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Amazing art pieces, articles, books, videos from the great masters

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The Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey

Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way) is a timeless guide to the art of living. Its central figure, the Master, lives in harmony with the Tao, the irreducible essence of the universe. Surrendering to it as the Master teaches, we feel whole. Emptying ourselves of judgment and desire, we discover the universal truths within: Without wanting, we find peace; if we let go of what we love, our love becomes present.

If one gets engaged with the aesthetics of ink painting, one will soon encounter a lot of contrasting principles, which look confusing at first, but those principles are quite easy to follow as soon as they are understood.

 

What is the Relationship Between Ink Painting / Sumi-e and Calligraphy?

Here is a popular aphorism among art critics and painters which says “writing and painting have the same origin” (书画同源/shu hua tong yuan). It is true that the relationship between ink painting and calligraphy is at first glance a very simple one. Both arts share the same tools and materials – brush, ink and paper. 

The ''Four Gentlemen''

The Four Gentlemen (四君子), also called the Four Noble Ones, in Chinese art refer to four plants: the plum (梅), the orchid (蘭), the bamboo (竹), and the chrysanthemum (菊). The term matches the four plants with junzi, or "gentlemen" in Confucianism. They are common subjects in traditional ink and wash painting, belonging to the category of bird-and-flower painting in Chinese art.

Chinese Calligraphy - Art of the Line

Calligraphy is the world’s oldest abstract art—the art of the line. This basic visual element can also hold a symbolic charge. Nowhere has the symbolic power of the line manifested itself more fully than in Chinese calligraphy, a tradition that spans over 3,000 years.

The Crown Jewel of Chinese Calligraphy:
Wang Xizhi’s 王羲之


Wang Xizhi 王羲之 (303–361) is the most revered calligrapher in the history of East Asia. His works have been venerated since his lifetime. The calligraphy (the central two lines) has been long celebrated as the crown jewel of Chinese calligraphy: done in cursive, the characters are rhythmic, fluid, and dynamic. 

The symbolic meaning of fish in Asian Brush Painting

Chinese culture has a very symbolic tradition, which you can also see in the fact how Chinese language developed over the last centuries from its origin in oracle bones which were used for divination by ritual specialist – people we would consider healers or magicians today. 

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