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  Calligraphy 101  

The ink which is traditionally in solid blocks. So you would grind this onto the inkstone with some water, to create a liquid, which you then collect and use.

Nowadays you can also get liquid ink.

Ink is usually produced with ashes. This one’s made from ashes of a pine tree.

I want to ask. This pre-mixed liquid ink looks very convenient. It’s ready to use straight out of the bottle. So why are so many people still choosing to grind their own ink?

The texture and feel of freshly ground ink is better. Also, people liked to get themselves into a good mental state for calligraphy, with the ritual of grinding the ink.

There is also a special type of paper used in calligraphy- Xuan paper. It is named after the Xuan Zhou area of Anhui, which was famous for producing calligraphy paper. And there are different types of Xuan, which vary in texture and thickness.

One of Mr Zhang’s friends, who has traveled extensively overseas to promote calligraphy, says it plays an important role in the education of young overseas Chinese.

A lot Chinese people are making a life for themselves overseas. This means some Chinese children are born and raised overseas. The emotional connections between these children and their motherland fade day by day. The older generations see this and are really worried. Calligraphy is a medium for language to be passed on, as well as the quintessential representative of Chinese culture. This is incredibly useful for people wanting to learn about Chinese culture.

As winter has left its mark on the Beijing landscape, calligraphy has left its mark on the landscape of Chinese culture. Unlike snow, which melts away, however, calligraphy has proved itself over the centuries as a long lasting art form- a method of communication, of self-expression, and now, a way for young Chinese overseas to reconnect with their roots. I’m Guanny Liu, thanks for watching.

Video:Lou Yi, Huan CAO

Editor: Huan CAO

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