Art/Culture workshops

Calligraphy and ink painting 

Chinese Calligraphy is a way of mental cultivation and improvement of patience, to relax and maintain mental stillness. Chinese calligraphy is an art of lines – the structuring of lines, and the harmonious and rhythmical motion of lines. It represents a form of beauty that does not rely on realistically copying nature.

Chinese ink painting is emphasis on lines and use of ink with different amount of water. Although mountain, water,  flower and birds are the main themes, we can use traditional ink painting technique to paint contemporary  images and abstract images too.

Special art and culture workshops and customized workshops

  1. The Four Chinese Literary Arts – QIN, SHI, SHU & HUA 
    Chinese Music, Poetry, Calligraphy and Painting are the four skills as noble ancient Chinese scholar.  “Qin” was created more than 3,000 years ago. “Qin Tao” includes Tablature, Aesthetics, Music Scale and Notation. Learning “Qin Tao” and listen to the ancient music bring relaxation, beauty and virtue to life.
    “Shi” is “Poetry” in Chinese and it is the highest state of Chinese literature. In the ancient times, to write poems was an important measure for one’s educational and intelligent level. Chinese Poems sound like music and can be sang with music.”Calligraphy” is called “Shu” which is the key to understanding Chinese civilization. It is graphic art, but a genuine art, a discipline of learning that embodies the philosophy of numerous art forms. Its criteria for excellence are regarded as the theoretical foundation of art criticism in general; it is an art of lines – the structuring of lines, and the harmonious and rhythmical motion of lines all or which represent a form of beauty, a unique structure and reflection of human connection with nature.”Hua” is Chinese Ink Painting. Chinese painting used only black ink and it is mostly about mountain, water, fish and flower as they represent “nature”. Nature is “Tao”. Chinese painting use the different darkness of the ink to present the nature. It takes a lot of years of practice to master the skill.
    The linear quality of calligraphy and painting and the melodic lines of Qin music with poems embody the interplay between yin and yang, sound and space. In this event, Dr. Mingmei Yip will discuss the unique linear aesthetics of those arts. She will also explores ancient Chinese philosophy of nurturing life and longevity by harnessing breath, energy, and qi (chi) through qin-playing and calligraphic brush strokes. Dr Yip will also perform the Qin and calligraphy in the Geisha’s tradition.Every one who participants in this gathering has a unique opportunity to use brush to write calligraphy, learn Chinese Tea making techniques and tasting three kinds of tea: Green, Red and Flower Tea, we will also practice Chinese meditation together
  2. Tea &Tao, Chinese & Calligraphy, Music & Meditation

Chinese Tea has over two thousand years of history and through all that time it has been appreciated by many segments of the population including artists and spiritual experience seekers. But most of people don’t know how to make tea and drink Chinese tea.What is Tao? The simple answer is: Nature is an eternal power. As human beings, we need to learn to live in harmony with nature; we also need to learn to align our mind with the universe. Tea and Tao has a profound linking for more than 1,000 years. Learning how to slow down and relax through tea will benefit your daily over stressful life.
Chinese is a systematic, logic, profound language with a lot of culture to understand. Learning the character and its meaning through calligraphy is an innovative, creative and artistic way.Chinese Calligraphy is a way of mental cultivation and improvement of patience in China, some use calligraphy to relax and maintain mental stillness. Chinese calligraphy is the key to understanding Chinese civilization. Chinese calligraphy is an art of lines – the structuring of lines, and the harmonious and rhythmical motion of lines. It represents a form of beauty that does not rely on realistically copying nature.
Chinese Music has over three thousand years of history. Chinese ancient instrument include Qu Qin, Gu Zheng, Pipa, Dizi,Qiao, Erhu, Yang Qin, Xiao etc. Most of those instruments have a long history, especially Qu Qing. Tablature, Aesthetics, Music Scale and Notation are the four standards of mastering Chinese instrument playing. Listen to the ancient Chinese music bring relaxation, beauty and virtue to life.Chinese Meditation under Chinese music will bring your inner peace and joy. Especially to help us practice “emptiness” in Tao and release our mind and pressure.There are three sessions in this gathering. First, we will use the professional Chinese tea set to make our own red, green and flower tea, to enjoy the different rounds of the tea taste. Then different ancient Chinese music and instruments and its background information will be shared and discussed. A 5-10 minutes of soothing meditation session will be conducted before our calligraphy practice.

