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Ryan Hill
Ryan Hill

CLASSICAL CHINESE PAINTINGS AND CALLIGRAPHY Fix



The techniques and conventions of writing would influence painting where critics looked for the artist's forceful use of brushstrokes, their spontaneity, and their variation to produce the illusion of depth. Another influence of calligraphy skills on painting was the importance given to composition and the use of blank space. Finally, calligraphy remained so important that it even appeared on paintings to describe and explain what the viewer was seeing, indicate the title (although by no means all paintings were given a title by the original artist) or record the place it was created and the person it was intended for. Eventually, such notes and even poems became an integral part of the overall composition and an inseparable part of the painting itself. There was a fashion, too, for adding more inscriptions by subsequent owners and collectors, even adding extra portions of silk or paper to the original piece to accommodate them. From the 7th century CE owners frequently added their own seal in red ink, for example. Chinese paintings it seems were meant to be perpetually handled and embellished with fine calligraphy.




CLASSICAL CHINESE PAINTINGS AND CALLIGRAPHY


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Examples of famous calligraphy survive in the form of letters, introductions to books, pieces of prose, religious texts, notes made on paintings, and engraved stele, tombstones and tablets, where the stonemason faithfully copied the work of a noted calligrapher. Examples of fine calligraphy by famous writers were even collected in ancient times, especially in the libraries of emperors or even buried with them in their tombs. So valued were these pieces that forgeries were made and sold as genuine to collectors. As another indicator of the value put on examples of calligraphy by great past masters, the actual meaning of the text is often irrelevant to prices and collectibility. There are many scraps (tie) which may be very old and highly valued but are, in fact, merely comments on the weather or a note for a gift of oranges.


The techniques and conventions of writing would influence painting where critics looked for the artist's forceful use of brushstrokes, their spontaneity, and their variation to produce the illusion of depth. Another influence of calligraphy skills on painting was the importance given to composition and the use of blank space. Finally, calligraphy remained so important that it even appeared on paintings to describe and explain what the viewer was seeing, indicate the title (although by no means all paintings were given a title by the original artist) or record the place it was created and the person it was intended for. Eventually, such notes and even poems became an integral part of the overall composition and an inseparable part of the painting itself.


There was a fashion, too, for adding more inscriptions by subsequent owners and collectors, even adding extra portions of silk or paper to the original piece to accommodate them. From the 7th century CE, owners frequently added their own seal in red ink, for example, and if a piece changed hands, then the new owner would add their seal so that the history of the work's ownership can sometimes be traced back hundreds of years. Chinese paintings, it seems, were meant to be perpetually handled and embellished with fine calligraphy.


Traditional Chinese painting ("guo hua") is similar to calligraphy - which itself is considered to be the highest form of painting - and is executed with a brush (made of animal hair) dipped in black ink (made from pine soot and animal glue) or coloured ink. Oils are not generally used. The most popular type of media is paper or silk, but some paintings are done on walls or lacquerwork. The completed artwork may then be mounted on scrolls, which are hung or rolled up. Alternatively, traditional painters may paint directly onto album sheets, walls, Chinese lacquerware, folding screens, and other media. In simple terms, there are two types of "guo hua": the first, known as "Gong-bi" or meticulous-style, is also described as court-style painting; the second, known as "Shui-mo" or "xie yi" or freehand-style, is also called ink and brush painting, or "literati painting", and was practiced by amateur scholar artists.


Born in 1254, Zhao Mengfu was a scholar, painter and calligrapher of the Yuan Dynasty, although he himself was descended from the imperial family of the earlier Song Dynasty. His bold brushwork is considered to have caused a revolution in painting that eventually resulted in the modern Chinese landscape. In addition to his beautiful paintings, which often feature horses, Mengfu practiced calligraphy in a number of styles, exerting a significant influence on the methods used during the Ming and Qing dynasties.


Ancient Chinese art is frequently utilitarian - many pieces were made for cooking, weaponry, and for spiritual worship practices. Early Neolithic pottery was often decorated with symbolic geometric symbols, calligraphy was marked with thick brush strokes, and ancient paintings celebrated nature and portraits of important individuals.


