The Art of Asian Calligraphy: Manuscripts, Folios and Paintings

Ming's Gallery

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Asian Calligraphy

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The Art of Asian Calligraphy: Manuscripts, Folios and Paintings

Dating from the 15th through the 19th centuries, over 60 fine and rare original works from the Far, Middle and Near East illustrate the beauty and historic significance of the written language. This comprehensive survey reflects i the evolution of traditional composition techniques and their cultural formations.

To understand calligraphy, it is essential to examine the dual nature inherent in the origins of the art of writing. The material presented, be it religious, poetic, official or other, forms only one part of the message, which must be balanced by the style and intent of the artist/scribe. As most early or prehistoric recorded communication emerged from pictographics, the use of symbolism and subtle metaphors was often employed. Script types were also influenced by social customs, political convention and ethnic community.

The practice of calligraphy was viewed as a means of self-cultivation that established a relationship between the writer/scholar and a particular audience. Emphasis was placed on the innovative modes that heightened visual intensity by modifying standardized writing. This transformation rendered the informative content of a text into a visual interpretive of personal creative expression. This, it proves essential to engage the proper perspective when analyzing a specific work.

While knowledge is the foundation of writing, tradition plays a definitive role in discerning it's meaning and historical relevance. Each culture is actively shaped by the ruling elite, religious orders and commercial concerns that form a specific set of social loyalties and obligations. These circumstances affect not only format and translation; they embody the aesthetic expression of artistic sentient manifested in calligraphy. 

We have works from China, Japan, Persia, India, Burma, Turkestan, Egypt, Armenia, Algeria, Java, Korea, Syria, and Ceylon, along with a complete Ming Dynasty Buddhist Text and printing blocks.

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