Non-character calligraphy is practiced mostly in China and Japan, though it is a very rare style of Chinese calligraphy. It is of rather modern origin, and it slightly overlaps with the avant-garde calligraphy style. Its basic concept is to prove that the beauty of calligraphy does not have to be tied to the balance and shape of the Chinese characters, but it lives as raw energy in the dynamics of calligraphy brush strokes. Extended studies of Chinese classics, and countless hours spent on writing, allow a calligrapher to utilise his knowledge in such a type of art which is completely disconnected from the language itself, and it proves without a shadow of doubt, that Chinese calligraphy is written with a soul, not the hand.
Pictured calligraphy (fragment) has no semantic content. It is a record of a state of mind.
From now on you will see more of my digital art. The spectrum will be rather wide, ranging from photoshop manipulation, through composite photos (two or more photographs combined and post processed digitally), pure digital art, to all of those combined with added Japanese calligraphy (or Chinese calligraphy). I will also occasionally write calligraphy digitally (i.e. not with a brush), as I did on the abstract piece below. I will go heavily into body art calligraphy with serious post processing, cyber and fantasy motives, and so on. Why am I doing this? Because it is hell of a fun, that’s why! For those of you who enjoy my traditional calligraphy art, rest assured that I will continue this as well, but I do not think that you will see much of my calligraphy art on white backgrounds.
Photo: Distant Soul (遥魂) - fully digital art
Thi is a continuation of my previous articles on my new book series on Japanese hiragana and katakana. To view previous posts, see here about the book concept in general, and here in regards to the book cover project.
Below I am inserting a gallery of 3 images (click any to view). You can see what resources I used for writing the first book on Japanese hiragana. Then there is a sample page, and finally a table of contents page which should shed more light on what can one expect tom find inside.
A few words regarding the sample page. Since I published the first draft I received great feedback from you guys, so thank you very much, and I decided to improve a few things.
bibliography sample page table of contents
I added an intuitive phonetic guide based on Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary's British and American English pronunciations of chosen words. This should clear a lot of confusion whenever a tricky pronunciation comes up (such as ゑ / "we"). I also explain where from each of the hiragana syllabograms take their sounds. For example, the hiragana syllabogram つ evolved from the cursive form of kanji 川, but none of the Japanese readings of this character is つ. The book is addresing address all of those issues.
Each hiragana syllabogram will have explained the stroke order and stroke direction, which is crucial for supporting a natural and comfortable way of writing. The diagrams will be large and clear.
In table of contents you can see that there will be a general introduction, history of hiragana based on the evolution of Japanese calligraphy in Japan, as those are closely related. I am adding a short write up on the characteristics of the Japanese writing systems, and I define it very clearly what are kanji, what are kana's and what is the difference between them.
Today I was designing a cover for one of the books that I will be publishing this year. Yes, it will be quite a year. This is not the final design yet, and it can be changed, so I am posting it here to hear your feedback. Feel free to comment below or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more about this publication, please see a separate article on the subject.
Some of you probably know that I am working on several book projects. Today I decided to add one more, or actually two more. Last year I created a free tutorial on the origins of hiragana and katakana, but it is split into 96 separate articles, and all of the material is online. So, I decided to put together two small exercise books, one for hiragana and one for katakana.
Books will include additional information, such as the history of both kana syllabaries, and a short dictionary that will explain all the difficult terms, etc. Below is a sample page from the hiragana book. It is still just a draft, but I wanted to hear your opinions. Perhaps I could improve it. Those books are aimed at those who wish to learn how to write Japanese kana's. Every single Chinese character in those books is hand written by me, and each script is based on historical forms of a given kanji. The same goes to the kana syllabograms. Books will be in A4 format, available in hard form and as a pdf download.
Edit: here is an updated version of the same page, which I created after receiving valuable feedback from you guys. I really appreciate it!
Modern technology can be daunting, depressing, terrifying and even repulsive. However, I think that it is not what is modern that is heartless, soulless and lacking the natural touch. The issue lays in ourselves, in how we use it, what is our goal, and what is our intention in using it.
Chinese and Japanese calligraphy are based on nature. The names of techniques, the philosophy, the brilliance of brush strokes, the elegance, the raw beauty of the composition, and so on, those are all derived from what the wonderful gifts of Mother Nature. After all Chinese calligraphy has several thousand years of history. So, the question is, can such profound world of sophisticated art, be combined with digital reality? It is very much down to a personal feeling, but when I work on a computer software, creating photo or calligraphy composites, I think the same way as when I sit at my desk, writing with the brush.
