Power of the pen

By Zhuan Ti ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-01-17 10:24:49

Power of the pen

A calligraphy work by Tu Xiangdong. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Tu Xiangdong has mastery of several calligraphic forms.

Tu Xiangdong, a Shanxi native in his fifties, is already an important figure in the talent-laden field of calligraphy.

He is now the vice-president of the artists association affiliated with - a website built by a group of local artists - and heads several other art organizations.

Beginning in his teens, Tu developed a strong interest in calligraphy.

But unlike some other lovers of the art form who concentrate on one handwriting style, Tu never confined his interests.

He not only practiced regular script in small characters, but also exercised the running script that has almost the opposite style. Clerical script is a preference, too.

He constantly copied the handwriting of well-known calligraphers from ancient times and found creative nourishment in their works. Later, he blended those elements with his own handwriting.

Tu has a special love for Mi Fu, one of the four greatest calligraphers in the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127) about 1,000 years ago. Mi was a master of regular script in small characters, clerical characters, running script and seal characters. He was also known for his lofty and unruly personality.

Perhaps deeply influenced by Mi Fu, Tu's work also has a dashing yet refined natural atmosphere.

"Looking at Tu's handwriting, you get a calm and elegant feeling, natural and unsophisticated. It has toughness with gentleness," says Quan Xihan, advisor to the China Calligraphers Association and himself a renowned calligrapher.

According to Liu Yi, another advisor to the association, Tu's handwriting is good at showcasing the beauty of lines and structure.

"Calligraphy the art of architecture of Chinese characters. No matter the regular script in small characters, the clerical script or the running script, they all indicate the beauty of structures," said Liu.

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