This story originally appeared in Beijing Review on April 19, 2018
By Tamara Treichel
Call me a calligraphy and Chinese painting junkie. While some other women spend their money on designer clothes and shoes, I spend it on a painting with avant-garde plum blossoms, or a faux Qi Baishi or a misty Yellow Mountain scene in autumn.
So when a Chinese calligraphy master I had met at an event invited me to his studio, I was excited. What a treat! My limited exposure to calligraphy in the past consisted of strolling through the National Art Museum of China’s exhibits or admiring elderly men “painting” characters on Beijing’s sidewalks with large brushes, water and a few flicks of the wrist.
Calligraphy master and painter Wang Xing is an internationally renowned artist who has won first prizes for his calligraphy, is involved in many associations promoting calligraphy and has had articles written about him. He told me that in China, calligraphy is sometimes used for certain brands, sort of like a logo, and I was amazed to learn the calligraphy on the “Thirteen Spices Powder” (十三香) packaging is his.