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Chinese Calligraphy: Ancient Art Legend, Writing Styles, Techniques

Updated on June 2, 2011

Chinese Calligraphy

Chinese Calligraphy is becoming popular in the world. People in different parts of the world are now discovering this ancient art form. Ngan Siu Mui, Chinese Calligraphy Artist in Montreal Quebec Canada has a lot of teaching and creative experience in this beautiful Asian writing. Her techniques are unique and differs from the great masters. Let us hear from her. Original text written by Ngan Siu Mui. Adapted by Connie Ho for Hubpages. To learn more about Chinese Calligraphy Art, Writing Painting, go to

Chinese Calligraphy Artist - Ngan Siu Mui

Chinese Calligraphy Legend

According to legend and ancient records, Chinese calligraphy may be traced to as far back as over three thousand years ago. However, tradition claims that Chinese characters and writing were invented five thousands years ago.

In ancient classics, it was recorded that “Ancient Chinese writing was invented by Ts’ang Chieh, the official chronicler of the Yellow Emperor. With four eyes and maintaining communion with the deities, Ts’ang Chieh looked up in the sky and noticed the round and curved shapes of the Constellations. He also stooped down to examine the patterns on the shell of a turtle and the traces left by birds. By extensively collecting the diverse beauties of the universe, he assimilated them into writing.” The story also adds, “When Ts’ang Chieh was composing characters, husked rice fell from the sky and the ghosts wept in the dark of the night.” Some offered an explanation of the legend. The secrets of creations could hardly be hidden from humans anymore, therefore it rained husked rice.

Because spirits and deities could no more conceal their shapes, the ghosts wept at night.

Chinese Calligraphy Writing Styles - Seal Script

Seal script writing is the most ancient writing system in China -
Seal script writing is the most ancient writing system in China -

Chinese Calligraphy - Ancient Art Writing

Chinese Calligraphy and ancient writing have enjoyed an important role in Chinese Art. Historically, many philosophers and scholars loved it, not only as an art, but also as a mental discipline since progressing in this art demands both concentration, techniques and perseverance. History and old records of ancient calligraphers indicated that if you do calligraphy for a long time, it would take away boredom, worries. It also relieve emotional imbalance.

Chinese Calligraphy Writing Styles - Cursive Script

3 Different Styles of Cursive Script -
3 Different Styles of Cursive Script -

Chinese Calligraphy Techniques

Did you know that the brush techniques used in Chinese painting are indeed based on Chinese calligraphy? Hence, those familiar with the art speak of “writing” and not “drawing” a painting. Also, the seal carving art (Chinese stamps, chops, engraving) is fundamentally a variation of Chinese calligraphy. One must always remember that, without a solid foundation in calligraphy, artworks can hardly be great. Finally, many well-known artists in the West have gained creative inspirations from Chinese calligraphy.

Chinese Calligraphy Art Quebec Museum Canada - Video

Chinese Calligraphy - Appreciation

The appreciation of Chinese Calligraphy is becoming evident. Many people ask Ngan Siu Mui this question. How to appreciate Chinese calligraphy? This is her words. “I can, for now, give you a glimpse of the answer as follows. Drinking Chinese tea or Western wine is a simple thing in our lives; however, to really appreciate a good tea or a good wine, one must frequently and carefully taste them. In the same way, the ability to appreciate the calligraphic art can only be cultivated from frequent and conscientious practice in writing and “reading”. For a beginner, learning only from a purely theoretical treatise is futile.

chinese writing art


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