Chinese Calligraphy-A Bridge between the East and West------Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University Brings Chinese Calligraphy to North and South

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University [Time]    2011-03-21 11:20:33 

Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University of North Carolina, USA invited Professor Hong Zhao, an accomplished calligrapher from Beijing Capital Normal University, to hold a series of calligraphy demonstrations and educational programs from February 21, 2011 through March 1, 2011 for the local students and community. More than 600 students and local residents participated in this cultural / educational program.

Professor Hong Zhao gave the lectures to local elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and the community in North Carolina, such as Smith Academy of International Languages, Cuthbertson High School, Weddington High School and the Asian Library. In South Carolina, he gave lectures at the Confucius Institute at Presbyterian College and the Citadel.

In preparation for the lecture, the Director of Confucius Institute of Pfeiffer University and Professor Hong Zhao conferred about the best way to explain the unique oriental art and educate the local people. After several months' discussion and research, they finally decided to start with the origin of the writing system of the world and illustrated how a combination of continuity and evolution has left its characteristic stamp on China's writing system history. They decided to demonstrate the various kinds of calligraphic styles based on the comparison between Chinese calligraphy and western arts. This approach turned out to be both effective and efficient.

Rob Jackson, Principal of Cuthbertson High School says in the news report of the school, "…I have always been impressed with Chinese Calligraphy, but after seeing Dr. Hong Zhao create this beautiful art in person, I was astonished…" He depicts the Chinese characters as "they came out looking perfect and like an amazing piece of art…." He thinks the value of Chinese calligraphy is like the value of a Western painting. "…It really is admirable that the Chinese people can take such a normal thing like writing their alphabet and make it as meaningful as a Monet painting or a Picasso…" After the lecture, Professor Hong Zhao wrote the Chinese name of Cuthbertson High School in three different scripts and gave a seal with the school's Chinese name in it to Principal Rob Jackson. In return, Principal Rob Jackson gave an elegant yearbook and a school badge to Professor Zhao as a token of appreciation.

Professor Hong Zhao (right) gives the framed Chinese name of Cuthbertson High School to Principal Rob Jackson)(left)

Rob Jackson, Principal of Cuthbertson High School (left)gives a yearbook and school badge to Professor Hong Zhao(right)卡斯伯森中学(Cuthbertson High School)

At Weddington High School, Donna Podgorny, world language curriculum coordinator, delivered a warmhearted welcome speech, in which she started with Marco Polo's explorations and then talked about US President Richard Nixon's travel to China; Deng Xiaoping committed China to adopting policies which promote foreign trade and the frequent cultural exchanges and cooperation nowadays. At last, she said, "I especially thank Professor Wei Hong Yan, the Director of the Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University who is here today to offer this visit from one of China's most respected and educated scholars and calligraphers, Dr. Hong Zhao. You will have the unique opportunity of hearing Dr. Zhao speak in Chinese."The curious students posed a lot of interesting and profound questions, such as "why did the ancient Chinese people inscribe characters on the turtle's shells?" "Do you think whether another writing script will come into being in the future?" Dr. Joyce Dunlap, Assistant Principal of Weddington High School gave a school badge to Professor Zhao and expressed their gratitude to him for his impressive lecture and the beautiful framed Chinese name of the school and the exquisite seal carved specially for the school.

Pic3:Professor Hong Zhao(right)gives the framed Chinese name of Weddington High School to Dr. Joyce Dunlap(left)

As an example of the quintessence of Chinese culture, the Chinese calligraphy session brought enjoyment and a sense of esthetic satisfaction to the local students and residents. After the lecture, the students from Smith Academy of International Languages asked Professor Zhao and their teachers continually: "Could we meet Professor Zhao again?" "When could we have another lecture/demonstration on this topic?" Professor Hong Zhao wrote the new name of the school at the request of Ynez Olshausen, Principal of Smith Academy of International Languages. Ms. Olshausen thought highly of Professor Zhao's works and hoped they would be able to develop Chinese calligraphy courses soon with the help of Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University.

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