Artist puts modern stroke on ancient art of Chinese calligraphy

China 24

Chinese calligraphy has been around for thousands of years, but one master calligrapher is updating with new techniques.

She combines the art with traditional poetry, and uses color to blend Chinese and western styles.

CGTN’s Zou Yun reports.

China’s master calligrapher Xiao Kejia began learning Chinese calligraphy when she was just 9-years-old. “This is what my father and grandpa know how to do. They believed that some day, I would benefit from this skill,” she said.

Her talent and hard work have made her one of China’s most promising calligraphers. At the age of 13, her work started appearing in exhibitions throughout China and overseas. Traditional training is the foundation of her skill, but her experience studying overseas opened her eyes to new styles that now influence her art.

“I was able to see new art, contemporary art, western art. I have this feeling that I want to promote traditional Chinese calligraphy. So I’d like to combine this 2 interest of my own, to show Chinese calligraphy in a different setting, so that more people can appreciate,” she said.

Instead of writing long poems and proverbs, Kejia shifted to focus on just one or two characters that hold plenty of meaning. One day, she made another bold move by going beyond just black and white. By bringing an abstract sense to traditional cursive writing, and adding touches of color to the black ink, Kejia adds a new twist to an art form that dates back thousands of years. Also, a mix of sprinkling western influence makes this traditional Chinese art form more understandable and accessible to people around the world.

Interacting with Chinese calligraphy for four decades, Kejia has said this exceptional form of Chinese art is like a painting without pictures, a book without words. She wants this unique style of calligraphy to not just be visually enjoyable, but also spiritually refreshing.

Author Kim Dramer talks about the future of the ancient art of calligraphy

To discuss the art of Chinese calligraphy, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to author Kim Dramer.