Encounter With the Calligrapher

Anyone will know the Calligraphers’ Street if they’ve been to Xi’an, China’s ancient walled capital about 13 hours inland from Beijing. We just returned from Xi’an. There is an amazing array of calligraphic supplies on offer.


We found the artisans in a courtyard. Ethan demonstrated to one calligrapher that he knew how to write his name in Chinese characters (Li San, rhymes with Ethan). The calligrapher stopped his work, and helped by his wife (who arranged his paper and ink), designed Ethan a message.

It instructs him, in effect: Study hard. Work hard in school, and learn more Chinese.

We didn’t buy anything there — these were very valuable art works. But we left with a priceless memento.

It was also nice at a shop afterwards, seeing the boys drawing characters, with water put out so anyone could practice. I lied, we bought one thing: a sort of Chinese calligraphy coloring book.

Ren, Shan, Wu, Shi, Yi, Dong, Yi Yuan...

5 comments on “Encounter With the Calligrapher

  1. i love calligraphy! so glad you had a chance to explore it. 🙂


  2. So much to learn. !!! Might try to find a workshop in Beijing during the kids’ Xmas break…. For now, the demand on me (outside the regular university gig) is lecturing to TOEFL teachers! Not exactly my specialty! But I’m trying starting to immerse.to learn, to give them something helpful. I am hoping (betting) our journalism principles will be useful. Being clear, concise, using the active voice… yoru magic principles, which I enjoyed the other week!


    • maxineswartz says:

      What is a TOEFL teacher, Jill? As a former teacher, I am interested. I loved the blog about the Calligraphy How wonderful for Lisan to experience this!


  3. […] Encounter With the Calligrapher (coplansinchina.wordpress.com) […]


  4. […] to study hard in calligraphy (phrased much more poetically-through an ancient stanza) –a gift from a calligrapher now hanging above his desk (left photo above). Another collects pieces, if he’s met the […]


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