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Crossing Boundaries: The Calligraphic Art of Manny Ling

My feet are flat on the ground, my back is erect, my heart and mind are open — I breath, and sense the energy flowing through my veins, feeling it in my heart, travelling through my mind and into my hand. As the pen touches the paper — I am totally connected.

The ink and my energy are inter-mingled; the two entities are inseparable, they are working in unison, a unity — and out it pours!

Calligraphy to me is like drawing with lines. I move the linear elements along the page and compose them intuitively. Calligraphy is also a process of capturing the essence of the line — it is an expression of life and beyond. In Chinese, they call this phenomenon ‘qi yun sheng dong’ (氣韻生動) — the rhythmic vitality and spirit of the line.

One could try and intellectualise this process but it feels pointless at times. It is the unforced but intuitive manner in which we draw or write that creates the instantaneous mark. It is as natural as breathing.

“Just as writing can become calligraphy when it’s creatively, skilfully,
and consciously performed, so can all other activities become art.
In this case, we are reflecting upon life itself as an artistic statement—
the art of living.”

—H.E. Davey, Japanese Yoga: The Way of Dynamic Meditation

Dr Manny Ling