December 28, 2023
BEIJING – Before indulging herself in the enjoyment of writing Chinese calligraphy for hours on the weekends, Ma Huiyan makes a pot of tea using an exquisite tea set and burns some incense, a ritual the calligraphy lover says she needs to “create a perfect experience of spiritual enjoyment after a busy week of work”.
The 32-year-old who works at a foreign company in Shanghai renewed her childhood interest in calligraphy in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, as a way to kill time.
“I’m not a calligrapher. I don’t care much about the skills. It’s the spiritual peace it offers that attracts me, and keeps me doing it,” says Ma, who once spent eight hours writing calligraphy.
Although she has many interests, such as playing the ukulele, swimming, dancing, playing video games and even painting on canvas, writing calligraphy for one or two hours after a day’s work helps her unwind.
“I fully concentrate on tracing the lines of each character with an empty mind. After finishing a piece of work, I have a strong sense of achievement,” says Ma.