Calligraphy in Chinese is known as "Shufa" and it is a unique part of Chinese culture with a history of five thousand years. It is a form of painting that makes use of Chinese characters to communicate with the spiritual world of artists. In a literal sense, Calligraphy is a form of visual art and it is often referred as the art of writing. It is also a unique art of expression and a branch of learning or discipline.
Chinese calligraphy makes use of language as a beautiful form of expression. It is marked with its rich and profound content that has attracted attention of the artists around the world. Chinese calligraphy is not only a beautiful expression of art but it also expresses the changing force of the natural world. A Calligrapher uses the brush as if it is a part of his body. He gives fine meaning to the written character by re-creating the natural forces through his personal experience. Some forms of calligraphic scripts are regular script, cursive script, seal script, running script and clerical script.
Calligraphy needs basic tools like ink stick, writing brush, paper and ink slab. These are known as four treasures of this art. It involves the art of writing the Chinese characters with fancy style of writing. Expert in this art gives deeper meaning to these characters rather than the usual or general meaning associated with it. It is also considered as one of the most revealing power of a person. The creativity of the calligrapher can evoke a strong emotion and create miracles.
Chinese calligraphy can be classified into six characters that are known as "six writing methods". They are Chia chien, a character that is borrowed from its phonetic value to represent an unrelated homophone or near homophone. The second is Chih shih, a symbol that is use to represent abstract ideas. The third is Hui Yi, a combination of pictorial elements with abstract symbolic ides. The fourth is the Hsiang hsing, a direct pictorial representation. The fifth is the Chuan Chu, a character that has taken a new meaning and lastly the Hsing sheng, a fine combination of phonetic and pictorial elements.
Chinese calligraphy is one of the mainstreams of traditional Chinese painting. It has a great artistic value and plays an important part in all sections of the society starting from the emperors to the peasants. It displays the sweet rhythm and harmonious flow of music and it is like a rare flower that blooms in the history of its civilization. Chinese calligraphy is a representative form of art that contributes a rich part in Chinese culture.