Students in the US took part in a Chinese calligraphy class at the Taiwan Academy in New York on Thursday in conjunction with an exhibition featuring the works of noted calligrapher Tong Yang-tze (董陽孜).
Taiwan Academies in the US focus on spreading Chinese culture with unique Taiwanese characteristics. Branches have been opened in New York, Houston and Los Angeles.
Thursday’s class gave students who had studied Chinese for years the chance to try calligraphy for the first time while enjoying Tong’s exhibition, which opened at the same time as the academy on Oct. 14. The characters shan (山, mountain), shui (水, water) and mu (木, wood) were too easy for some of the students, so they asked their instructors to teach them to write their names in calligraphy.
“The brush felt so soft, it was more like painting,” a student, who has studied Chinese since the sixth grade, said while showing off her work.
Another student said the session was interesting and educational for people who already knew some basic Mandarin.
Mary Hsu (徐水仙), director of the Taipei Cultural Center under the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, said that the calligraphy courses could be offered for a longer period of time than originally scheduled because they were so well received by schools and students alike.
The sessions had been scheduled to run for two months and to conclude next month, at the same time as the exhibition.