Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In search of a Calligrapher

A while back someone reached out to the Chinatown Blog asking about a Calligrapher. Someone to do some work on a scroll for a gift. The Kung Fu schools go to person was Chan Bak Fahn. Who, in the 70's, would get on the table and demonstrate his Calligraphy skill by writing with his toes.

No I'm serious. I don't have a picture but once I get one it's going up here, because I just realized how big a deal that is.


He would be the one to write the characters on our schools drums and heads.

I watched him work, with the signed letters and pictures of Kennedy and Reagan in the back.

This side of Chinatown is the first thing that is really disappearing fast. In fact the New York Times did an article of a similar antique shop that a granddaughter of the shop owner is  saving by turning it into a community space and Gallery. Similar to what EMW is... and a somewhat similar version of part of the vision of 1CAC. Though I assume 1CAC, with it's location and space, has even more ambition.

But back to Calligraphy...now you can't even find anyone.

The first person I thought of was an artist from Taiwan who works at the MFA and did a lot of work for us. Paintings and Calligraphy for the kids etc. She also restores ancient paintings.

Unfortunately, she is in China at the moment.

Then I thought of a family friend.

But he wouldn't accept the job. Probably because of old school traditional kwai gui type stuff where Calligraphy is not just something you take lightly when being commissioned for work.

So, our Calligraphy pilgrim ended up going to the alley behind Chau Chau City to the KMT headquarters.

Who knew looking for a calligrapher in Chinatown nowadays would involved international politics?

Well we are still waiting to see what happens on this adventure.

This actually reminds me of another story of when I wanted to buy a bunch of brushes for a Chinese New year event I was running at a library in JP. But I'll save that for next time.
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