Letter To The Editor: Chinese Calligraphy At Library

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In light of recent controversy, I would like to offer my experiences and interactions with the Manhasset Public Library (MPL) and its director, Maggie Gough. I teach both the adult and children calligraphy classes held at the MPL and I’m currently the president of the North American Calligraphy Association. The children’s calligraphy class at the MPL will reconvene in February. This is the third children’s calligraphy class offered by the MPL. The calligraphy class takes the pictograph principle of Chinese characters as a starting point, and combines Chinese culture with innovative methods to learn Chinese characters, which stimulates students’ interest in Chinese calligraphy. It is also a meaningful exploration of Chinese and calligraphy learning from childhood.

In recent years, in response to the needs of the increasing number of residents of Chinese heritage in town, the MPL has hosted or organized many cultural activities with the theme of Chinese painting and calligraphy. The adult calligraphy class started two years ago, and is now in the 10th session with 10 lectures each. Three calligraphy exhibitions showcasing learning achievements of the students were held in the library, which attracted many visitors. Themes include “50 Most Culturally Important Chinese Characters,” “Rhyming Couplets of December,” “Manhasset Children’s Calligraphy Exhibition,” etc. In addition, the Spirit of Chinese Ink Painting Exhibit held in 2019 was markedly well-received by the New York calligraphy and painting community for the superb quality of the arts and calligraphy featured. These activities also demonstrate the respect of the MPL has for the residents of Chinese heritage and Chinese culture and tradition, and the commitment of the library to embrace and promote the multicultural development within the Manhasset community. The support of the MPL for the Chinese calligraphy classes and art exhibits has been a wonderful mean for encouraging cultural exchanges and understandings in our community. I believe that this support from the library is essential and will benefit all residents of diverse backgrounds in the community.

—Xinde Sheng
The President of the North American Calligraphy Association

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