Hui Chun Calligraphy 2016
On 30th of January, my fellow Chinese Society (Calligraphy) members and I participated in the annual Hui Chun event at Braddell Heights Community Centre. Hui Chun, written as ’挥春’ in Chinese, is a Chinese New Year tradition where people write new year wishes to bring luck to the coming year. This was my 2nd time participating in this traditional event, and I was excited to take part in this tradition as I felt that I was more capable than before. As the 12 of us entered the multipurpose hall, we saw that a huge crowd of people had already gathered in preparation for this event. There were people from all ages and all walks of life, from amateurs like me to senior and experienced professionals, who have seen their art rise and fall over decades. We sat beside our contemporaries from other schools, joining the burgeoning crowd of people, ready and eager for the Hui Chun to begin.
Before the event began, some of our more outspoken members decided to seize the opportunity to gain some invaluable advice from the seasoned professionals and wasted no time starting long fruitful conversations with the participants around them. It was a rather rare sight to see the young and old bonding so well together, where peals of laughter and animated discussion filled the hall. Suffice to say, having a common interest is one of the best ways to bridge the transgenerational gap. I also scanned the hall to gain a brief overview of the participants who were mainly students from primary and secondary schools. There were also a few middle-age adults and even a small group of octogenarians. I felt proud to be part of this community where we are united in our love for words.
Later, we were given a generous number of red calligraphy papers to write our wishes. After picking papers, we started discussing the suitable well-wishing idioms that we could write.
The organiser of the event struck the gong with a resounding bang. As the sound reverberated across the hall, he declared the commencement of the event.
For around an hour, we were busy writing idioms of varying lengths. We were relentless in our pursuit for aesthetic perfection and scrutinised every idiom we had written, rejecting all but the best written words. This, in my opinion, is the essence of calligraphy itself – the pursuit of unreachable perfection.
Just as I was in the midst of scrutinising my work for any visible flaws, I was called upon to write some words on the behalf of Zhonghua. I felt very undeserving of that prestigious role, and was rather nervous and reluctant. Among the audience were many esteemed local professionals who were capable of producing such impeccable writing that even my best piece would seem insignificant and coarse if compared to theirs. These were the ones whose pieces would fetch hundreds of dollars, how could I even stand up to them?
However, I thought of the numerous hours that my fellow schoolmates had put in, our fiery passion for our art, and I knew that regardless of how insignificant we were, we had to be represented.
With the encouragement of Mr Yang Bin, our teacher-in-charge, and my fellow peers, I gathered my resolve and stepped forward, honoured that I had been chosen and proud to represent my school. Despite the great pressure I was in, I was still able to complete the 4-word idiom. Though that piece paled in comparison to those beside it, it held more meaning for us, containing our hopes and dreams for our school and club for this year, all condensed into four simple words. As the president of the Chinese Society’s Calligraphy branch, I will try my best to ensure the success of my fellow members’ wishes for this year, and I take heart at my members’ determination to succeed.
The event finally ended with a light-hearted lucky draw, ending the serious and solemn atmosphere of this traditional event. Many of us were definitely looking forward to the winning of the prizes – flawless calligraphy pieces generously donated by renowned local calligraphy artists. To our astonishment, out of 11 of us, 5 of us were lucky enough to receive the prizes! I sincerely hope that that was an auspicious omen foretelling excellent luck for our school.
All in all, it was a pleasant and meaningful experience for the Chinese Society. Our knowledge of Chinese calligraphy, Chinese cultures and traditions has deepened. Watching these seasoned practitioners demonstrate their art was enough to encourage us to continuously improve, and remind us that we still have a long way to go. Even though we may meet many setbacks, there is no telling what sort of prize we would receive at the end of our journey. Finally, I hope that my juniors would be given a chance to participate in Hui Chun so that they can experience and learn like how we did!
Tseng Kuo Hao
Chinese Society (Calligraphy)
Secondary 3E3 2016