Participants at a Chinese calligraphy workshop learned the history and basics of calligraphy in time for the upcoming Lunar New Year.
Held last weekend at Menara Star in Section 16, Petaling Jaya, the workshop organised by Star Media Group drew 71 participants, aged between 15 and 85.
It was conducted by Calligraphy Society of Malaysia Judging Committee chairman and Kuala Lumpur Calligraphy Society president Ng Swee Kheng.
Wong Kam Wah, a retiree in his 60s, tried his hand at calligraphy for the first time.
Despite not knowing how to read Chinese, he signed up for the workshop after reading about it in The Star.
“It is an art and helps to keep us busy. After learning the basics, I will be able to practise at home, in time for Chinese New Year,” he said.
Tan Haw Jen, 24, who got to know about the workshop from his aunt, is also interested in the art.
“Calligraphy is beneficial in training one’s mind, you can learn to be more focused and attentive to details.
“Compared to my teachers in school who were not passionate about calligraphy, Ng was able to make the workshop interesting and engaging,” he said.
It has been decades since Lim Tong Ming, 80, last dabbled in calligraphy.
“I remember learning calligraphy in school. This was a well-organised event and the teacher was able to generate interest for the art.
“Learning about its history helps us have a better understanding of calligraphy. I would highly recommend such workshops to my friends,” he said.
Ng gave students a basic introduction to Chinese calligraphy and history and taught them writing techniques and brush strokes.
“Many (in Malaysia) learn kai shu (regular script) in school but I think it is important for students to learn about calligraphy following the chronology of dynasties, starting from the original bronze script, followed by seal, clerical, regular, running and cursive scripts.
“I hope my calligraphy students will learn to appreciate beauty and art. Only through art and culture is one able to elevate one’s status.”
“I also hope they can adapt the philosophies into their daily life.
“It is like meditation and helps in longevity. Our first president (for the Kuala Lumpur Calligraphy Society) is 90 years old,” he said.
After the workshop, Ng demonstrated his skills by writing the word “fu”, which means good fortune or blessings, using a giant brush and gifted the 10m x 10m calligraphy to Star Media Group.
Participants took home a brush, a set of their own artwork and a goodie bag worth over RM150 each with products sponsored by Rhymba Hills and Love Earth Organic.