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The Simple Art of Chinese Calligraphy: Create Your Own Chinese Characters and Symbols for Good Fortune and Prosperity (Hardcover)

The Simple Art of Chinese Calligraphy: Create Your Own Chinese Characters and Symbols for Good Fortune and Prosperity (Hardcover)
Author/Publisher: Lei Lei Qu, Lei Lei Qui
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Handwriting/calligraphy
Level: Beginning
List Price: $24.95

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Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Practiced for over 5,000 years, Chinese calligraphy is arguably the most revered art form in the East. The Simple Art of Chinese Calligraphy is the complete, step-by-step beginner's guide to creating the sacred characters of Chinese script-the fragile motifs of fruit and flowers that have deep meaning in Eastern philosophy, and the symbols of happiness and fulfillment. In this unique guide, renowned calligraphy artist Qui Lei Lei teaches the philosophy of this ancient art and demonstrates how to create the most important symbols of Chinese folklore-Luck, Love, Happiness, and Long Life. Chinese calligraphy calls for a meditative, relaxing focus on the task of creating unique, time-honored characters. As readers gather and arrange their materials-the four treasures-the author demonstrates how to perform the truly ancient ritual of preparing the mind and body for the practice. When readers create these unique symbols and signs, they will not only create beauty and rhythm on the page but also see how to connect with the spirituality that lies beneath much of the practice. Next, easy-to-follow illustrations explain how to reproduce such popular Chinese imagery as the Three Friends of Winter, plum blossoms for peace and love; bamboo shoots for longevity, and the fronds of the pine tree for vigor and new life. Finally, readers can explore a series of step-by-step calligraphy projects, including greeting cards, place mats, decorative books, and T-shirts.

About the Author
Qui Lei Lei was born in China in the 1950s but emigrated to England from Beijing after the cultural revolution in 1981. He tutored in Chinese art at Oxford University and has been a visiting scholar at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He lives in Wimbledon, South London.

Product Details
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications; 1st edition (October 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0823048381
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 4 reviews.

Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

Beautiful calligraphy, November 7, 2005

Reviewer: C. Chuang "Good Characters" (CA, USA)

This is a good book for the beginning Chinese calligraphy learner and anyone who wants to know the history and basic principles of the art. It explains "the four treasures" -- the brush, ink, paper, and the ink stone -- and shows how to choose the right ones. It has beautiful calligraphy writing, superior to what is found in many other books on the same subject.

The book contains many easy-to-follow projects. The book does not explain this, but on page 107 it presents the "mounting" project. The two characters shown make the name Tai Shan, also known as Mount Tai, a famous mountain in Shandong Province. Interestingly enough, Tai Shan is also the name for the National Zoo's baby panda. If you are in the mood, you can copy the characters and present the copy to your father-in-law to show your respect. After all, Tai Shan is also one way to address one's wife's father.

I did find a small mistake in the book. On page 123 the last character in the last line should be Gan with the first tone, meaning dry or dried, instead of Gan with the fourth tone, meaning the trunk of a tree.

Overall a very good and eye-pleasing book. Highly recommended.


6 of 12 people found the following review helpful:

Actually, sorry for purchasing that, December 17, 2004

Reviewer: Ivan Zucenko "student of chinese" (Czech republic, Europe)

Well a do not believe this book is rated as 5-star. I do belive the author is extremly good caligraphy painter but this book is intended may be for really small kids at age like 5-10. Everything is explained in souch a simple and shallow way than nobody seriously interested can be satisfied. Sorry .. nice pictures but for sure.. This book does not have anythink but 10 pages in common with caligraphy. So if you are interested in calligraphy and not in creating smal simple gifts to your child friend dont byu it. But once again the book is not bad.. but badly described or may be I just chose it badly, any way I hope this can help otherst to buy or not to buy.


30 of 31 people found the following review helpful:

Truly a masterpiece for all calligraphy beginners & students, January 10, 2003

Reviewer: NFL-PRO-34 (United States)

This is the absolutely perfect book for ANY beginner as they take their first steps on the 1000 mile journey of Chinese calligraphy. From beginning to end, the bold, large text, striking colored illustrations, step-by-step definitions, impressive historical references & accuracy make this book a complete calligraphy BIBLE! This book covers EVERY single aspect of calligraphy from its ancient history and style transformations to individual sections on brushes, inkstones, ink, holding brushes, stoke techniques, components of the basic character of Yong and everything else one would need to understand, getting started, practice and perfect this masterful artform. Sections include: Materials, Techniques, Creating Characters, & LOADS OF PROJECTS to keep the novice entertained and motivated to share their new art with others. There is an abundance of information in this book and the format is rich & well-written. The plethora of character examples and practice techniques can quickly provide the much needed confidence and encouragement to not only keep a dedicated student going but getting the sheepish to begin to pick up their first brush.

There is absolutely nothing missing from this oracle and this is an absolutely must buy for all calligraphy followers. The projects in this book cover everything from fans to greeting cards, bamboo placemats & calligraphy on stone. If you want to be delightfully entertained and educated on the ancient art of calligraphy, then pick up this book! Wishing you a blessed journey!


17 of 18 people found the following review helpful:

An introduction to the timeless joy of an ancient art form, December 8, 2002

Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

The Simple Art Of Chinese Calligraphy is a captivating introduction to learning and practicing the 6,000-year-old art of Chinese calligraphy as author Qu Lei Lei draws upon his personal expertise as an artist and calligrapher whose work has been exhibited in a number of galleries and museums in London, Paris, Geneva, Singapore, Tokyo, and Venice, and who has been a guest lecturer in Chinese art and calligraphy at the British Museum, the Victoria& Albert Museum, the Ruskin School of Art, as well as the Christie and Sotheby auction houses. Basic characters for good luck and other worthy concepts, stroke techniques, beautiful paper fans, and much more are discussed and described with easy-to-follow instructions and gorgeous full color photographs. The Simple Art Of Chinese Calligraphy is a superbly presented and truly first-rate introduction to the timeless joy of an ancient art form with an enduring popularity.


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