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Midterm Essay Questions

Midterm Essay Questions - CHIN 52 Chinese Culture Through...

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CHIN 52 Chinese Culture Through Chinese Calligraphy Midterm Questions 1. What are the four essentials/treasures for Chinese calligraphy? ~ Brush Pen : Made of bamboo and a tuft of animal hair. Tapered to precision for picking up ink and creating the different shapes in calligraphy. ~ Ink : Two components: liquid ink and ink-stick. The ink-stick is basically a dried mixture of glue and soot and liquid ink is made by rubbing the ink stick in water on an ink stone. This thickens the water until it reaches the ideal viscosity. ~ Paper : Paper is rice paper and absorbent. ~ Ink Stone : Piece of stone with a hollow to hold ink and can also be used as a paper weight. It is used to smooth the brush by stroking it along the side of the stone and at the same time, squeeze out excessive ink. 2. What is the tuft of Chinese writing brushes usually made of? ~ Tuft is usually made of weasel, hare or goat hair. Goat hair is relatively soft and easier to handle. Weasel and Hare hair are more resilient and harder to maneuver but are used for thin and sharp strokes. 3. What qualities do Chinese brushes have to make them ideal instruments for Chinese calligraphy? ~ Four qualities: Fine : come to a fine point Even : even length of hair to distribute ink evenly and so that they all touch the paper at the same time. Round : create shapely strokes. Robust : prevent having to go back to the stone to reshape the tuft. - flexibility to vary thickness of strokes - it must serve as a well or fountain to keep ink and let it down when writing 4. How does Chinese calligraphy differ from Western Calligraphy? ~ Western: Lacks variety: 26 letters…all from circles, curves and straight and inclined lines Embellishment of first letters are often paintings and not calligraphy Must be written from left to right ~ Chinese:
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Variety in the shapes of the strokes and each stroke may contain an individual variation of form Each character is constructed in an imaginary square. 5. Is the following statement correct? Why and why not? “Chinese is a pictographic language. Each written character is a picture of an object.” The statement is not correct Chinese is not longer a pictographic language. No language is totally pictographic b/c each contains abstract ideas The writing system of modern Chinese is ideographic or logographic (each written symbol represents the meaning of the symbol, rather than a picture of the object)
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