'The Calligraphy of Dunhuang' launched in Beijing

09:11, September 02, 2010      

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Qin Chuan, the author of "The Calligraphy of Dunhuang" writes calligraphy during a promotional event for his new book on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 in Beijing. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

A new book called "The Calligraphy of Dunhuang" is launched Wednesday in Beijing, which happens to be the first of its kind throughout the world.

Dunhuang is a gene bank for Chinese calligraphy, said Qin Chuan, the book's author. In seven consecutive centuries, numerous people wrote Buddhist sutras word by word in Dunhuang, an important cultural town in China's history. And archeologists have found some 50 thousand sutras there. These handwriting relics are priceless materials for people studying the evolution of Chinese calligraphy.

In addition, Dunhuang Hanjian, literally bamboo slips from the Han Dynasties unearthed in Dunhuang, have proven that all writing styles the Chinese use today such as Kaishu and Caoshu can be traced back to the Han Dynasty, some 2,000 years ago, said Qin Chuan.

Unfortunately, only few people have realized the value of Dunhuang calligraphy. Although many people study Dunhuang, including foreign scholars from Japan, Russia and some European countries, most of them mainly focus on painted sculptures, mural paintings, and historical documents found in Dunhuang.

As a local born in Dunhuang, Qin thinks it's his obligation to carry on and promote this unique art in China. Qin hopes that his work will explain the history and art of Dunhuang's calligraphy.

Qin says his book is not a dull and boring text about the past. He is trying to share some interesting and unknown stories to the readers. For example, many people saw the Beijing Olympic emblem, "Chinese Seal, Dancing Beijing", which deeply impressed the whole world. But they probably don't know that the word for Beijing and the number "2008" is written in the ancient style of Dunhuang Hanjian, he added.

Qin is a TV program director. He and his colleagues made a documentary about Dunhuang calligraphy last year. After the four-episode documentary was aired on China's Central Television (CCTV), it aroused nationwide attention. Based on its success, Qin Chuan decided to write the book.

He is also the president of the calligrapher association in Jiuquan City, located in northwest China's Gansu province. He has been practicing calligraphy for more than 20 years.

Source: CRI online


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