"Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air and deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves; the echo of a distant time came willowing across the sand and everything is green and submarine"

Pink Floyd

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Hidden Dimension

The Hidden Dimension

The point was made that speech and language define cultural norms; and even reach out to influence the structure of living. This is evident in Chinese calligraphy. It is thought that the calligraphic brush stroke defines the essence of one’s Chi or spirit. Ancient hieroglyphs define this thought as well. In the early temples of Taoist study the brush stroke was practiced again and again to perfection. Much like the linkage between Taoist Tai Chi movements to connect health with the natural world, so was the stroke of the brush to define the inner enlightenment of the calligrapher’s Chi. This theory is evident in bamboo artistic calligraphy. All bamboo is the same picture but the difference is the stroke of the brush and the leaf pattern. Each artist has a different firmness and texture to their stroke. This defines the essence of the artist at the time of the calligraphy. The complexity of leaf arrangement can represent an anxiety or stress and the shape of leaf to define personality as heavy or light.

These same strokes are evident in hieroglyphic calligraphy. A hieroglyph is a defining picture that must capture a thought or shape. The ending of each calligraphic stroke turns slightly upward to create the tail and end the stroke without inkblot. Early Chinese architecture has the same distinction. The roof overhang also lifts upward as the hieroglyphic stroke does. Firmness and commodity of the building resemble certain stroke patterns as well. Which came first the hieroglyph or the structure? They both resemble each other and they have characteristics of the bamboo plant. Each calligraphic image has its own specific pronunciation of sound to vocalize the image. So if architecture is calligraphy then language is architecture. The linkage presents itself between the natural world, structure and the human spirit.

Possibly the best artist was the best architect. Much like early American cabinet makers were also the builders of houses. The thought process is defined in every art including architecture.

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