Talking China teaches a style of calligraphy based upon its own unique si-li-fa (four strengths) method, which was pioneered by Beijing calligraphy master Chen Xiang. Classes focus on the precision and co-ordination between the elbow, wrist, fingers and, most importantly, the eyes.

Beijing calligraphy master Chen Xiang
Beijing calligraphy master Chen Xiang

As soon as you pick up the brush, the whole process becomes very meditative, and the school follows the symbiotic ideology of teacher and student learning and growing together. After learning to write just one word you should, after around three or four hours, have the foundations to form eight strokes. You will learn structure and layout, positioning of characters and even how to hold the brush properly. All of these elements once combined will lead you eventually to produce your own piece of calligraphy art.

The 11-stroke system is three strokes greater than most teaching methods. After just 30 hours, you should be able to take away your own beautifully crafted works of art. If you want to continue after the first course, the next step is the “running hand” style, which although it looks fluid and free on paper, is actually incredibly disciplined. The attraction of this form is that it allows you to express your own writing style.

The whole process is wonderfully relaxing and the teachers are passionate and attentive. The small classes tend to be spilt 50-50 between local students and expats. Bespoke corporate lessons are also offered, whereby teachers come to teach at your office or workplace.

Talking China offers free calligraphy taster classes to help you scribble beautiful Chinese characters in just 30 hours. Classes are regularly available and also include tuition for children – with the youngest student currently being just five years of age.

As well as calligraphy, Talking China also offers Chinese traditional paper-cutting courses, plus one-on-one or small group Mandarin language classes, aimed at providing you with the right survival techniques to start your Chinese language journey.

Bottom line: Regardless of your Chinese knowledge, enjoy the pleasure of learning to write amazing Chinese calligraphy.

Author: Enjoy Shanghai

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