You are here

Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 19:30

Chinese Characters and the Art of Calligraphy

Prof. Yu Qilong

Swiss Embassy

How often have we not felt frustrated in front of a scroll of ‘calligraphy’, this seemingly impenetrable art? Yet this art form was, and still continues to be, regarded as the heart of Chinese culture, a discipline that all, from Emperors to the humble, strived to master for centuries.

Calligraphy not only conveys meaning, but also encapsulates the essence of Oriental esthetics. Prof. Yu Qilong will take us step by step into the world of Chinese letters (ideogrammes), its genesis, its evolution, and the ramification into various formal styles, in another words, explain with ample examples what makes a calligraphy a piece of art. The presentation will include a brush and ink demonstration by this grand master.

Prof. Yu Qilong, with whom some of our members may already be familiar, is a direct descendent of the Grand Master Yu Shi Nan, great calligrapher of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD). Prof. Yu is the 38th generation to master this art. In the great Chinese tradition of intellectuals, during his childhood he studied Chinese classics and calligraphy with Mr Wang Ling He (1855-1938), a member of the Imperial Academy of the Qing Dynasty and a disciple of Master Weng Tang He, the great calligrapher who also taught Emperor Guang Xu (1897-1908). Prof. Yu's works are part of the famous collection of Guimet and Cernuschi museums of Paris, as well as of private collections of the Japanese Imperial family, and of French presidents, to name a few.