Talk:Chinese calligraphy

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This is related to the debate about whether east-asian calligraphy is an art or not: I think there are other calligraphic traditions than simply brush-writing in the “big five” styles. I’m thinking in particular of the so-called Zen calligraphy, called Bokuseki 墨跡 in Japanese. I might be mistaken here, but I’m under the impression that bokuseki is 1) very individualistic and æsthetics-driven, thus closer to our idea of “art” than 書道 and 2) kind of lived outside the (past) rigidity of 書道 tradition. It seems to me that, in the tea ceremony, bokuseki is more popular as an alcove-scroll exhibit than pure shodō; if that’s true, it would be another point for bokuseki-as-art.

---lazy anon —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:48, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

If I understand correctly, Japanese themselves distinguish between the traditional art/craft of calligraphy, and the modern individual and aesthetics-driven styles. The latter are motivated by the Western concept of "art" and the "artist" (the concept popularised by 19th century France). The former is "tradition", and does not allow the artist to express his/her personality. (talk) 00:51, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Illustration that needs revising[edit]

Scheme of Chinese calligraphy paper (for beginners) : page, paperweight, desk pad and usage.

The caption begins: "Scheme of Chinese calligraphy paper..."

It's plain that considerable thought and care went into preparing the illustration; there are considerate touches such as kind references to beginner's aids. However, the illustration can be improved. It seems likely that the creator/artist has an Asian first language. If I were learning that person's language, and could come anywhere close to that person's fluency in English, I'd be very happy, indeed!

This illustration, however, needs the help of a native English speaker; it definitely needs copy editing. As well, the layout could be improved. Individual blocks of text, in some instances, could be placed better (there are even some overlaps). For some mysterious reason, the right side is cut off, although when the .svg file is rendered in Inkscape, the text is complete. The .svg file includes a large Chinese character, located some distance to the right, which does not show in this Wikipedia illustration, and might possibly just simply have been forgotten.

While "Paper" is understandable as the title, when one thinks about it, something like "Traditional Document (Page? Sheet?) Format (or Layout)" would be more descriptive. The diagram on the right side, that shows where to start writing, and where the seal should be placed, is so tall and narrow that (except for color -- a very pleasant color, btw) it's hard to recognize as representing the paper. I tried to rework the diagram in Inkscape, and found that I simply don't know how to do many necessary changes (such as editing text).

The term "case" which apparently describes what's technically a bounding box (within which a character is written) is quite confusing. Whether "bounding box" is OK to use in such an illustration, I just don't know; it's a technical term in typography.

With my best regards, and hopes to start learning,

Nikevich (talk) 01:09, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Hello Nike,
First, the file you seen was broken. Asoer restored a correct version on March 20, 2010.
Several of your comments seems relate to those display bugs.
Case -> Bounding box. ok, noticed.
An IP also said : "wrote vs written", can someone confirm ? ("Traditionnally, Chinese calligraphy is wrote in column from top right, to bottom left.")
Yug (talk) 11:15, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

The caption of the photograph contained within the "Evolution and Styles" section needs some serious revision as the grammar is, no offense, pretty abysmal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

If I'm not mistaken, the author's best language is French. It seems that the image shows a typical configuration of items on the table. "Starting case" points to the area where one starts writing. "Stamp area" points to where one might typically sign (and stamp) a work. Paper may have grids printed on them to assist in aligning characters. The block of text in the middle I would word as "Chinese is traditionally written in columns going from right to left. Each character fits within a square. The main text may be in any script and size, while authors may sign in a smaller size, and may also stamp." My vector graphics software created a broken image last time I tried using it. Asoer (talk) 22:06, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

2010 May major expansion[edit]

Redone, added, moved, or displayed sections:

  • #Definition (redone)
  • #Evolution section (added)
  • #Technique: principles (added)
  • #Evaluation (hidden -> display)
  • #Influences (1 Japanese and Korean calligraphies; 2 Other arts) (added)

Consensual contributions welcome. Creation of article Korean Calligraphy welcome. Yug (talk) 02:47, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

About 啟功 and 阿部醒石[edit]

Qigong, although considered good in his time, is average at best when considering China's entire history (田蘊章(2006).《每日一題每日一字》). When I cleaned up the list before, I left him on, but he was on the very edge, the lowest common denominator. He is not in the same league as the rest of the people on the list of notable calligraphers in China. Seiseki Abe is still alive. It takes time, among other things, for one to be recognized as notable in this field. As a precaution against a conflict of interest, I recommend not adding people who are still alive. Asoer (talk) 22:25, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Asoer, I added some sources (Stanley-Baker). If you have time, take a look at it. It's mainly on Chinese painting, but that's closely relate (nice for our understanding!), there is some direct mentions of calligraphy and the importance of motion. I did read Stanley-Baker 2010a and extracted the key content relate to calligraphy. I didn't did it for Stanley-Baker 2010b, which should be more focused on Chinese painting in modernity. Yug 10:10, 9 March 2011 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. The editing history currently under Chinese calligraphy will be swapped to East Asian calligraphy. Aervanath (talk) 18:05, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

