A Calligraphy Exhibition has opened in Moscow
In early November Sokolniki Park, Moscow, saw the opening of the International Exhibition of Calligraphy, featuring over eighty works of art by professional calligraphers and designers from around the world, including Russia, Mongolia, the USA, China, and Israel.
The exhibition is held in Russia for the fourth time already: the active promotion of ancient art started in 2008. The first exhibition was held in the Russian Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. In the same year, the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy was launched in Sokolniki.
Today the exhibition organizers set an ambitious and an acute social goal: to build up a beautiful and healthy society through art. Well, you cannot poke a hole in it, for both experts and amateurs agree that even a perfunctory study of the art of beautiful handwriting can enhance patience, concentration, carefulness, and discipline that are treasured so much in the Orient world. Here you can also learn to depict these symbols and hieroglyphs: starting from November 4th, the exhibition hall will be accommodating workshops by renowned calligraphy experts, whereas a new “winter” enrolment into the National School of Calligraphy is scheduled for December. The school is run by such famous Russian artists as Artyom Lebedev and Yuri Koverdyayev; their works, by the way, are also on display at the exhibition.
A special place at the exhibition is occupied by a masterpiece of Valerian Bakharyov, a famous Russian artist. A large rectangular panel comprises sixty-four smaller pictures, representing the I-Ching hexagrams. I-Ching, also known as the Classic Book of Changes, was used by the ancient Chinese for fortunetelling purposes.
Each hexagram is depicted as a hieroglyph intricately interwoven with a vivid background image; a hexagram designation in the form of the yao sticks is put in the corner. Moreover, unlike most other reserved “monochrome” calligraphic works, represented at the exhibition, Bakharyov’s work radiates a lively palette of colours.
Sven Palmer’s work is no less compelling. The German artist had chiseled a Sanskrit rubric on a rock of stone, which reads as “Karmapa chenno”, meaning “Power of all the Buddhas, work through us, become one with us.” This is one of the most famous Tibetan mantras and is now chiselled out on a yellow sandstone chunk and covered with gold leaf.
The artists believe professional calligraphy is a kind of meditation in order to attain the highest degree of self-control. The state of a calligrapher in the moment of creation is the triumph of the Mind, not subjugating Emotion but acting in concord with it. In this state, they say, the brush becomes the continuation of the hand; the image becomes the exact embodiment of the idea.
Calligraphy on a Wing of a Fly is a peculiar miniature contrasting the Sanskrit and Arab lettering, created by Chen Forng Shean (Taiwan). The miniature depicts a seated Taoist monk with an unfolded manuscript with two flies sitting on it. Only through a looking glass can you distinguish the thrice-repeated declaration of love for Russia, “Russia, I love you!”, a symbol of Chen Forng Shean’s deep gratitude to Russia and his Russian admirers.
The underlying element of the art of calligraphy is an ordinary line, hence in visual arts, like in no other, the artist’s innate emotions have an immense impact on the “final product”. The line can be drawn with love, with joy, with grief, or with absent-mindedness. All these emotions are expressed on paper.
According to Mateo Kyu Lee (USA), everybody wants to reflect the light of God according to her own ability. Anybody can make a sign by hand, this is her creation. That is calligraphy. For in these secret symbols and characters, reflecting thought, personality, images, the harmony of black and white is attained, and harmony is something we are all looking for in our everyday life.