Engraving & embossing Chinese ancient characters onto a box made out of fresh clay – painted, glaized and fired.


As a foreigner I will argue that Chinese characters have an unique and specific esthetic and intelligence of their own. Regardless of course, of the linguistic signification linked to it that triggers a thought !

Because I am ignorant of the signification of the conceptual idea of each character, it has free and given me the unique opportunity to marvel to the ” beauty and strength ” of it’s design [ and concentrate on it ]!

Same as for a music note – the calligrapher become the interpreter of a ‘note’ with the use of a brush, like a musician does with a sound through his/her musical instrument.

Feeling the uniqueness of a Chinese brush, its specific ink consistency, the absorbency of its paper, has humbled me immensely. In this respect, the alphabet Westerner, i wish to argue is not as grounded ! A polite word for not saying : not so elaborated and sophisticated .

I will argue that in a sense, alphabet can only perform well thanks to it’s ‘simplification’ of form – its primary practical aim, at the expenses of the necessary ‘diversity’ for expressing the complexity of our very human nature and beyond….

Alphabet has in some ways ‘dehumanized’ Westerners, propelling us for centuries into a ‘narrowing’ track , worse, forcing the rest of the planet to endorse it !

Besides, i cannot imagine what it required from a young mind having to learn the ‘design’ plus the ‘signification’ of Chinese characters, versa for the one relying on the alphabet only ! One is been trained running marathons, versa the other one crossing streets at green light to go and get a soda drink!

At my very adult life, i don’t expect great performance from my calligraphy strokes, but the process has unable me to slightly ‘educate’ myself, to barely discover a culture i was not born with. More so it has become of an esthetically inspiration, and I have already amalgamated it into my recent linocuts and ceramics works.

Chinese calligraphy requires high concentration and observation in one word awareness… quite the opposit is expected from computing divices, it’s ok if you fall asleep on them, and quite frankly I do this on regular bases.

I am expressing my gratitude towards all the members of the NYCOSI who have so openly, kindly and warmly welcome me to share their knowledge, culture and sincere friendship.

RVrlogo2engraved in clay . gravée en argile . grabado en arcilla . incisione in argilla . Copyright © Raymond Verdaguer 2015

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