Calligraphy in a single stroke
To an onlooker, it would not be obvious that the Venerable Master Hsing Yun is nearly blind.
He holds the calligraphy pen delicately and precisely, then begins to write his message on the parchment. The characters flow from the brush in a single stroke. The master skillfully moves his hand from top to bottom without pause. In one breath, an artwork is finished.
To the followers and practitioners of calligraphy, each stroke holds deep meanings. Each character carries an entire universe and philosophy within itself. And its power lies in its potential to awaken the beholder’s imagination and creativity. Many practitioners use it as a tool to connect to the soul, and to the great One above.
But Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s shaking hands and failing eyesight do not allow him to execute the characters in separate strokes. As he works on his calligraphy pieces, his aim is to finish it in a single movement because to discontinue would make it difficult for him to move on to the next character. This led to the creation of Master Hsing Yun’s unique one-stroke calligraphy.
Despite his old age and sickness, Venerable Master Hsing Yun was able to create a huge collection of calligraphy pieces that has inspired and amazed not only the disciples and students, but also collectors and art enthusiasts all over the world.
The way of calligraphy
Venerable Master Hsing Yun is the founder of Fo Guang Shan (Buddha’s Light Mountain), one of the largest Buddhist orders with close to 300 branch temples worldwide. He was born in 1927 in Jiangsu, China and is the 48th patriarch of the Linji Chan School of Buddhism.
He devoted his life to sharing Humanistic Buddhism, which emphasizes the integration of spiritual practices into everyday affairs and the promotion of peace and harmony among all human beings.
As the Venerable Master grew old, physical limitations have also put limits on his activities. Yet he continues to find ways to touch hearts and transform societies around the world. His medium? Calligraphy.
'Look at my heart'
Venerable Master Hsing Yun carefully puts ink on paper every day to write inscriptions that are meant to both instruct and inspire.
His artworks may not show the perfection found in the creations of other great calligraphy masters, but they nonetheless possess a great aesthetic and cultural value that stems from the wisdom and compassion of a man who has devoted his life to the propagation of the Dharma, and in spreading the spirit of compassion to one and all. He encourages everyone to see beyond the writing, and to look at his heart.
Among the hundreds of calligraphy artworks he has done are: “I Am Buddha,” “Auspiciousness and Wishes Fulfilled,” “Transcend All Types of Sufferings,” “Do Not Forget One’s Initial Aspirations,” “Regard the Multitude As You Regard Yourself,” “A Hundred Merits and Auspiciousness,” “There Is Hope in Life,” and “The Lucky Star Shining On Us All the Time.”
Now a sought-after art piece
During the press gathering and cultural celebration at the FGS Mabuhay Temple in Manila earlier this month, the Head Abbess of FGS-International Group, Venerable Miao Jing, remarked, “The Venerable Master Hsing Yun sends his greeting through calligraphy.”
She added, “The 100-piece collection that will be exhibited here in Manila was specially created for the Filipinos.”
Since 2009, the finest works of Venerable Master Hsing Yun have been touring major cities around the globe, including Cebu and Bacolod. And for the first time, his works will be exhibited at the FGS Mabuhay Temple in Manila.
Proceeds from the exhibit will be used to fund various educational programs in the Philippines. –KG, GMA News
Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s One Stroke Calligraphy Exhibition will be open to the public on July 28, 2012 at 11 a.m. The exhibit will run until August 31, 2012. FGS Mabuhay Temple is located at 656 Pablo Ocampo St. (formerly Vito Cruz), Malate, Manila. The temple is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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