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Report on CCS Activities
“2021 Taiwan Lectures on Taiwan Studies” Series— Wild Cursive Calligraphy, Poetry, and Buddhist Monks in the Eighth Century and Beyond

On November 29, 2021, at 6 pm, NCL co-organized the “Taiwan Lectures on Taiwan Studies” Series with the National Library of Latvia. Prof. Hui-Wen Lu was invited to present online on “Wild Cursive Calligraphy, Poetry, and Buddhist Monks in the Eighth Century and Beyond”.

Prof. Hui-Wen Lu is the Director of the Graduate Institute of Art History at National Taiwan University. She received her PhD in Chinese art and archaeology from Princeton University. Her field of specialty is the history of calligraphy and painting in pre-modern China. She is particularly interested in exploring how calligraphers worked and responded during times of political and cultural uncertainties, and the various ways in which the art of calligraphy correlates to other fields of study, such as literature, religion, material culture, and print culture.

This lecture was moderated by Georgijs Dunajevs, who is currently a researcher at the Special Collections of the National Library of Latvia. He gave a short introduction of the speaker and also hosted the Q&A discussion at the end. In the first part of the speech, Prof. Lu took the audience into the strange and enchanting world of the wild cursive calligraphy when it first appeared in China in the late seventh and early eighth century. This talk also examined its development in history as it went from being perceived as a magical act unattainable by human power to a specialized skill manageable by learning. Retaining great capacity for artistic expression, the wild cursive calligraphy transformed in time as personal identity, intention, and choice of historical models varied in the hands of the individual.

This speech attracted many audience all around the world who are interested in art history. Due to the Covid-19, NCL will keep holding the “Taiwan Lectures on Taiwan Studies” Series online to promote the research of Taiwan Studies.