The Magic of the Chinese Brush

Chinese calligraphy is the art of Chinese writing as well as the main expression of the Chinese identity, and thus the key to understanding the Chinese people. The discipline of Chinese calligraphy brings both physical and spiritual benefits.

We are pleased to publish this story, written by one of our UNYP professors, Natasha Sutta, where she describes her journeys to learn the secret of the Chinese brush.

"My journeys to learn the secret of the Chinese brush, have not only deepened my knowledge of this ancient art form, but have opened the door into Chinese hearts."  Natasha Sutta  蘇若水 

First she went to Taiwan almost 25 years ago, alone with a backpack, a plane ticket and a large dream  - to discover the magic of the Chinese brush. From a very young age, she was fascinated by Chinese painting and wanted to understand  why a few black brushstrokes on white paper were able to evoke so much more than a complex colorful western painting. She also hoped to learn about the worldview of the people who produced such paintings.

Last March she was invited by her Alma Mater (National Taiwan Normal University) to participate in the 2012 International Ink Painting Exhibition and Symposium. Chinese calligraphy is the art of Chinese writing as well as the main expression of Chinese identity, and thus the key to understanding the Chinese people. The discipline of Chinese calligraphy brings both physical and spiritual benefits. While uncovering the mystery of calligraphy, one not only begins to see the world from a Chinese perspective but also gains a better understanding and communication between East and West. As well as learning about the latest developments in the Chinese art world, meeting renowned Chinese artists, art historians and museum curators, she was also delighted to see her former teachers and classmates. The photo below shows her with her former teacher Yuan Jin Ta 袁金塔and his family. She also spent some time in classmates houses, where they have calligraphy on the wall.

Her classmates with her visited another classmate at the Bonsai “care center”.  After the stress of teaching, her classmate
spends most of his free time at the center, looking after his bonsai, drinking Chinese tea and discussing bonsai cultivation with other owners. His family has been cultivating bonsai for several generations. For the Chinese literati (scholar artist in ancient China), painting, calligraphy and gardens are interwoven. She was invited to the History Department of National Chi Nan University in Puli, to deliver a lecture on Má Vlast by Bedřich Smetana, explaining through this piece and her paintings Czech legends, history and lanscape.
 
 
In December last year she was invited by the wife 錢欣秀of her “university older brother” 朱忠勇學長to his wife’s school (National Chung-Hsing Senior High School國立中興高級中學) to be the Campus Resident Artist, to hold an exhibition, and promote artistic activities at the school. As well as painting outside with the students, she also shared her preparatory sketches of Má Vlast, and Smetana’s music with two music classes. A local TV crew arrived in the middle of one of these classes, and the program was broadcast on regional TV. She was asked to explain each painting to the students. This “guided tour” was then placed onto YouTube, accessible to the students via their smart phones or her Chinese name 蘇若水.
 
Her “older brother” accompanied her to a formal lunch with the Director-General, of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, of the Taichung City Government 葉樹珊台中文化局長, hosted by the Taichung mayor’s wife邵曉鈴女士. She discussed her proposal to invite Taiwanese musicians to her exhibition of the large painting “ Má Vlast ” in Prague, at Atrium na Zižkově, 23.4. 2014 - 23.5.2014, a possible exhibition of this painting in Taichung, and possible artist exchanges between Prague and Taichung.
 
 

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