East Asian calligraphyChinese calligraphy – East Asian calligraphy more commonly refers to the grouping of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean calligraphy. Chinese calligraphy is the common name for calligraphy with Chinese characters, where the Chinese refers to that script. If it's truly about East Asian calligraphy with all the East Asian scripts (which it is not), than there should be a section about Japanese and Korean calligraphy with their respective charachters in use in those cultures here with a {{main}} header. "East Asian calligraphy" is applied to the region as in calligraphy in East Asia as a whole. Google ([1] vs [2]) / Googlebooks ([3] vs [4] / JSTOR ([5] vs [6]) give significantly more hits for "Chinese calligraphy" than to "East Asian calligraphy". Taking in account that East Asian calligraphy refers to the grouping commonly, it is even higher. The current page would be a disambiguation page.relisting see below. Andrewa (talk) 03:17, 27 February 2012 (UTC) --Cold Season (talk) 17:22, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Support. Use the common and non-misleading name. Shrigley (talk) 00:01, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Relisting. This is already a complex story, with extensive discussion and some cut-and-paste moves. The history currently at Chinese calligraphy needs to be preserved, so it's not a simple move. But the central questions are (1) what is the scope of this article? Does it include Japanese and Korean calligraphy? At present it does deal with these, despite what is said above. (2) Does the term East Asian calligraphy include Japanese and Korean calligraphy? At present and for some years the article has claimed it does not [7], but this claim is unreferenced. Andrewa (talk) 03:17, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
(1) It's the impact on and difference of it in context of Chinese calligraphy. (2) That looks like an uncited compromise as this article is located here, and WP:COMMONNAME overrules it anyway.--Cold Season (talk) 04:42, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Disagree that COMMONNAME overrules, the policy is quite deliberately phrased to prevent that particular argument. You seem to be challenging the current article content East Asian Calligraphy usually refers to Chinese character calligraphy [8], is that correct? Andrewa (talk) 18:12, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Chinese calligraphy meets wp:commonname over East Asian calligraphy, and what I earlier mean is that it still applies even if "East Asian calligraphy is usually Chinese calligraphy", which it is not and uncited. Correct. I should note that the article does not state that Japanese and Korean is not included in what is termed East Asian calligraphy as you mentioned earlier. --Cold Season (talk) 00:59, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support No doubt an article that should be called "East Asian calligraphy" could be written, but this is an article that should be called "Chinese calligraphy", which redirects here. Rewrite the lead sentence, & set up a disam page for EAC with the various national types. Johnbod (talk) 16:50, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per above. But there should be an article for East Asian calligraphy more generally, since the calligraphy of kana and hangul do share important characteristics with the calligraphy of Chinese hanzi for fairly obvious reasons. Those are dealt with only very briefly in the present article. --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 15:26, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Black paper, white ink, and pencil brush[edit]

Example of Siamese calligraphy using similar technique

John Robert Morrison (1814 - 1843) accompanied Edmund Roberts to Cochin-China and Siam, as Chinese interpreter and translator. As he was fluent only in Mandarin, many negotiations where conducted by means of Chinese characters on Chinese black paper using white ink and pencil brush. --Pawyilee (talk) 09:57, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Problem laying out[edit]

With this table : " {{East Asian Calligraphy styles|place=right|size=60px}} "

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Reverting (mostly) vandalism[edit]

I reverted today a set of edits to the intro between 27 February and 8 March 2013; some were clearly vandalism by anonymous users, deleting material (also parts of words); other ones were partially in good faith, but were deleting the resulting nonsense instead of reverting the vandalism. Some deletions might have been intended and legitimate, but without an explanation I assumed otherwise. In particular, I restored the sentence "There is a general standardization of the various styles of calligraphy in this tradition.", even though it's rather vague and hard to understand - but I think it probably just deserves rewriting.


  1. should we protect the page from anonymous edits, given the amount of vandalism by anonymous users?
  2. if you want to redo some of the edits, please do them as clearly non-vandalic edit, with a username and an explanation. Thanks!

--Blaisorblade (talk) 16:58, 31 March 2013 (UTC) I agree with Blaisoblade Mikhail.bulgakov (talk) 23:25, 27 June 2015 (UTC)