Calligraphy Hand Fans Facts and Features
Calligraphy hand fans or Chinese calligraphy fans are typically crafted as folding fans and inscribed with a topic, the Chinese blessings for good luck, prosperity, double happiness, and the like, a poem, a piece, or simply their Chinese calligrapher's thoughts. They come in various sizes, colors, and designs to suit your needs for Chinese calligraphy hand fans that will work right as an everyday cooling accessory, as Chinese gift or Japanese gift for all occasions, as Asian wedding favor, props for Asian performances, calligraphy hand fan decor for the home, business establishment, or Asian-themed wedding, and many others.
Each calligraphy hand fan or Chinese calligraphy fan is made of first-class bamboo ribs, which may feature intricate carvings that decorate them on both sides and which may be naturally-finished or painted to become long-lasting or to mimic the elegant finish of the antique Chinese woodcrafts. Their calligraphy symbols are painted or printed on premium quality paper or silk fabric, and an English translation of the same is specially stated on their product description so you know exactly what they stand for.
Calligraphy hand fans that measure at least 11" long usually make for a handy cooling accessory, while those with a longer length are sure to standout on a hand fan display stand as tabletop or Chinese curio decoration. When giving these calligraphy hand fans as gifts, be sure to write the meaning of their calligraphy symbol on a Thank You card so their recipient will know the Chinese wish that they have to offer. Shop these calligraphy hand fans or Chinese calligraphy fans at a fraction of their average price in Asia and enjoy bigger savings when you buy them bulk or wholesale.
Brief History of the Calligraphy Hand Fans
The famous calligrapher, Wang Xizhi of the Jin Dynasty, was considered to be the first person to write calligraphy symbols on hand fans. This incident was documented in the book "History of Jing Dynasty: Biography of Wang Xizhi", where it was said that Wang came to the Shao Xin city and saw an old lady carrying bamboo fans that she intended to sell.
Feeling sorry for the old lady, Wang offered to write a few words on the fans and the old lady, not knowing who Wang XiZhi was, yet trusting him to be kind, handed over all her fans. Wang borrowed a writing brush, an ink slab, and some ink at once. Then, leaning against the parapet, he began to work, inscribing a few words on each fan. He finished in a few minutes and at the sight of the sweeping strokes, which left a confused black and white pattern on the fans, the old lady rather looked glum. Wang tried to comfort her by telling her to tell the people that the words were written by Wang Youjun. And, sure enough, all the fans sold very quickly.
Calligraphy hand fans were also popularized and made a status symbol by the Chinese and Japanese scholars who would right poems, letters, and prose on their surface. Today, Chinese calligraphy fans are considered as one of the most special Asian handicrafts due to the elaborate process that comes in making, especially decorating, them. Chinese calligraphy fans that bear the calligraphic work of a famous Asian calligraphy artist even yield high prices to the extent that they are prized as a luxury item.
About East Asian Calligraphy
As an old Chinese saying goes: The way characters are written is a portrait of the person who writes them. Chinese calligraphy is known as an ancient expressive art, consisting mainly of lines and dots written in a certain direction and no repetition. A keen viewer, thus, can mentally retrace, stroke by stroke, the exact steps at how a calligraphy symbol is made, where a stroke was written slowly or swiftly, whether the brush was put to paper with certain delicacy or force, and so on.1,2
Calligraphy is known by different names in the different East Asian countries, i.e.,:Shufa in China, as it is known in ancient Mandarin and which stands for the way, method, or law of writing;
Shodo in Japan, which literally stands for the way or principle of writing;
Seoye in Korea, which means the art of writing, and,
Thu phap in Vietnam, which means the rule of writing.
Traveling across these different East Asian countries, or simply reading through the texts written by their own calligraphy artists, you will notice slight variations in their calligraphy symbols. Basically, the character styles and shapes of these different Oriental countries' calligraphy symbols are not too different from their origin, which is the Chinese calligraphy, the distinction, however, arises for the purpose of better describing the thought, meaning, or pronunciation of their native word or the context of the language's phrase or sentence when written in calligraphy style, which, in effect, flaunts the beauty and richness of these individual countries' native language.
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