Kevin Luo: Tradition’s Rebirth in Modern Austin
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Is Chinese calligraphy a foreign art form to you? Despite originating in China thousands of years ago and having spread widely since, it is seldom practiced in the Western world today. If one pays closer attention, however, one may notice calligraphy’s presence in their daily life--in restaurants, at your Asian friend’s house, in your favorite Kung Fu movies, in Chinese New Year celebrations, or in Buddhist temples. Still, the calligraphy process, which traditionally involves dipping a brush pen into black ink and writing on a white piece of rice paper, is rarely ever seen and remains mostly unfamiliar to the public.
What if, instead of black ink, we use colorful acrylic paint? What if, instead of writing on white rice paper, we write on canvas, shells, or rocks? What if, instead of using a traditional brush pen made of bamboo and animal furs, we use our fingers, rocks, or leaves to “write”? Here, ancient craft combines with contemporary life, expanding Western notions of the traditional calligraphy process. Through his practice, Luo offers new mans through which we might become familiar with calligraphy.
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