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Research on the Republic of China Calligraphy Associations

Author: LiYangHong
Tutor: LiYi
School: China Academy of Art
Course: Fine Arts
Keywords: Calligraphy associations Republic of China Aesthetic Standards Education
CLC: J292.1
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2014
Downloads: 20
Quote: 0
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Abstract


The calligraphy associations in the Republic of China era emerged along with the transformation of modern society and culture. The calligraphy associations were modern communities different from the societies and communities in Ming and Qing Dynasties. They demonstrated the collective consciousness of the calligraphers and some of them like Tianjin Kaixue Lijin Association, Normative Cursive Association, Chinese Calligraphy Association, and Peking University Calligraphy Society came up with notions of "utilize the culture to stabilize the state" and "make existing artistry popular" in the age where western and Chinese culture clashed. These associations were dedicated to popularizing artistries to enlighten people and changing the customs and cultures. They viewed the revival of the artistry of calligraphy as the first priority for reviving the nation and the national culture. The associations inherited the traditional culture and devoted themselves to promoting the development of calligraphy, in an attempt to preserve Chinese calligraphy and revive the national culture.Calligraphy associations emerged in the context where modern cities sprung up, the western cultures were transmitted into China and the new educational institution replaced the old one. Based on historical, economic and cultural conditions, these associations were distributed in the large cities and medium and small cities in East China. The confederation of calligraphers was conducive to the improvement of their artist creativity and facilitation of the circulation of their works. In addition, the associations also offered convenience to them to conduct research. Communities like poetic prose ones, epigraphy ones and professional associations played a significant role in promoting the popularity of calligraphy and conducting calligraphical research. The calligraphy communities functioned to improve the morale in the Anti-Japanese War through collecting funds, conducting charitable activities and making donations and actively shouldered the social responsibilities.Calligraphy associations during the Republic of China era functioned as the important thrust to the development of calligraphy. During the time, the competition between people using hard-pen and those using brush pens, new discoveries by archaeologists and reform of writing system all served as the important external cause of the transformation of aesthetic standards in terms of calligraphy. Calligraphy associations played a vitally important role in promoting the vicissitudes of the aesthetic values of calligraphy in Republic of China era:On one hand, they connected the calligraphical aesthetic standard to the western aesthetic standard to prove that the Chinese calligraphy did embrace the aesthetic values. On the other hand, these communities strengthened the understanding on the traditional humanistic connotation of calligraphy and successfully preserve its excellence during the modernity introspects. Liang Qichao’s speeches in the Calligraphy Institute for Teaching Staffs in Tsinghua University, as well as publications like "Calligraphy""Writing Magazine" and "Calligraphy Studies", popularized the aesthetic values of the traditional calligraphy and were dedicated to improving the social status of calligraphy in the age where the western aesthetic values were dominant. As a result, they had the significantly important function in guiding the aesthetic value towards calligraphy. In addition, the Normative ursive Association transformed the cursives into the practical and applicable fonts, which stipulated the development of calligraphy in the second half of20th century.The calligraphy associations were also important sources of modern calligraphical education. The societies in the junior colleges and technical secondary schools were places where students could get access to calligraphical education. Through activities like exhibition, speeches, competitions, display of publications and academic research, students in the Peking University Calligraphy Society, Guangzhou University Calligraphy Institute, Enjoy Seal Cutting Society in the Zhejiang No.l Normal School and Seal Cutting Institute in Hangzhou Huilan Secondary Schools demonstrated their enthusiasm towards calligraphy and their firm will to practice calligraphy), which improved the overall understanding on calligraphy and their ability to apply calligraphy. Some large-scale professional communities (like the Chinese Calligraphy associations) emphasized the development of calligraphical education and were devoted to promoting the popularity and improvement of calligraphy by creating professional publications, printing delicate and sophisticated works, publishing teaching materials, corresponding to each others, and organizing training sessions.

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CLC: > Art > Calligraphy, seal cutting > Chinese calligraphy,seal cutting > Calligraphy
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