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Chinese Calligraphy

Chinese calligraphy (Brush calligraphy) is a kind of art in China. Shu (calligraphy) is one of the four disciplines all members of the Chinese intellectual class were expected to be skilled in; the other three disciplines were Hua (painting), Qin (a string musical instrument), and Qi (a strategic board game). Chinese calligraphy has evolved constantly over thousands of years without interruption. It is often considered to be the most sublime art form in Chinese culture as well as the most abstract, "Shu Fa" (calligraphy) is also thought to reveal the most about one's personality.

In the feudal period, ability in calligraphy was a major deciding factor in the selection of officials to the Emperor's court. Calligraphy is dissimilar to other visual art techniques, in that all strokes of the brush are permanent and irreversible, demanding great care in the planning and a confident execution. By varying the ink concentration, the brush flexibility, and the thickness of the paper and how absorptive it is, the artist is capable of producing a seemingly endless variety of styles and forms.

Unlike in western calligraphy, ink blots and dry brush strokes are viewed as impromptu expressions rather than as flaws in the composition. Whilst western calligraphy often aspires to a font-like uniformity, in Chinese calligraphy such homogeneity of characters is considered a display of technical rather than artistic merit. To the Chinese calligrapher, calligraphy is a mental exercise that requires coordination of the body and mind to determine and produce the best style and form to fully express the meaning and content of the text.

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