Friday, January 21, 2011

Kong Lingguang 孔令广

With more Chinese calligraphers coming to live in Singapore, their contributions to the development of Chinese calligraphy will become more apparent. The story of Kong Lingguang and his wife as reported by Zaobao on 17 Jan 2011 is a case in point. The couple gave up their good careers in fine arts in China; decided instead to come to Singapore to open a noodle stall known as ‘Gongfu Noodle’ in a coffee shop, selling their home town noodle.
Currently, the following Chinese calligraphers are active in Sinagpore: Gu Jianping, Ma Shuanglu, and Su Demao. The presence of Kong Lingguang will further add to the vibrant scene of Chinese calligraphy. It is really a piece of good news.
Kong Lingguang, 44, is now a Singapore citizen. He is a member of the Chinese Calligraphers’ Association, a distinguished member of Henan Provincial Painting & Calligraphy Academy. He has been interested in Chinese poetry and couplets since he was young and has been practising Chinese calligraphy for about 30 years. When he was in China, he conducted calligraphy classes at home after work at the Xuchang Arts and Heritage Department, Henan Province and received reasonable income. His wife worked at the Xuchang City’s Henan Opera Group as a national 2-class opera artiste.
Kong Lingguang says, ‘We were actually living a quite comfortable life in China. However, we heard from our relatives who have visited Singapore that it is an international garden city with a very good living and working environment. The salary here is high and it is an extremely good environment for bringing up children. That has set us thinking.’
Finally, at the end of 2004, Gong Lingguang arrived in Singapore and started a new journey of struggling to make ends meet. After 4 years, he became a Singapore Permanent Resident, and applied for permanent residence in Singapore for his family. Kong said that the biggest problem he faced here is the language barrier, ‘because I do not understand English, it is really inconvenient. However, Singaporeans are very welcoming, and they have helped us a great deal.’
Due to the need to earn a living, his wife decided to get down off her high horse as a national level opera artiste and open a noodle stall. The origin idea of opening the ‘Gongfu Noodle’ was to introduce the authentic Henan food culture to Singapore; and also to add to Singapore’s multicultural flavors. The stall has been opened for about three years. Many immigrants patronize the stall. About 40% of his customers are locals.
Currently, he is a council member of the Xin Sheng Poets Society, a member of the Global Chinese Poetry Society, a professional calligrapher, He also teaches in a number of primary schools. During the last 10 years, he has been promoting and teaching Chinese calligraphy, focusing in teaching the clerical script.
His eldest daughter Kong Yiqiao is very much influenced by the parents has been practising calligraphy and learning Henan opera since she was young. The youngest daughter Kong Yiquan, born in 2004, started to learn when she was 3 years old. For the past two years, Kong Yiquan has been writing calligraphy in front of the stall counter. Customers of the coffee shop would naturally stop and admire the young calligrapher.
Kong Lingguang disclosed that he will hold solo exhibition on calligraphy and poetry at the Black Earth Art Museum in February this year. He also plans to publish two calligraphy books on writing Diamond Sutra and Daode Jing.
In order to look after the family and their own interests, the husband and wife have to take turn to work on the noodle stall. Usually, his wife Qiao Jie takes the morning shift and in the afternoon, as long as there is free with no calligraphy class, Kong Lingguang will take over to run the stall.
Whenever he can find free times in between, Kong will also write on the spot in front of the stall, which has become an attractive scene in the coffee shop.

Click here to view Kong Lingguang's Website.
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随着越来越多的中国书法家来新加坡定居,他们对新加坡书法发展的贡献会越来越显著。新加坡‘联合早报’于1月17日报道来自河南许昌的孔令广夫妇故事,就说明了这点。这对夫妇,放弃了原本在中国的高雅文化艺术职业,选择来新加坡,在一家咖啡店开了一个名叫“孔府家面”的摊位,卖起了自己的家乡面。
目前,移居新加坡的顾建平、马双禄与苏德茂,在新加坡书坛相当活跃。孔令广的加入,实在可喜可贺。
今年44岁的孔令广,现为新加坡公民,是中国书法家协会会员、河南省书画院特聘书法家。自幼就酷爱诗、词、对联的他,潜心学习书法至今二三十年,并利用在河南许昌的文物部门工作之余,在家里开办了一个书法班,收入还算可以。孔令广的太太乔杰,是河南省许昌市豫剧团国家二级职业豫剧演员。
孔令广说:“其实那时在中国的生活水平还不错,不过后来听有个来过新加坡的亲戚说,新加坡是个国际花园城市,居住环境和工作都很不错,挣得也不少,而且小孩们的教育环境更是非常好,当时就有些动心了。”
于是,2001年底,孔令广来到新加坡,开始了在新加坡的打拼生活。来新四年后,他顺利成为新加坡永久居民,并帮全家申办永久居留权。孔令广表示,来到新加坡最大的困难就是语言不通,“因为我们都不懂英文,因此做什么事情都不方便。好在新加坡人十分热情,我们受到了非常大的帮助。”
考虑到现实生活的种种困难,太太后来决定放下身段,开一个面食摊位。开“孔府家面”的初衷,是真诚地想把河南中原的饮食文化带到新加坡来,让新加坡在国际空间里更具有多元文化的色彩。如今,孔府家面经营快要三年了,顾客当中除了有新移民,也有外国人和本地人,本地人占了近40%。闲暇时,孔先生还经常在面摊前临池挥毫,这也成了咖啡店的一大景观。
目前,孔令广也是新加坡新声诗社理事、全球汉诗总会会员、新加坡职业书法家,也在好几所小学教书法,近十年来在新加坡进行书法传播教育工作,专注于隶书的教学工作。
大女儿孔艺桥受父母亲的影响,她从小就练习书法和学习豫剧,并在众多比赛中获奖无数。出生于2004年的小女儿孔艺全,3岁就开始练习书法。孔艺全近两年经常在“孔府家面”柜台前挥毫临帖,在来来往往的顾客中,没有一个不停下脚步观看小小书法家现场挥毫的。
孔令广透露,他将于今年2月在如切路的“黑土地美术馆”举办个人书法、诗、词作品展览。另外,他还计划出版《小楷书法•金刚经》和《小楷书法•道德经》两部作品集。
为了照顾家庭,还有各自的兴趣爱好,夫妻俩相互轮流照管着摊位的生意。一般上,早上都是由太太乔杰打理,下午只要学校没有书法课,都由孔令广打理;闲暇时,孔先生还经常在面摊前临池挥毫,这也成了咖啡店的一大景观。

点击这里游览孔令广的网页
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