  1. Healing the Split: Taoism, Art, and Life
  2. We are not living in a peaceful world now: financial tsunami, mental and economic depressions affect all of us. Health and healthcare crises, resource shortages, global warming are issues of concern. What can we do for ourselves and for one another at the dawn of globalization that will improve the quality of life and lift our awareness of the Tao as a sustaining force in our everyday lives? How do we heal the split – the conflicting dualities – that virtually drive the engine of despair in Western thought and action, including politics and economics? The Tao will not work miracles, but can provide a source of energy for those willing to work hard to discover that nature is not something outside of oneself but something that is embedded deeply within us all – the Tao.The Tao literally means the Way. The Way is what is omniscient and sustainable in a world given to deceit. It is the sustaining energy behind all matter and all events that exist in the temporal world. For some it is a religion, and for others a guiding philosophy on how to live one’s everyday life. Taoism offers human beings a spiritual dimension in their lives by advocating the Way in accord with nature.We might call the Tao Te Ching a system of knowledge whereby its followers learn to live harmoniously with duality in nature. In contrast to Western philosophy, opposites, such as Being and non-Being, are not separate but exist in a complementary relationship to one another. They follow the principles of the Tao. Thus, Being depends on Non-Being — a principle revealed in the symbol of the yin-yang where all opposites are unified to become a single source of energy. According to the teachings of Lao-tzu, these opposites create a kind of paradox equal to what appears and reappears omnipresent in nature.
    The wisdom of the Tao Te Ching is applicable to many circumstances and occasions, especially to art and to our life. It has been cited and recalled throughout history as a source of enlightenment, as a universal philosophy, that nourishes our thinking and feeling about everyday live. The Tao is especially useful for Westerners to reconsider their lives in relation to a spiritual life that goes beyond material striving and the suffocation of the commercial media. Given the Western notion of the split between the material and the spiritual, between the Self and the Other, and, from a psychoanalytic point of view, between the Ego and the Id, the Tao offers an available alternative.The teachings of Tao offer this wisdom by taking us back, not only to another historical and cultural epoch in the recent history of humankind, but to asking the important question as to what is necessary to sustain our lives in a world that is rampant with fear, anxiety, greed, and the destruction urge for annihilation.There is a long tradition in Asia involving expressions of the Tao through the fine arts. Calligraphers, potters, painters, wood-block printers, photographers, dancers, weavers, and musicians have all played an important role in disseminating the spirit of Tao – the watercourse way. In recent years, these expressions of art have spread from China throughout the Eastern and into the Western world, so that now there are many non-Asian artists who are pursuing a direction in their art that is close to the spirit of Tao. The focus of this aesthetic experience is transformative in the sense that the artist aspires to open doors of perception and consciousness. Ink painting is one example. Often the great Taoist calligrapher – and painters who evolved from calligraphy into landscape interpretations – sought a means by which o expression the Taoist way of life.For the followers of Tao, art and life are very close. The expression of one’s sense of being is also an expression of non-being. The emptiness depicted in a calligrapher’s brushwork is also fullness. The stillness expressed in music is also time and motion. These arts follow the principles of the yin-yang. This is the eternal fluctuation of non-material forces in the universe that determine the way of material and the way in which we use material. It is through the Tao that we come closer to the spirit on the governing principles of the universe, the balance and equalization of forces that persist in keeping the human mind, body, and heart in balance, to prove equivalence within the human soul. In this sense, the balance perceived in art is also the balance perceived in art. The artist who aspires to the condition of Taoist is, in fact, the artist who aspires to be close to life, to the silence of matter and the persistent, unexpected intervention of spirit within form, and form within spirit. The constant filling and emptying process is a reflection of knowing and unknowing, the eternal time transcendent that the Taoist seeks in the work of immanence and chaos.