In imperial times, painting and calligraphy were the most highly appreciated arts in court circles and were produced almost exclusively by amateurs--aristocrats and scholar-officials--who alone had the leisure to perfect the technique and sensibility necessary for great brushwork. Calligraphy was thought to be the highest and purest form of painting. The implements were the brush pen, made of animal hair, and black inks made from pine soot and animal glue. In ancient times, writing, as well as painting, was done on silk. But after the invention of paper in the first century A.D., silk was gradually replaced by the new and cheaper material. Original writings by famous calligraphers have been greatly valued throughout China's history and are mounted on scrolls and hung on walls in the same way that paintings are. Painting in the traditional style involves essentially the same techniques as calligraphy and is done with a brush dipped in black or colored ink; oils are not used. As with calligraphy, the most popular materials on which paintings are made are paper and silk. The finished work is then mounted on scrolls, which can be hung or rolled up. Traditional painting also is done in albums and on walls, lacquerwork, and other media. Beginning in the Tang dynasty (A.D. 618-907), the primary subject matter of painting was the landscape, known as shanshui (mountain-water) painting. In these landscapes, usually monochromatic and sparse, the purpose was not to reproduce exactly the appearance of nature but rather to grasp an emotion or atmosphere so as to catch the "rhythm" of nature. In Song dynasty (960-1279) times, landscapes of more subtle expression appeared; immeasurable distances were conveyed through the use of blurred outlines, mountain contours disappearing into the mist, and impressionistic treatment of natural phenomena. Emphasis was placed on the spiritual qualities of the painting and on the ability of the artist to reveal the inner harmony of man and nature, as perceived according to Taoist and Buddhist concepts. Beginning in the thirteenth century, there developed a tradition of painting simple subjects--a branch with fruit, a few flowers, or one or two horses. Narrative painting, with a wider color range and a much busier composition than the Song painting, was immensely popular at the time of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). During the Ming period, the first books illustrated with colored woodcuts appeared. As the techniques of color printing were perfected, illustrated manuals on the art of painting began to be published. Jieziyuan Huazhuan (Manual of the Mustard Seed Garden), a five-volume work first published in 1679, has been in use as a technical textbook for artists and students ever since. Beginning with the New Culture Movement, Chinese artists started to adopt Western techniques. It also was during this time that oil painting was introduced to China. In the early years of the People's Republic, artists were encouraged to employ socialist realism. Some Soviet socialist realism was imported without modification, and painters were assigned subjects and expected to mass-produce paintings. This regimen was considerably relaxed in 1953, and after the Hundred Flowers Campaign of 1956-57, traditional Chinese painting experienced a significant revival. Along with these developments in professional art circles, there was a proliferation of peasant art depicting everyday life in the rural areas on wall murals and in open-air painting exhibitions. During the Cultural Revolution, art schools were closed, and publication of art journals and major art exhibitions ceased. Nevertheless, amateur art continued to flourish throughout this period. Following the Cultural Revolution, art schools and professional organizations were reinstated. Exchanges were set up with groups of foreign artists, and Chinese artists began to experiment with new subjects and techniques.


AI-Generated Content (AIGC) has recently gained a surge in popularity, powered by its high efficiency and consistency in production, and its capability of being customized and diversified. The cross-modality nature of the representation learning mechanism in most AIGC technology allows for more freedom and flexibility in exploring new types of art that would be impossible in the past. Inspired by the pictogram subset of Chinese characters, we proposed PaCaNet, a CycleGAN-based pipeline for producing novel artworks that fuse two different art types, traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. In an effort to produce stable and diversified output, we adopted three main technical innovations: 1. Using one-shot learning to increase the creativity of pre-trained models and diversify the content of the fused images. 2. Controlling the preference over generated Chinese calligraphy by freezing randomly sampled parameters in pre-trained models. 3. Using a regularization method to encourage the models to produce images similar to Chinese paintings. Furthermore, we conducted a systematic study to explore the performance of PaCaNet in diversifying fused Chinese painting and calligraphy, which showed satisfying results. In conclusion, we provide a new direction of creating arts by fusing the visual information in paintings and the stroke features in Chinese calligraphy. Our approach creates a unique aesthetic experience rooted in the origination of Chinese hieroglyph characters. It is also a unique opportunity to delve deeper into traditional artwork and, in doing so, to create a meaningful impact on preserving and revitalizing traditional heritage. 041b061a72


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