Skip to main content
“Calligraphy is poetry without the words, painting without the color. Developed alongside the Chinese written language, it has practical meaning and artistic value.” —Yang Guangxin, calligrapher

Calligraphy—the art of writing—is valued for its beauty and as a means of self-cultivation. In China, calligraphy was historically regarded as a necessary skill for scholar officials; today it is incorporated into private and public celebrations, practiced as recreation, and displayed in homes and temples. Calligraphy is taught through associations, master-apprentice instruction, and in schools and supported by other craft traditions, including brush making, inkstone carving, and papermaking.


Yang Guangxin 杨广馨 is a calligrapher and director of the Art Center at the Beijing Institute of Education Sciences. He is currently a member of the council of the China Calligraphers’ Association and vice chairman of the Beijing Calligraphers’ Association. He edited the Art and Calligraphy Textbook for Beijing Elementary and Middle Schools and is the author of General Knowledge of Calligraphy, as well as many calligraphy copybooks.

From the Festival

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.