Differences Of Chinise Calligraphy​

differences of chinise calligraphy​


First of all, Chinese calligraphy has strong structure in each character, whilst Japanese calligraphy tends to be more flexible and decorative.

In addition, Chinese calligraphy writing is like deep meditation.


The first purpose of all writing systems is communication. It is notable that all writing forms have an artistic aspect to them. What is often unmentioned is that aesthetics is part and parcel of communication. For a non-written comparison think of the communication value of television, and quickly realize how important aesthetics is to that endeavour. After all, one could simply have an announcer sitting at a desk reading the news! The same is true of writing systems: the regal clarity of hieroglyphics, the precisely articulated geometry of Roman capitals carved in stone, the interwoven friezes of Arabic in brick, mosaic and marble, and the expert brushwork of Chinese characters are all designed to convey meaning even if one cannot read the words themselves.

Implied in the last sentence is an important characteristic of all calligraphy: it is technology dependent. One of the primary differences between Chinese and Western calligraphy is the tools that have defined the letterforms. Chinese calligraphy was originally incised in bone or shell, but it has been the brush that has been the defining tool of Chinese calligraphic expression.

For Western calligraphy let us confine ourselves to the Roman/Latin alphabet, which has been by far the major influence, even on other Western alphabets. The defining tool of Western calligraphy has been the hammer and chisel and stone carved lettering. The second defining tool has been the broad nib pen, and to a lesser extent the pointed quill or pen. Take a look at the letters used on your computer screen and in most publications. The little marks at the top and bottom of the letters are serifs, which are notoriously difficult to produce when writing with a pen. Their origin is in stone-carved letters where the shape of the serif is much more naturally produced with a chisel. Despite the fact that stone-carved inscriptions are exceedingly rare, the aesthetic of the stone carvers art continued into the ages of hand written manuscripts, metal type and digital communications.

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All writing systems set down standards for proper formation of the various symbols in use. A distinction can be made here between Chinese characters and Western alphabets. Chinese characters are wonderful teachers of composition. From simple characters with just a few strokes, to complex characters with 12, 20 or even more strokes, the composition depends on all of the various components of the character fitting together so that they form a coherent unit. This includes both the strokes formed by ink and brush, and the spaces formed between the strokes. In the actual practice of calligraphy the exact way in which the components of the characters fit together is not fixed, but depends on the choices made by the calligrapher. The same is true of thin and thick lines: there are conventions for each type of brush stroke and character component, but the brush is a flexible tool and does not in and of itself determine stroke weight or thickness. It is the calligrapher makes the ultimate choice of when and where and how to vary the stroke thickness.


Study well nonilomagdaong! 🙂

Hope it helped!