Based on the preliminary research regarding the Chinese calligraphy brush and how it reveals the nature of the relations between diasporic formations and practices, I would like to how it can be used to stay actively engaged with current events in order to create social commentary as an outsider in a way that power relations could not allow them within the home context. I don’t see the brush as an object that can be called upon to create a single collective national identity for the diaspora but one that has different meanings based on the context of departure. I find it interesting that the brush and its practices precede the modern nation state yet it has been used during such national projects as the Cultural revolution. Why was it not marketed on a large scale or become a powerful symbol to represent the nation, like say the dragon for example?
What differences would I find if I made a comparison of the meanings of the brush and the practices that come with it, for both the transnational and internal diaspora (e.g. US/Canada and Hong Kong)? For example, in previous weeks I examined the role that the Cultural Revolution, artistic repression, and exile played on mainland artist Xu Bing (American hybrid art from). From another perspective, Taiwanese artist Hsu Yung-Chin, explains that his work “Taiwan Dreams: A fusion of Calligraphy, music and motion” is an integration of calligraphy with multimedia. These various interaction he himself explains, represent Taiwan’s history of colonialism, dispersal, regime changes and above all, allows him to celebrate the success stores that have come from Taiwan despite the “unchanging constant [of the] roaming mind of the Taiwanese people and [their]sense of bewilderment about the country’s identity. where are the lines drawn for longing and critique?
I would like to know some of the implications of calligraphy’s “inherent difficulty of the script that induces psychological attachment” (Yen, 4). There is something that must be said about how the calligrapher understands himself in relation to his peers because calligraphy requires recognition from an audience with a similar knowledge and how they understand the history of the cultural form. It would be interesting to understand what the implications of these prerequisites are for the diaspora. In other words, I would like to research further into the social relation the brush creates through it performative qualities. Does negotiating identity become a more rapid process than in the traditions of the homeland? What do new forms of media and western genres contribute to their position in society that traditional Chinese calligraphy could not ?
Yet diasporic calligraphy at the same time continues to be reproduced according to traditions in order to preserving the sanctity of the principles of which the brush expresses. As it travels through time and changes owners and contexts, its meanings ability to mediate an identity depends on the nature of the practice. Its cultural inherence is passed on through formal teaching. What does this mean for the second generation?