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.
- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications; 1st edition (October
- 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.
|6 of 6 people found the following review
Beautiful calligraphy, November 7, 2005
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
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
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
Actually, sorry for purchasing that, December 17, 2004
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
Truly a masterpiece for all calligraphy beginners & students,
January 10, 2003
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
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
An introduction to the timeless joy of an ancient art form,
December 8, 2002
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.