An Exercise in ImperfectionBeijing, Spring 2012
To my readers – first off, I apologize for the lack of updates! It’s been a busy couple of weeks at IES, and while I have many things to blog about, I haven’t yet found time to blog. So here is the first in a series of quick updates on various aspects of life at IES Beijing.
One of my biggest goals for my semester in China was to take a class on calligraphy. Unfortunately, since I decided to do the Contemporary Issues program rather than Language Intensive, I was unable to sign up for the calligraphy class with Fang Laoshi, the resident art professor at IES Beijing whose work is featured throughout the building. However, he did have a calligraphy “club” that met once a week to teach basic calligraphy, and I was thankfully able to sign up!
I had tried calligraphy once before in high school when I took Japanese, and once again I found that the same problems that plagued me then still affected me now – I had trouble moving the brush slowly enough, I didn’t put enough force into some of the strokes, and sometimes had trouble distinguishing between which technique to use when. Despite that, the calligraphy club has been a great way both to relax midway through the week, listen to Fang Laoshi lecture about the history of calligraphy and proper technique, and allow myself to be imperfect for once. I had no grade dependent on my calligraphy performance, so I was able to try without fear of failure, appreciate the art form, and loosen up a bit.
That, and I got Fang Laoshi to write my name – so if nothing else, I came away from the experience with an awesome piece of artwork done by a man who seems to know everything about everything.
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