Chinese Calligraphy in Theory and Practice
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Hiina kalligraafia teoorias ja praktikas
Course title in English
Chinese Calligraphy in Theory and Practice
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2020/2021  Autumn semester
Qizhou Chen (inglise keel) tavaline kursus
lecturer of 2020/2021  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
The course aims on giving an overview of the basic outlines of Chinese script, its development and history and different styles of calligraphy. The course offers an opportunity to practice the writing of Chinese characters in standard script.
Brief description of the course
The course gives an overview of the history and development of Chinese script and its practical usages. During the course will be introduced different styles of calligraphy and significant calligraphers in the history. Also there will be explained the structure of character and the compositional elements of calligraphy works. The course introduces the use of materials and tools in calligraphy and writing rules, as well as eight basic types of strokes and their variations used in writing characters. The students will learn the meaning of few Chinese characters and the way how to write correctly these characters. They will learn the nature of calligraphy through practical works.
Independent work
The student has to practise individually the different types of strokes of characters learned in the lessons and copies the copy book. He or she chooses by him/herself one characters or a word and submits a calligraphy artwork of these characters for evaluation. The volume of individual work is 80 hours.
Learning outcomes in the course
Upon successful completion of the course the student
• knows and is able to give a short overview of the history of Chinese script and the different usages of calligraphy, and to name some outstanding callgraphers in the history
• knows how to differentiate various styles of calligraphy and is able to describe their characteristics in few words
• knows the structural principles of characters and parts of compostion of a calligraphy artwork
• knows the right manner of writing characters and is able to choose materials and tools for calligraphy works
• knows the eight basic types of strokes and their variations and is able to write them correctly
• knows the meaning of one or a couple of characters as well as their structure and is able to write them in a correct way.
Assessment methods
Student has to attend at least in 70% (20 hours of contact lessons out of 28) of lectures and workshops.
Evaluation of student’s knowledge of Chinese calligraphy consists two parts: theory test and practical work. In written test will be examined student’s theoretical knowledge about the history of Chinese writing, and the structure and various styles of Chinese characters. As a practical work the student will submit in end of the course at least one calligraphy work (one or several characters), by which will be assessed student’s practical knowledge and skills of writing Chinese characters.
Instead of the calligraphic work student is also allowed to hand in one longer essay (10 to 12 pages).
Kraft, Kristiina
Replacement literature
Guo, Bonan. Gate to Chinese calligraphy. Beijing, Foreign Languages Press, 1995.
Huang, Quanxin. A self-study course in regular script. Beijing: Sinolingua, 1997.
Lai, Tien-chang. Chinese calligraphy: an introduction. Seattle; London: University of Washington Press, 1975.
Heinz Götze, ed. Chinese and Japanese calligraphy: spanning two thousand years. München: Prestel, c1989.
Hearn, Maxwell K. How to read Chinsese paintings. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; New Haven; London: Yale University Press, c2008.
Sullivan , Michael. The Arts of China. Berkeley, California, London,University of California Press, 2008.
Qu, Lei Lei. Esimesed sammud Hiina kalligraafias: õpi kirjutama õnne ja edu sümboleid. Tallinn, Koolibri, 2008.
The Beauty of Chinese painting, calligraphy and seal: selected works by calligraphers. Kaohsiung: Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, 1996.