Calligraphy is not only mere art; it is an exercise for the mind. Its mastery takes a whole life, if not longer. I recently attended a calligraphy demonstration by Atsushi Nojima, a calligrapher from Japan, at the Bonsai-Atelier in Zurich where he explained the five different kanjis (signs) used in calligraphy: they range from the very square seal-lettres to the very abstract and artistic concept-lettres that are almost impossible to read. With a few brush-strokes Atsushi created intriguing works of art and what seems so easy takes years of practise (I tried it myself in Japan). Among my favourite signs are Muschin, the Zen-symbol for emptiness and Kokoro, the sign for heart/soul. Calligraphy has a long history and it came via China and Korea to Japan. Calligraphy is not only art but a virtue as many Zen-monks practise it as a form of meditation. As only the perfectly tranquil and concentrated mind achieves mastery; the brush cannot be forced. In calligraphy the outcome, as in other Zen-art, is not important, it is the activity or path that counts.
Mr. Nojima with a calligraphy of the Japanese sign for One.