The Italian Almanac


Italian News - September 16

A major new show on Chinese calligraphy opened on Friday in Genoa, heralding an array of exhibitions on China. The show at Palazzo Ducale illustrates the beauty and history of Chinese traditional aesthetic writing, which is much more than the merely embellished or ornate writing of the Western tradition.

Chinese calligraphy, in fact, is a synthesis of philosophy and art, an inter-play between the power of pictures and the power of words. For thousands of years in China it has been regarded as the queen of the arts, trumping the others because of its expressive range and philosophical messages.

The Genoa show - The Way Of Writing And The Art Of Chinese Calligraphy - highlights the instruments used in the art, which are traditionally called "the four treasures of the literary man". The exhibit ranges from the styles of the great old masters to the use of calligraphy in contemporary art, with works by avante-garde stars like Gu Wenda, Xu Bing, Li Luming Zhang Qikai and the Shufa Zhuyi movement.

Another section of the exhibition is dedicated to the creation of calligraphic seals. The show is the first of a raft of exhibitions on China in Genoa, all running until the end of October. The programme - China, Faces Of Tradition, Prospects For The Future - spotlights art, music, philosophy and economics.