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Cavs Learn from Renowned Calligrapher Dr. Hong Zhao

Students in Chinese and Art classes had the opportunity to participate in a Chinese calligraphy demonstration by the renowned Dr. Hong Zhao on September 18, 2014. Dr. Zhao is a professor of Chinese calligraphy at the Capital Normal University in China. He is the Director of the Beijing Calligraphers Association and Seal Cutting Art Council, trustee of the National Chinese Calligrapher Association, and board director and honored guest professor of the Confucius Institute at Pfeiffer University. He has authored an outstanding contribution of calligraphy research in China as well as a great deal of academic calligraphy and seal cutting works.

“One of the most interesting – and also most challenging – aspects of the Chinese language is the writing system. Dr. Zhao helped students understand the evolution of Chinese characters over several millennia. He also demonstrated the beauty of Chinese characters and their importance to Chinese civilization,” said Shannon Du, who teaches Chinese.

“I learned about the different kinds of characters. It was also really cool to hear a native speaker,” said freshman James Bready, who is in Ms. Du’s Chinese class.

Sophomore Abby Starnes, who is also taking Chinese said, “I enjoyed watching him write and how steady and slow he went to make sure each character was just right.”

Dr. Zhao’s demonstration also appealed to students of the arts.

“I learned how to hold a calligraphy brush. This was interesting because I didn’t know there was a set way to hold the brush. I enjoyed being able to attempt writing a Chinese character with the brush,” said sophomore Miller DiCarlo, who is taking Art I.

“I learned that calligraphy has been around for a very long time and it is a cherished part of the Chinese culture. I thought the calligraphy was beautiful!” said sophomore art student Rachel Holzman.

“I hope my students realized that even the writing of fonts and characters can be a thought-provoking art form,” said Art teacher Aaron Mayes.

David Malady, who also teaches Art, said, “I enjoyed learning about the background of calligraphy forms and seeing the differences in styles and mark-making.”

Dr. Zhao’s visit was arranged through the Confucius Institute of Pfeiffer University. For more information about the Confucius Institute, please click here

As a very special gift to the school and finale to his presentation, Dr. Zhao created a banner that reads "Cuthbertson High School" written in his beautiful calligraphy. CHS would like to thank Dr. Zhao for his visit, for sharing his expertise, and for the treasured work of art he left us!

Written by: Paula White
Posted: Sep 23, 2014 by Paula White

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