Angela | Calligraphy
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The tools for Chinese calligraphy are few-an ink stick, an ink stone, a brush, and paper.


The calligrapher, using a combination of technical skill and imagination, must provide interesting shapes to the strokes and must compose beautiful structures from them without any retouching or shading and, most important of all, with well-balanced spaces between strokes. This balance needs years of practice and training.


Giving easy movement to the brush to trail from one word to another. This is called xinshu or running script. This, in turn, led to the creation of kasha, or print style.


A finished piece of fine calligraphy is not a symmetrical arrangement of conventional shapes, but, rather, something like the coordinated movements of a skillfully composed dance-impulse, momentum, momentary poise, and the interplay of a active forces combining to form a whole balance.

The Four Treasures of the Study

The ink brush, ink stick, paper, and inkstone are essential implements of Chinese calligraphy; they are known together as the Four Treasures of the Study (文房四寶).

The Brush (毛筆)

The body of the brush can be made from bamboo, sandalwood, glass, ivory, silver, and gold.

The head of the brush can be made from the hair (or feathers) of a wide variety of animals, including the weasel, rabbit, deer, chicken, duck, goat or wolf.

There is a tradition in China – making the head of brush by using the hair of a newborn, as an once-in-a-lifetime souvenir for the child. This practice is associated with the legend of an ancient Chinese scholar who scored first in the imperial examinations by using such a personalized brush.

The ink ()

It is made from lampblack (soot) and binders, and comes in ink sticks which must be rubbed with water on an inkstone until the right consistency is achieved. Cheaper, pre-mixed bottled inks are now available, but these are used primarily for practice.

Learning to rub the ink correctly is an essential part of calligraphy study.  Meditation and contemplation go along with the progression of ink making.  Traditionally, Chinese calligraphy is written in black ink, but modern calligraphers sometimes use other colours.

The Rice Paper (宣紙)

The best rice paper are made in Anhui province, and is the preferred type of paper for Chinese Scholars . It’s made from the Tartar wingceltis (青檀) as well as other materials including rice, Broussonetia papyrifera (構樹), bamboo and hemp.

The  Inkstone (硯臺)

A slab of stone on which to grind dry ink and mix it with water. Used in Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Works by Angela Jui Lee

Drinking Alone Under The Moon (first of four)


by Poet Li Bai 李白701762

A jug of wine amidst the flowers,

Drinking alone, with no friend near.

Raising my cup, I beckon the bright moon;

My shadow included, we’re a party of three.

Although the moon’s unused to drinking,

And the shadow only apes my every move,

For the moment I’ll just  take them as they are.

Enjoying Spring when Spring is here.

Reeling shadow, swaying moon

Attend my dance and song.

Still sober, we rejoice together;

Drunk, each taken his leave.

To seal forever such unfettered friendship

Let’s rendezvous beyond the Milky Way.