Age no barrier to enthusiastic calligrapher

Updated: 2014-09-06 08:13

By Yang Feiyue(China Daily)

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Contemporary artist blends old and new

A calligraphy exhibition at Henan Museum attracted wide attention from the art world.

The exhibition showcased the work of the Chairman of the China Calligraphers Association, Zhang Hai, and featured various forms of calligraphy, such as seal characters, regular scripts and cursive handwriting, according to Meng Huixiang, deputy editor-in-chief of the Calligraphy Guide Paper.

Born in Henan province in September 1941, Zhang, who is in his 70s, is a renowned contemporary calligrapher in China. He is famed for his expertise in cursive handwriting and regular script.

"Zhang has made outstanding contributions to the development of calligraphy in China, and his commitment to the art and extraordinary diligence has won him wide acclaim," Meng said.

Zhang's exhibitions in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing in 2009 and 2010 were successful and had profound social influence, Meng said.

His enthusiasm for calligraphy and exuberant creativity have enabled him to continue creating new works in his late years.

"If you think the exhibition is simply a collection of Zhang's previous works from his youth, you are seriously mistaken," Meng said.

The exhibits at the 2014 exhibition were all created in recent years and Meng said he expected them to take the calligraphy world by storm with their varieties, styles and quality.

Zhang has made relentless efforts to create innovative works. He has developed a writing style that integrates various elements and even used two pens to write to produce special effects, Meng said.

"Zhang's calligraphy features great artistic tension and thriving vitality. He is like a chivalrous expert who can use the tools of his trade to hack, stab, twist and kill," said Gao Hongjun, a member of the China Calligraphers Association.

Zhang's works appeal to both refined and popular tastes. He adheres to traditional calligraphy basics but never stays in the box, Gao said, adding that he integrated his personal growth with the development of the calligraphy cause.

"In addition to art creation, exhibition, publication and teaching, Zhang has made donations to establish schools and calligraphy museums to increase calligraphy's appeal and social influence," Gao said.

Zhang has held several calligraphy activities in Henan and contributed widely to the development of the art form in the province.

He carried out a series of reform measures to improve calligraphy activity organization and held calligraphy competitions to boost the development of the art nationwide, according to Gao.

"An artist has to have an accurate understanding of the development of the times, society and calligraphy art to determine his art direction," Zhang said.

"An artist must base his art on the needs of his times and the art standards, and develop his own style before he can evolve into a real master."

Zhang said he hoped the 2014 exhibition would give audiences a different experience.

He said he believed that the development of the calligraphy art form offered great opportunities for every artist, and everyone could gain something from it as they don't give up.

Zhang said he hoped that more exceptional artists would emerge in the calligraphy world.

He has held scores of calligraphy exhibitions in Japan since 1986 and has been invited to give lectures abroad.

His works have also been displayed in South Korea, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada.

Age no barrier to enthusiastic calligrapher

Age no barrier to enthusiastic calligrapher

Age no barrier to enthusiastic calligrapher

Age no barrier to enthusiastic calligrapher

Age no barrier to enthusiastic calligrapher

(China Daily 09/06/2014 page6)