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Learn Chinese Painting and Caligraphy in Yangshuo

Chinese traditional painting dates back to the Neolithic Age about 6,000 years ago. The excavated colored pottery with painted human faces, fish, deer and frogs indicates that the Chinese began painting as far back as the Neolithic Age. Over the centuries, the growth of Chinese painting inevitably reflected the change of time and social conditions.

Chinese painting, the flower of Chinese culture, is distinguished* by a spirit and an atmosphere of its own. It is entirely different from Western painting. That difference is hard to grasp and express. It has a certain tone and atmosphere, visible* in Western painting, but essentially different and achieved by different means.

The tools used in traditional Chinese painting are paint brush, ink, traditional paint, special paper or silk.

Chinese painting developed and classified by theme into three genres: figures, landscape, and bird-and-flowers. Landscapes represent a major category in traditional Chinese painting, mainly depicting the natural scenery of mountains and rivers.

Traditional Chinese painting, poetry, calligraphy, painting and seal engraving are necessary components that supplement and enrich one another. "Painting in poetry and poetry in painting" has been a criterion for excellent works. Inscriptions and seal impressions help explain the painter's ideas and sentiments and also add beauty to the painting.

The history of Chinese calligraphy is as long as that of China itself. Calligraphy is a special category in China's world of fine arts and one of the most challenging Chinese art forms for a foreigner to appreciate or master. Calligraphy, or shufa, is one of the four basic skills and disciplines of the Chinese literati, together with painting (hua), stringed musical instruments (qin) and board games (qi ). And it is regarded as the most abstract and sublime form of art in Chinese culture.

By controlling the concentration of ink, the thickness and absorptive of the paper and the flexibility of the brush, Calligraphy is a mental exercise that coordinates the mind and the body to choose the best styling in expressing the content of the passage. It is a relaxing yet highly disciplined exercise indeed for one's physical and spiritual well-being.

Although it uses Chinese words as its vehicle of expression, one does not have to know Chinese to appreciate its beauty. Because in essence, Calligraphy is an abstract art. While viewing a Western abstract painting, one does not ask, "What is it?" When viewing Chinese calligraphy, one need not ask, "What is the Chinese word?"