Friday, January 6, 2012
Sun Yat-sen 孙中山
Sun Yat-sen (also known as Sun wen, Sun Zhongshan) is considered one of the greatest leaders of modern China. In Taiwan, he is regarded as the Father of the Nation, while in mainland China, a Forerunner of the Revolution.
He was not famous for his Chinese calligraphy, but known for his most creative end effective use of it to strengthen his ties to his supporters. Among the spiritual heritage he left behind, his calligraphic works can certainly be considered to be priceless treasure. The calligraphic works he left behind are mostly in the form of letters, instructions to his staff, and personal notes. There are also considerable amount of manuscripts written by him. However, the ones that have most calligraphic values are those words of encouragement and appreciation that he had written for his friends and famous people. He was serious about writing by hand. Although his book “Sun Yat-sen’s Doctrine” has more than 10 thousand words, he wrote the manuscript conscientiously, word by word.
His favorite words and phrases for calligraphy were the characters for Fraternity and The Whole World is One Community. As a politician who devoted his whole life to revolutionary cause, his words of encouragement would inevitably contain political messages. His style can be strong and powerful, also can be gentle and gracious.
From his calligraphic works, it can be seen that he had spent much time in learning the styles of Yan Zhenqing, Su Dongpo and the Northern Wei. From the structure of words, one can trace the decentness and solidness of Yan style. The powerful Northern Wei style was somehow softened subtlely and quietly to follow the style of the running script.
He was good at writing the Regular and Running scripts, and had not written any Seal or Clerical script. When writing, he followed standard rules and executed every stroke fully.
When writing letters or instructions for the staff, he had the habit of using ‘western’ paper and ink. However, when he wrote words of encouragement for his revolutionary comrades, he would use the Chinese calligraphy brush, ink stone, ink stick and rice paper.