Chinese calligraphy is considered supreme and unique among the world arts, which is also described as the “poem of no word, dance with no act, painting with no figure and music with no sound”. As our 11th Artist-in-Residence, Prof. ZHANG Aiguo follows the root of the calligraphers of Ming and Qing dynasty to create his work with deep tradition and unique style. During his residence on campus, he not only presented to us the extraordinary Chinese calligraphy, by which he also defined what exactly “calligraphy is the person” means.
Lecture: Appreciation of Calligraphy
Through an easily understandable way of appreciation, Prof. ZHANG showed inside out the glamour of calligraphy and the subtlety of calligraphy creation.
In the workshop, the students followed Prof. ZHANG to make seals with their own hands and were fascinated by the beauty of seal carving which could present all within a tiny square stamp.
Exhibition: Calligraphy is the Person
This solo exhibition of Prof. ZHANG presented 32 pieces of his works on calligraphy and seal carving. At the Opening Ceremony, he also created on site without pause a 3.6 x 1.45m calligraphy of “By the Pond and Bamboo”, a seven-character eight-line regulated verse by BAI Juyi from Tang dynasty. President XU attended the opening ceremony and awarded the Artist-in-Residence certificate to Prof. ZHANG.
Prof. ZHANG’s works are created with the deep tradition, which follows the root of the calligraphers of Ming and Qing dynasties. In the calligraphy workshop, Prof. ZHANG shared with us his creative ideas and the way of expression.
The 11th Artist-in-Residence
Prof. ZHANG Aiguo
Prof. ZHANG Aiguo, with a signature name "Lao Ai", attended Calligraphy and Seal Carving major in the China Academy of Art (CAA) from undergraduate to doctorate programme. He studied under Prof. WANG Dongling and received his PhD in 2007. At present, he serves as Associate Professor and Master's Programme Supervisor in the Faculty of Calligraphy in CAA, member of the Chinese Calligraphers Association, Research Fellow of Contemporary Chinese Calligraphy Research Institute of CAA and Distinguished Artist of Xiling Painting & Calligraphy Academy. Articles and essays include "The Blue Book of Chinese Modern Calligraphy", "Picture Selections of Ming-Qing Diao Calligraphy", "Pan Tianshou and Chinese Calligraphy of the 20th Century", amongst many others.
Prof. ZHANG’s works are created with the deep tradition, which follows the root of the calligraphers of Ming and Qing dynasties as well as those in ancient times. At the same time, his calligraphy works are fulfilled with his strong self-expression and the creative idea of "complementing the extremes and combining China and the West", which are of great value and inspiration to the calligraphy creation of today.
In terms of the relationship between man and calligraphy, he insists on the idea of "calligraphy is the person" and is against the perspective of humanocentrism which places man above calligraphy. He calls for more reflection of Chinese calligraphy on the present, on the spirits of the era and the appreciation of beauty. He also claims that calligraphy should be presented directly to and about the man.
In 2016, the University initiated the Artist-in-Residence Program to create an artistic atmosphere on campus and to elevate student's aesthetic taste. We regularly invite top artists from various fields to reside on campus, create artworks and hold workshops with students.
The program may last 5-10 days or 1-2 months. Artists will work with or guide students to create or appreciate artworks through workshop or lectures. Artists will also take into account resources available off campus to contribute towards our development