Chinese calligraphy for all

Some 300 students of varying ages — from primary school up to polytechnic — took part in the 10th edition of the National Youth Calligraphy Competition organised by the NUS Chinese Calligraphy Club and the NUS Chinese Society on 10 February. Graced by Guest-of-Honour Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, the theme for the competition was , pronounced ‘bó’. The word, meaning rich and broad, symbolises the profoundness of Chinese culture and how this culture has broadened to include people from all over the world.

The competition originated as an avenue to give young participants a chance to immerse themselves in the joyful atmosphere of Chinese New Year through the tradition of couplet writing, said President of the NUS Chinese Calligraphy Club, Year 2 NUS Computing student Jian Shuyao.

Participants were challenged to write a couplet related to the zodiac sign of the new lunar year, judged by three calligraphers from The Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore. Each work was evaluated on the participants’ proficiency in brush skills, formatting and styles.

As a throwback to the history of calligraphy writing, all participants and guests also took part in writing the word on a 10m long scroll. This tradition of different calligraphy scripts on one scroll dates back to more than 3,000 years ago, said Shuyao.

“We hope that the participants can gain a deeper understanding of Chinese calligraphy and Chinese cultures and how it can last for thousands of years through the efforts of many generations of Chinese people. Moreover, we want them to be part of the current generation who will carry forward this legacy,” he added.