Chinese calligraphy brought to life

Calligraphy Professor De Lin Shang showed students how to hone and master their calligraphy skills Friday, April 28, at Rio Hondo College for the Chinese Calligraphy Workshop. The calligraphy piece shown is meant to represent a dragon.

Photo by Alex Rodriguez/ El Paisano

Calligraphy Professor De Lin Shang showed students how to hone and master their calligraphy skills Friday, April 28, at Rio Hondo College for the Chinese Calligraphy Workshop. The calligraphy piece shown is meant to represent a dragon.

Corbin Boone , Staff Writer

Professor De Lin Shang, calligrapher and president of the Chinese Calligraphy and Seal-Engraving Art Research Institute, visited the Rio Hondo College campus Friday, April 28 to share his experience and knowledge on the art of Chinese calligraphy. In traditional Chinese culture, calligraphy was known as an art form long before the Song Dynasty, where it became mutually practiced with painting.

When entering the workshop, Shang was very gracious and welcoming as he brought in ink and brushes to introduce the art form to students.  One of the first asked to make a sample calligraphy was Enrique Valencia. When asked where he had learned of the ancient form of writing, Valencia replied, “From a professor at Cerritos College… I got my first calligraphy brush from China Town.”

Shang gave insight into a calligraphy that consisted of beautiful ink strokes that had the meaning of  “The heart being patient” and used examples from his own work and student’s pieces. These writings in particular were written on long pieces of paper; but calligraphy can also be written on cotton or silk, how it was traditionally written.

Shang introduced the proper way to handle a calligraphy brush; in which he uses the raised-wrist method, involving good posture and holding the brush at its center.

 The art form is similar to drawing, since it does involve a single picture that represents a phrase or action. When students were given a chance to write their own, many asked for insight on how to write a particular subject such as a dragon or person. Various students were able to take pictures of their very own calligraphy. Each were precise in their writings and were able to learn the meanings of the calligraphy pieces.  Shang reminded the students that patience and simplicity is best when creating something such as this by saying, “simple is best, good is considered best.”