Chinese Language in Poetry, Calligraphy and Painting
Chinese characters and Chinesepainting are inseparable. According to the legend of their origins, characters werecreated by Cang Ji, and painted images were created by Shi Huang, (the YellowEmperor, around 4 500 years ago). The hieroglyphic-like characters of that timeclosely resembled painted images. In ancient China, character inscriptions onbones, tortoise shells and bronze were, in essence, the earliest Chinesepaintings. Therefore, Chinese calligraphy and painting have common origins.
With the development of Chinese characters,poetry and calligraphy came into being. Ever since, poetry and calligraphy havebeen closely connected with painting. Prior to the Song Dynasty (A.D.960-1279), it was rare to find characters in a Chinese painting. It was duringthat time that masters of literati painter like Mi Fu and Su Shi startedto write long postscripts on their paintings, which had the effect of providinga finishing touch. Doing so allowed calligraphy and painting to be appreciated simultaneously.It was during the Southern Song Dynasty (A.D. 1127-1279) that poems firstappeared in paintings. By combining poetry with painting, the Chinese created aunique art form that became a vehicle for distinctly Chinese artisticexpression.
The heritage of an art form servesas the foundation for its development. Therefore, contemporary Chinese paintingcannot be separated from its heritage of Chinese characters and poetry. Althoughthe artistic forms and subjects of contemporary Chinese painting are modern,they still reflect the specific charm of Chinese national culture andtraditional aesthetics.
Rather than being limited to the Chinesecharacters from which they are derived, Chinese calligraphy, poetry andpainting tell the story of the artist’s life and reflect his or her feelings towardsall things in the universe. The three artistic forms serve as both vehicles andsubjects, thereby complementing one another. They constitute the core of classicalChinese art. As a recipient of that legacy, Xia Huiying, while grateful to herpredecessors, seeks to develop art beyond that legacy by finding the root of Chinese tradition in her work with modern subjects. Creating art that is rootedin our collective consciousness is "to find that which is fresh and original anduse it to create something extraordinary".