The written Chinese language is one of the oldest active languages today, dating from the Shang Dynasty, more than 3,000 years ago, and is used by approximately 1.3 billion people today, mainly in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia, and in the other parts of the world. Even with the variety of Chinese which constitutes of the dialect, origin and regions, written Chinese is mainly based on the Mandarin.
Written Chinese is not based on an alphabet or a compact syllabary, but is comprised of the Chinese characters known as an opinion; meaning Han characters, to represent the Chinese language. The writing system is logosyllabic which means; a character represents one syllable of spoken Chinese and may be a word on its own or a part of a polysyllabic word. The characters often composed of parts that may represent physical objects, abstract notions or pronunciation.
Chinese characters in the written language can be complex, elaborate; hence writing the characters is considered an art form known as Chinese calligraphy.
The art of Chinese calligraphy
Chinese Calligraphy is a form of calligraphy widely practiced in China and revered in the Chinese cultural sphere, which often includes Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam. The calligraphic tradition of East Asia originated and developed from China and there is a general standardisation of the various styles of calligraphy in this tradition. Chinese painting and calligraphy distinguish themselves from other cultural arts because they emphasise motion and are charged with dynamic life.
Chinese calligraphy is considered to be an art form requiring mental disciple, which involves both the body and soul. The written characters have a unique ability to express spiritual feelings and other emotions as well as character and integrity. The Chinese calligraphy is unique to the Asian culture and the most treasured of the four arts of the Chinese literati, which include painting, playing a musical instrument and playing strategic board games.
Modern society has taken an interest in the Chinese community, due to their rich history, beautiful yet intriguing writing, spoken language and their cuisine. The creative society is one part of the community who have chosen to explore deeper within the Chinese writing and have turned it into an art form. Some individuals within society purchase Written Chinese artwork and it has become evident that some love to put it on the skin. The trend of tattooing and having one’s name translated into Chinese is growing daily within the youth culture.
Chinese calligraphy has become part of the pop culture because many young people enjoy the ambiguousness of the language and writing. It has gotten the “cool-factor” status within society, where one with a Chinese calligraphy tattoo is considered daring, adventurous and in touch with their inner self.