Kevina Lee

Chinese calligraphy is, according to Columbia University, "the writing of characters" and "an art which has developed over many centuries in China."

A little more from Columbia University on Chinese calligraphy's usage today:

We usually associate this word with good penmanship, handwriting that is neat, legible and attractive. In China, however, calligraphy is regarded as an art from in itself and is admired and displayed in museums just as paintings are.

Moreover, calligraphy is often used to decorate articles of everyday use. For instance, when you go to a Chinese restaurant you may notice that the dishes are painted with characters as well as with colorful pictures. Even on the ordinary, everyday level of life, beautiful writing is appreciated.

The origins of Chinese calligraphy, according to Art Virtue, are a little tricky:

No verifiable source was ever found in ancient Chinese history. Legend says that during the reign of the Yellow Emperor (黃 帝) Tsung Jie (倉 頡) invented the Chinese characters. Calligraphy came with invention of the characters as the Chinese people found a beautiful way to write and began to appreciate the beauty. We may attribute the invention to 4,600 years ago, but this was only a legendary tale and may not be credible.

Although calligraphy is not widely practiced today, it is a piece of culture that is dear to Chinese history. The process is also quite intricate, as you'll need specific materials to begin writing the characters or painting artwork. This website will shed some insight into that process.

Now that you know a little about the history, let's head on over to see what you'll need.