ABOUT 200 participants flexed their artistic muscles at The Summit Subang USJ Calligraphy Competition 2014 recently.
The participants, aged between six and 73 years old, took part in the competition, which saw factors such as tidiness of characters and distribution of its space as part of the judging criteria.
Three judges from the Malaysian Calligraphy Association assessed the entries.
Chief judge Tham Hoe Yuen said factors, including the size and straightness of the characters, were important in the judging process.
Some still see the importance of this long-standing culture.
Sylvia Lim, 35, whose two daughters took part in the competition, said it was important for the young to learn and preserve the art form.
“Chinese calligraphy is a tradition for the Chinese,” she said.
“I feel that it is important for them to learn the art because many youngsters today don’t know how to do it.”
“People like to place couplets on their main doors or halls in their homes,” said The Summit Subang USJ senior marketing manager Wivien W.H. San.
“It is important to preserve the culture because fewer people do this nowadays.”
She added that many young students today did not know how to use the bamboo paint brush.
Categories for the competition included primary, secondary schoolchildren and Open Group categories.
This year, the organisers noticed an increase in participants from the primary category, with over half of the entries being young children.
The previous year saw more participants in the open category.
“It is difficult (to learn Chinese calligraphy) in the beginning,” said Lau Yu Xuan, 15, who was the grand-prize winner for the secondary students category.
The self-taught student slowly developed the skills to write by attending calligraphy competitions since the age of 12 and observing others.
The grand-prize winner in the primary category, Ling Xin Rou, 11, said she had been attending classes for six years.
She said she found out about the competition after reading about it the newspaper and decided to enter.
She said she practised a lot to improve her skills.
The grand-prize winner for the open category was Irene Sim Kwang Yin, 31.
All three winners received Popular Bookstore cash vouchers, trophies and certificates.