Dates: Tuesdays, February 19, 26;
March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1 & 8 2008
Time: 6:30PM - 8PM

Place: 25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000
between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan

Fee: $250 (Non-Member) | $150 (Member/Student)
Click Here to learn how to become a member.

  • Supplies will be provided by the instructor during the first day of class.

  • No prior experience is necessary to join this workshop.

  • Learn basic Chinese calligraphy in a total of eight sessions.

Please make checks payable to: QCAF-AAARI

The Chinese esteem calligraphy above all other arts. While the characters have an aura of mystery, anyone can learn how to form them. In this course, you will learn the few simple rules for writing in Chinese. Each session will begin with a brief explanatory talk illustrated with examples of the great calligraphy of the past.  Most of each class will be devoted to actually doing calligraphy.

Chinese believe that calligraphy exercises both body and mind. As a form of meditation it is thought to promote concentration, relaxation, and longevity. As you brush the characters onto the paper, you will be able to feel your qi (vital energy) circulate, producing a feeling of relaxation. By the end of the course, you will be creating elegant characters using traditional materials.  Please come and join this informative, relaxing and fun course!

Workshop Syllabus

Session 1

Origin and Development of Chinese Calligraphy
Slide show: The beauty of Lines in Chinese Calligraphy and Culture.

Basic materials: brush, brush holder, ink, rice paper, grid paper, ink stone, small dish, paper weight, and others (wrist rest, seal).

Introducing “Four treasures of the literary studio”

Rituals: incense burning, meditation, relaxed breathing.

Demonstration: how to hold a brush and form characters.

Handout: standard script model calligraphy

Practice standard script on grid paper.

Session 2

Slide show: Calligraphy as an Art Form: philosophy of yin and yang as exemplified in different brush strokes: centered, diagonal, wet, dry, “flying white.”

Techniques of Chinese calligraphy:

  • What makes a good stroke

  • Mistakes to avoid.

Analysis of the character “Yong” eternity, exemplifying the basic structure of Chinese calligraphic strokes


Practice different strokes of standard script on grid paper to form a character  

Session 3

Seal Script: ancient characters on bronze vessels, characteristics and aesthetics


Handout: seal script model calligraphy

Practice on grid paper

Session 4

Benefiting from the Dancing Brush: calligraphy and longevity, relaxation,   concentration, energy circulation, inner peace.

Demonstration: Official script

Handout: official script model calligraphy

Practice your favorite characters

Session 5

Walking style: characteristics and aesthetics


Handout: walking style model calligraphy

Practice: walking style free hand.

Session 6:

Slide show: Calligraphy  as decoration


Practice: walking style free hand.

Session 7

Slide show: The Drunken Calligrapher

Cursive and mad cursive: characteristics and aesthetics

Handout: cursive style model calligraphy


Practice: cursive style free hand

Session 8

Different Formats for Calligraphy: hanging scrolls, double scrolls, fans, and others.

Write your favorite lucky character on red paper to bring home.

Critique and appreciation of each others’ works.

Make-up Classes: Tuesday, April 15 & 22, 2008 - To be held if the instructor is unable to hold a classes on normal schedule.

Instructor Biography

Mingmei Yip is an experienced teacher of calligraphy and Chinese arts. She has been doing calligraphy since she was thirteen and had her first of many exhibits at fourteen . Also a master performer on the qin (Chinese zither), she got her Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and had held faculty positions at two universities in Hong Kong.

Mingmei is the author and illustrator of Chinese Children’s Favorite Stories. Her forthcoming novel Peach Blossom Pavilion will be published by Kensington Press in late 2007.

Mingmei’s one-person show of GuanYin (the Chinese Goddess of Compassion) and calligraphy was held at the New York Open Center Gallery in SoHo in 2002. This exhibit was the subject of a full hour special program on CHN cable in New Jersey.

Mingmei enjoys introducing others to the pleasures of calligraphy. She can be reached at:






Mastering Calligraphy




Workshop Instructor
Mingmei Yip

Workshop Coordinator
Antony Wong

Previous Schedules


Mastering Calligraphy


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Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2010

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1000 New York, NY 10036   
Phone: 212-869-0182/0187   
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