❝ At last, a book on Chinese calligraphy that is bound to appeal to experts and laymen alike. For the latter, this compelling work goes beyond the cataloguing of the technical aspects, which are so hard to master for most of us. In fact, it is through her simple style and relevant examples that the author succeeds in furthering our understanding of the fascinating world of Chinese calligraphy. The comparison between calligraphy an social dance is highly appropriate as it stresses the fact that not only the fingers, but the whole body is involved in the creative act. As is the case in social dance, graceful and harmonious movements are to be sought by the calligrapher.
By reading this book, we gain insight into the subtle compromise which exists between the need to create oroginal works on one hand, and the necessity to find inspiration in tradition on the other hand. Writing an authoritative book on Chinese calligraphy cannot be achieved withour a comprehensive approach, a perfect mastery of basic techniques and a deep knowledge of Chinese characters. Author Ngan Siu-Mui possesses these skills, being a world-renowned artist herself. Her writing style shows all the passion and fascination she feels towards this art form which traces its roots thousands of years ago.
It is through her fiery style that the relationship between Chinese calligraphy and nature become crystal clear. Reading of this book should allow nature lovers to broaden their understanding of the world around them, and more specifically of its spiritual dimension.
This book is a major contribution to the study of Chinese culture; by sharing her "secrets", the author contributes to our ability in assessing thescope of one of the great culture of mankind. There is indeed no better way to understand and appreciate Chinese culture than through its artistic heritage.
This book is a "must" to those wishing to familiarize themselves with Chinese calligraphy and its philosophical foundations.
Thank you Ngan Siu-Mui. You have given a precious gift to those wishing to know more about the world we live in. ❞
Gilles Vincent, Director of Botanical Garden, Montreal, 1998