Chinese calligraphy is written with the soul, not the brush. Consequently, if you put your soul into any creative process, and let your imagination lead you through it, then it matters not what medium you are using, the final artwork will carry your emotions over to the viewer.
Below artwork: 龍夢, i.e. dragon drams in semi-cursive script, combined with a digitally processed photo of incense smoke.
Buy a print of this photo at my store on Fine Art America.
First of all, I would like to thank all who visit my site, and say that I greatly appreciate all the positive feedback and support that I am receiving, whether it is in in regards to my art and learning materials on the Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, or the artistic projects that I am developing.
As you can see, I have completely overhauled the Ryuurui's Art Studio website, and gave it a new look and feel. I did that for a few reasons. One was that I have created so many calligraphy and photography art for past few years, that it was simply too much to post it all, and too confusing for you to navigate through. So, I removed all the galleries and created a portfolio tab instead, which shows the scope of the art that I create. All the artwork that was in my art gallery is not gone from the internet forever. I will be republishing my art in the blog section, with educational articles and interesting information for all of you who wish to learn more not only about Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, but also the art photography.
In regards to the learning tab of this website, I will keep all the information as it is, but I will reorganise it in a way to accommodate some room for photography tutorials and tips. It is highly possible I will also start sharing some information regarding photography post processing, software and so on, especiall;y that I am venturing now into the HDR photography, photoshop art, composite photography, and so on.
In addition, my art will also focus on merging the ancient world of Japanese and Chinese calligraphy with the digital photography and digital art. Naturally, I am still involved in studying classical calligraphy and research, calligraphy exhibitions in Japan, etc., so there is no change in this area, it simply gets expanded.
I had some questions regarding my publications. My book on etymology of Chinese characters and Japanese kanji is complete (volume 1), and my Japanese literary agent is in the process of suggesting the book for publishing houses in Japan. My poetry book should be published this year, I have the entire text ready, I am now deciding on which calligraphy art I should add to it. In regards to my calligraphy book - this will have to wait, for two reasons. One is that I have two calligraphy books written. The first one is more philosophical and the other one is more factual and history related. I am considering combining them both into one volume, and at the moment I simply do not have the time to do this. I plan on finishing it after I am done with publishing the poetry tome.
In regards to other projects of mine. The Japan in photography now has a new blog. It will be a daily photo blog with pictures of my travels around Japan, and short articles with interesting facts regarding Japanese culture, traditions, interesting places, events, and so on. Majority of those photos can be purchased in a form of fine art prints at my store on Fine Art America. I have large plans for Japan in photography in motion, but it is still in early stages, so I will share more when it is all ready to go. The digital art store area will also be expanded.
Ryuurui Foto Studio is a site exclusively for my work as a commercial photographer in Japan, which purpose will probably remain unchanged.
Last but not least, the Ink Treasures project, which we have started last year with the ink painter Mariusz Szmerdt. The project was on hold for a while, but we are already discussing its future, including rebuilding the site to give it a new look and more focus on the artwork.
This will be a very busy year for me, but since it is The Year of the Horse, I think it should be. If anyone has any suggestions, ideas or wishes to share his or her thoughts in regards to any of my projects, please feel free to leave you comment below, or contact me at email@example.com.
In modern times tattoos have become a fashion. The trouble is that they cannot be easily removed, unless they are temporarry herbal tattoos. Chinese writing and Japanese kanji fascinate millions of Westerners, and they are often chosen for a tattoo design. Alas, not many people understand Chinese writing, and even fewer can write Chinese or Japanese calligraphy.
I often see tattos based on computer fonts, or pseudo-calligraphy tattos, which scar the skin forever. Worse than that, many Japanese or Chinese tattos have fundamental mistakes. Many Chinese characters can look nearly identical, yet they bear completely different meaning. Phrases and idioms can have symbolic or hidden meanings, of which understanding requires knowledge of the language of Chinese characters. Words can have multiple meanings, which often leads to confusion. There are many things that can go wrong in a process of getting a Chinese tattoo.
Ryuurui's Art Studio offers professional Chinese and Japanese calligraphy tattoo desings, ranging from 1 characters to a full body design, including a consultation, translations, and suggestions. For more details please read here.
Photo: Heart Sutra in standard script, a copy of a Chinese classic by Ouyang Xun, Tang dynasty . Model: Asuka. Model: Asuka. This photo is avaialable as prints in my store.
Ponte Ryuurui (品天龍涙)