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Elaborates Sun Guoting "book" calligraphy theory

Author: ZhaoHeNan
Tutor: SongMin
School: Liaoning Normal University
Course: Fine Arts
Keywords: “Calligraphy List” Calligraphic Theory Calligrapher Skill Creation Criticism Appreciation
CLC: J292.1
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 53
Quote: 0
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“Calligraphy List” is a masterpiece from Sun Guojian, a calligrapher and calligraphic theorists of the early Tang Dynasty. It is highly commended ever since its published. It is a model for cursive script, and also a milestone for Ancient Chinese Calligraphy Theory. It has reached such a high level of reputation, not only for the accomplishment on cursive script, but also because of the outstanding contribution to CalligraphyTheory of Ancient China. Sun Guojian’s calligraphic theory laid a strong foundationfor calligraphic criticism and aesthetics.Sun Guojian criticized Wang Xianzhi, and those who only curry favour with thepowerful, and proved that a good calligrapher should have integrity, acquirement, andstrong calligraphic skills. This opinion helped a lot on the self-training of latercalligraphers.Sun Guojian’s calligraphic learning points included dabbling and inheritance. Mr.Sun believed that calligraphy is superb when it can inherit the spirit of ancient peoplewhile still fit the appreciation of nowadays. Therefore, learning calligraphy shouldcopy as many ancient masterpieces as possible, then keep its essence and discard itsdross. On this basis, if you want to make some achievements on only one chirography,you should still learn other chirographies. And his above two points providedtheoretical support on calligraphic learning.When it comes the discussion of skills, Sun Guojian defined “carry, usage, shift,apply”.“Carry”, means the position where people carries the brush pen;“usage”, isthe skill on using the brush pen correctly;“wield”, means the relatives betweendifferent strokes of the same character;“usage”, is how the calligrapher show thestructure of the character. The position carrying the brush pen, the skill using thebrush pen, the relatives between the strokes, and the structure of the character are thesoul of calligraphic theory.Sun Guojian also mentioned his views on calligraphic creation on“Calligraphy List”. He believed that calligraphy should “show characteristic, andexpress the mood”, that is, calligraphy should not only delivery the inherentpersonality of the author, but also express the personal feeling in a proper technique.His theory of “Five pros and five cons” proved the relationship between the externalenvironment and the calligraphic creation from five positive and five negative points.It showed that the external environment could affect the creation directly.In calligraphic appreciation area, he pointed out that the appreciation ofcalligraphy should be “odd but logical, same while different”. This fit the traditionalChinese cultural and aesthetics, which is a neutralized beauty of nature. He wellcombined the culture and art. Sun Guojian criticized some wrong trends at that time.He pointed out that the attitude as“Skilled in external artistry, lack of calligraphy’s spirit” is one of the most taboo in calligraphic learning. In addition, satisfied withonly superficial knowledge, reaching for what is beyond one’s grasp, eager for quicksuccess and instant benefit, desirous of vain glory, pretending to like something whichone really fears, are all wrong attitudes on calligraphic learning. These sharp pointsstill hit the alarm for us calligraphic learning these days.

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