By Brydon Q.
Calligraphy, by definition, is the art of writing beautifully. In China, one of the most common hobbies or activities is calligraphy. The Chinese language uses characters and therefore can combine strokes to create beautiful writing. These characters sometimes actually look like what the character represents. Calligraphy is very common among elderly Chinese people and is commonly seen on the street. In some cities, retired people gather with large brushes and use water to write calligraphy on the ground. The use of calligraphy is found in everyday life through it being expressed through signs of restaurants, shops, hotels, etc.
My interest in calligraphy started when my Chinese teacher at my high school hosted a Chinese college student from Suzhou who was going to graduate to become a teacher. This soon-to-be college teacher showed off to our class her calligraphy skills and I instantly wanted to learn how to write these beautiful characters. One day, after school, I stayed late to learn from this calligraphy master and she taught me each individual stroke and how to write it correctly. I practiced writing characters over and over again on practice paper until I had acquired the skill level in order to write in ink. The fact that I had no ink and calligraphy paper hindered me from completed the desired task. Since I have never written Chinese calligraphy, I decided to buy a calligraphy set in China and bring it home to practice at home.
The lecture on calligraphy I attended, which was led by Prof. Zhou, sparked my interest in calligraphy once again. She went in depth when explaining the history of how pictures turned into the essence of characters. This intrigued me even more and made me want to inquire about ancient Chinese characters and how they represent what they mean.
In summary, there are many different uses of calligraphy and there are many forms/methods of writing certain characters. Calligraphy is writing in a way that is eye-pleasing and a way that makes the words/characters look beautiful and/or good looking.