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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I know nothing about calligraphy -TIAN at gilded work

Once upon a time, ... 
I met a young learner, an artist inside,

who came form the eastern shores of the northern China sea,

Tianwei 李天伟.

He kindly accepted my humble proposal to paint a panel for me.

It become a harder work than expected.
I learned on the way about practical aspects of Chinese calligraphy, as if it had been an open book! The flow of the tool, the space around the character, the order of strokes, etc.
How pleasant it was for me ... as it was action for him!

Now the process itself. We went through all the stages, in harmony, five of them, of course:

STAGE 1. Inscription:
Message. Which one?
select something meaningful
a bit eastern, a bit western.

I said "Em sona a chino" (in Catalan : "it sounds Chinese to me")
He said: 'it is Greek to me.'

The final selection was evenly decided: Master Socrates came to help us.
Wǒ zhī wǒ bù zhī suǒ zhī

Meǐ rén bǐ tā gèng zhì huì 
    "I know i know nothing". - Socrates (470-399 a. C) 
    The Master (= Confucius -551–479 BC) said:
                "No-one is wiser than him"


Suport.  He wrote the characters stylistically on 2 long pieces,
one for each sentence.

It was necessary to add the comments:
1- The first piece was said by Socrates (="so+ga+re+tu)To write his name he needed 4 extra characters!

2- he started the second sentence with the typical Confucius start:"The Master said:", as in the Analectas  论语, pinyin: Lún Yǔ

He said: Now I know I have to paint 
11 (7 +4) characters on first lineand 9 (2+ 7) on the second line
This is the part I really enjoyed as I tried to repeat and disciplined myself to draw the characters in the RIGHT order!  And my attempts were poorly done. It only meant I needed more practice ... till one day  woill arrive that I would be able to write in the right order of strokes, the the ink and flow of tool, and so on!  In this regard I like G. K. Chesterton's quote: 
  • “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” 


He said:  Distributing space, the best answer was:
  1- different size for text and place it in the centre,

  2- Socrates on the upper right part and 
3  The Master on the lower left part,
to keep the harmony on the panel.

Now go on next stage...

Working on the correct size, but with a thicker brush
we calibrated the width of the brushpaint on the surface:

1 -We worked on a larger size first and 

2- adapted to the second sentence.


Many thanks for this personal workshop we shared, Tian and me, during a weekend of June in Manresa.
Last words from Tianwei:
To say it with a Chinese motto:


  • One minute's brilliant performance on the stage
  •  is attributed to ten years' practice under the stage.

To reach Tianwei... click here 

PS: In other words.... 

TIANWEI shows some of his skills at calligraphy in Catalonia, "Writing Beauty", a forgotten art. 

If you had troubles with video viewing, try VIMEO links below:

2-VID 1-socrates:  ________________

2-VID-201master said: _____________

4-in progress-WA0008   _______

4-compared panels- WA0009 ___

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