Mar. 2009 http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/arts/paper_cut.htm.

"East Asian calligraphy-." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 01 Mar. 2009 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Calligraphy

"Paper -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 01 Mar. 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper>.

Paper Cutting, a Popular Folk Art. Dir. New Tang Dynasty Television. Perf. Semone Gao. Youtube. 27 Feb. 2008. 31 Feb. 2009 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2EzpteYuoM&feature=related>.

Chinese Calligraphy Set. (Online Image) Available http://www.asiadragon.co.uk/product_images/calligraphysetmambcs528.jpg, Mar. 13 2009.

Chinese Girl. (Online Image) Available http://www.travelchinaguide.com/images/photogallery/0014500/10014253tm.jpg

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Styles of Chinese Calligraphy. (Online Images) Available http://www.silkroadenterprisecn.com/contents/media/custom%20calligraphy%20sample.jpg, Mar. 13 2009

Traditional Chinese Calligraphy. (Online Image) Available http://www.shufart.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/jizhiwengao_xqf.jpg, Mar. 12 2009


Cut Paper How-To. (Online Image) Available http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkbRHNPoGA&feature=PlayList&p=D8F64049883AB02A&index=24