Henan Museum
Rough and Bold Style
Vigorous and Boisterous Brushstroke Exhibition of Wang Duo’s Calligraphy
Source: Henan Museum
Edit: Acf Zrr
Time: 2022-07-08 10:00:51

As one of the unique artistic forms of China, calligraphy, not only came into being simultaneously with the painting in history, but also served as supplement for each other. In addition, it also conveys fine ideological concepts and aesthetic sentiments, such as natural and elegant humanism, great virtues of lofty nobility and all-inclusiveness, dialectical unity of following the ancient sages and creating the individual styles.

Aiming at spreading calligraphic art, interpreting the implications of the artifacts, and promoting Chinese culture, Henan Museum jointly hosted an exhibition of Wang Duo’s calligraphy with over 20 museums of China, which include the Capital Museum, Shanghai Museum, Liaoning Provincial Museum, National Museum of Chinese Writing, etc. The exhibition entitled Rough and Bold Style, Vigorous and Boisterous Brushstroke--Exhibition of Wang Duo’s Calligraphy opened to the public on July 08, 2022 in Henan Museum. With a selection of nearly 80 pieces(sets) works of Wang Duo from 20 museums in China, the exhibition comprises of the quintessential calligraphic works from his early, middle, and late ages, and some survived rubbings, as well as the works of his contemporary friends and calligraphers. And the exhibition is divided into four parts: 1. Following the ancient masters, 2. Exploring the path of self-expression, 3. Quintessential works, 4. Works of his friends. The exhibition is on view in Henan Museum through September 12, 2022.

Wang Duo, a native of Mengjin, Henan province, famed for his running and cursive works. He stuck to practise on the copybook every day, and at the same time, writing calligraphic works every day, his persistence went on year in year out without interruptions. In his early years, he learned and practised the archaic model styles of Wang Xizhi and Wang Xianzhi, in his middle ages, he formed his own styles of vigorous, free, unrestrained self-expression, during his late years, his cursive calligraphic skill had matured which was characterized by bold, rough, vigorous, and boisterous brushstrokes, whereby he was deemed as the leading calligrapher in the north of China for his own unique individual style at the time, and he was generally known as “divine calligrapher Wang Duo”.

Wang Duo’s calligraphic works not only bear the profound marks of the ages, but also record the vicissitude of his life. As the celebrated calligrapher of the late Ming dynasty with the most remarkable personality, Wang Duo advocated and exemplified the unique cursive script which was grand and exceptional in spirit, thus he was the most unique prominent calligrapher of the late Ming dynasty. Wang Duo’s calligraphic aesthetics, for the time, paralleled and contrasted marvellously with the contemporary elegance and smooth style which was represented by Dong Qichang’s works; from the prospective of the later generations, Wang Duo’s works embodied the aesthetic tendency of the tumultuous period of some one hundred years; and historically, they substantiate that the classics’ intrinsic meaningful aesthetics, everlasting attractions, and magnificent spirits are key for its perpetuity.

Being the symbol of Chinese philosophy and national spirits, as well as one of the traditional cultural categories of China, calligraphy played an important role in exchanging thoughts, inheriting and passing on cultures in the course of its long evolution. Hopefully, through the exhibition, the public may appreciate the artistic aesthetics of calligraphy and gains profound spiritual enrichment and artistic edification.