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There is no doubt, judging by their Calligraphy, that the Chinese are brilliant! The images are so complex and really are word pictures. The simplest way to describe it is to say that the written language is created by mental pictures rather than definitions of words.

For example, the ‘word’ for landscape is made by combining the images for mountain and water. If you wish to write ‘love’ you would combine/connect the words for mother and child. The writing, even the very expressive running or grass style, all stem from ancient pictogram’s or ideograms where a graphic ‘symbol’ would represent an object or idea. Through the years the symbols became more and more abstracted.

On Saturday, we had our first class with Master Calligrapher Shantien ‘Tom’ Chow and we were all enthralled. It was pure joy just to watch him as each class member would call out a word for him to write so they could practice copying it. This Wednesday a second group of students will have the privilege of learning this ancient skill.

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