Baruch’s Confucius Institute for Global Finance Brings Chinese Calligraphy to Campus
October 22, 2019
A group of Baruch students traded laptops and smartphones for brush and ink to try their hands at Chinese calligraphy, a celebrated visual art form that dates back thousands of years, at a workshop organized by The Confucius Institute for Global Finance at Baruch College (NYCIGF@Baruch) and the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera at Binghamton University. Faculty and staff members also joined students at the free event on September 16.
According to Matthew LePere, American director for NYCIGF@Baruch, the cultural workshop reflects the broad vision of Baruch’s Confucius Institute.
“While the College’s Confucius Institute offers free Chinese language classes to the campus community, along with global business seminars open to the public, it similarly looks to bring a variety of cultural workshops and experiences to Baruch,” explained LePere. “The goal is to help people gain a richer understanding of a culture’s language, traditions, and customs and, in doing so, broaden their global awareness and appreciation of another country and its history.”
Chinese Calligraphy: An Ancient History; An Art Form Today
The workshop kicked off with a look back at the fascinating history and evolution of Chinese character, which spans more than 4,000 years from their first emergence.
Xiuwen Li, an instructor from Binghamton University’s Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera, spoke of the legend of Canjie’s invention of Chinese characters (ca. 2650 BCE), to Oracle Bone Inscriptions in ancient China, to Bronze characters on ancient bronze utensils, to the decorative seal script of Qin (ca. 221 BC).
Workshop participants then learned about the different styles of characters like Lishu, Xingshu and Caoshu, and how the writing skills developed from practical functions to the unique art of calligraphy.
After the historical overview, Xiuwen showed participants how to properly hold and move the Maobi, a traditional ink brush used in Chinese calligraphy. With practice and instructors’ help, students, faculty and staff were writing their names in bold, black, fluid Chinese characters at the end of the workshop.
Upcoming NYCIGF@Baruch Events:
LePere notes that NYCIGF@Baruch is planning more cultural workshops during the academic year, along with seminars on global finance and business. Learn more about NYCIGF@Baruch here.
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