|陈振光与他的书法 Johnson and his calligraphy|
Friday, October 29, 2010
Johnson Tan Chin Kwang on Learning Calligraphy by English Educated 陈振光谈受英文教育者学书法
Today, Johnson Tan, an English educated, shares with us his determination and experiences in learning Chinese calligraphy.
For me, conversational Chinese and reading the classic/complicated font are quite manageable and life goes on. Writing in Chinese is generally not common in my working environment and as years passed by I have returned what I have learned to my Chinese teachers.
And then there is a need to do business with China, as most businesses today cannot miss the opportunity created by this big and fast growing economy. However, this is becoming a challenge for me. If I can speak fluently in Mandarin and am able to read Chinese, I can position myself well within the China business circle. But, the fact is that what I learned in school is not good enough. The rich and long history of China are much more than what I had learned before and the Chinese literature, classics, poems, writing and many more are just alien to me.
With no regrets for the past, I try to find opportunities to read and write in Chinese. Now my weekends mean having to read the Singapore main Chinese newspaper Zaobao together with my daily Straits Times. In order to brush up my Chinese, I also watch Chinese classic serial movies like the ‘The Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, ‘Water Margin’, ‘Kangxi Dynasty’, ‘The Grand Mansion’. These are just some very good serial movies that conveniently provide me with some facts on Chinese history and other Chinese knowledge.
A Chinese folktale talks about ‘The old man moves a mountain’, which is actually about how ‘Faith can move mountain and without Faith, non-existing mountain will just be created’. There is also a saying that ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step’. All these encouraging and positive idioms are very useful and applicable in our lifestyle that I would like to share with you. I take the courage and determination to enrol in a 3-year learning course on Chinese Calligraphy and literature at the CCSS. During the 3 year period, I had the privilege to learn from my teachers, my seniors and peers. There are many pains and gains through this learning process which I can share with you in future.
To end this note, I must say that ‘If I can make it, you can make it too’, as there should be no hurdles or obstacles for an English educated person to learn Chinese writing or Calligraphy if he or she got the will power.