Master Chinese calligrapher Stan Chan spent an afternoon painting at the National Library of New Zealand Chinese Language Week. He translated people’s names into Chinese calligraphy as well as explaining the skill behind his art.
“The ink block is actually like charcoal. You mix it with water to make ink,” Stan explains. “The way we make ink is a form of relaxation, meditating yourself. Imagine doing that and sipping some Chinese tea, some nice Chinese music.”
Stan has been painting since he was 10, shortly after his family moved from China to Hong Kong. “I was so lucky that my father and my art teacher were really good friends. I always had chance to visit teacher’s studio, I could sit in the corner and watch him work. I am so grateful to my parents for let me be an artist.”
For the next 46 years, he set out to paint and teach in New Zealand in his Wellington art studio, inkLink, which he set up in 1979. Some of his demonstrations included a kiwi, a panda and bamboo.
“That’s 50 years in one minute,” laughs Stan. He says his favourite part about his job is teaching others. “Using the word teaching seems I’m being very proud of myself,” says Stan.
“I rather use the word share my interest, share what I know. Because sometimes I can learn from my students, as much as they learn from me. Because we never stop learning.” Stan has art classes in Wellington for people ranging from under 10 years of age to over 60.
“I have my dream come true. I can share my interest with people. Even today coming to do this in library, this little space to share with you, is also a dream come true.”