All for the love of Chinese calligraphy

Phoebe (front row, second from left) and two other SJK(C) Puay Chai 2 pupils showing the art pieces that they made for Dr Amiya (third from right). With them are Pang (second from right), Chen (in grey jacket), a teacher and one of the children’s parents. — Photos: AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

AN INDIAN academic who took a liking to Chinese calligraphy in 1989 has more than 300 pieces in his collection.

Lincoln University College vice-chancellor Dr Amiya Bhaumik said a Chinese friend gave him his first calligraphy art piece with the words “Believe in yourself” in Chinese.

“Most of the pieces in my collection are done by local Chinese.

“I framed many of them and some are hung on my office wall,” said Dr Amiya during a visit to SJK(C) Puay Chai 2, Petaling Jaya.

“Sometimes, I donate or give them away to people as a way of promoting this art.

“I donated a piece to a school during a visit to South Africa. I also explained the meaning of the Chinese characters to the principal, and he was fascinated that it had a beautiful message.

“I am impressed with how Chinese proverbs can be written in an art form,” he said.

Phoebe (right) showing her talent in writing Chinese calligraphy during Dr Amiya’s visit to the school.
Phoebe (right) showing her talent in writing Chinese calligraphy during Dr Amiya’s visit to the school.

“When you are able to put wise sayings into an artistic form, it enhances their meaning.

“Some of these Chinese sayings are motivational and can encourage students to perform better in their studies.

“I think SJK(C) Puay Chai 2 has done a good job in offering Chinese calligraphy lessons to its pupils.

“It is encouraging to see children being taught an art form that I consider worth preserving,” he added.

SJK(C) Puay Chai 2 headmistress Pang Lai Cheun said Chinese calligraphy is a form of artistic writing of Chinese characters unique to Chinese culture.

“The school encourages pupils to take up Chinese calligraphy, but sometimes parents are not supportive.

“We hope more parents will send their children for Chinese calligraphy classes to preserve the culture,” she said.

Phoebe Chung Ru Jade, a Year Six pupil of the school said she fell in love with Chinese calligraphy at a young age.

“It teaches me to be patient. I hope that Chinese calligraphy will continue to be taught in schools,” said Phoebe.

Another Year Six pupil, Wha Xiao Yong, said she had been writing Chinese calligraphy since she was nine years old.

“It has taught me to be more patient and it is also a form of relaxation.”

Vanessa Foo Yi Roo, a Year Three pupil at the school, said she was exposed to Chinese calligraphy when she was a toddler.

Local Chinese calligraphy artist, Chen Ifarn, did 10 calligraphy pieces for Lincoln University College.

“I have always been interested in Chinese calligraphy since I was young.

“When I heard about the chance to do Chinese calligraphy for Lincoln University College, I decided to do some pieces,” he said.

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