January 29, 2023 | 11:00am
The Wende Garden

Family Day: All-Ages Chinese Calligraphy Class With Louie Valdivia

The Cultural Revolution (1966-76) was a period during which key elements of Chinese cultural heritage were under attack, among which was calligraphy. For thousands of years, calligraphy in China was a domain largely monopolized by a few qualified individuals, while the majority of society, being excluded, could only admire it. At the height of the Cultural Revolution, efforts by the quasi-militia Red Guards to destroy the Four Olds led to the smashing of countless calligraphic tablets and tombstones, burnings of ancient bound texts, and purges of well-known calligraphers. 

With the destruction of classic calligraphy came the popularization of writing and displaying big-character posters, often containing quotations from the Chairman or revolutionary slogans, as a form of participation in the movement. Through this appropriation of calligraphy, that which had been mystified and previously only accessible for the elites was simplified and promoted as a tool of the masses. The Chairman himself practiced calligraphy, and his works were collected and reproduced during the Cultural Revolution, in spite of the backlash against traditional culture.

Presented in conjunction with (De)constructing Ideology: The Cultural Revolution and Beyond, the Wende Museum invites you to enroll in a mixed lecture and workshop class on the basics of Chinese calligraphy. Led by instructor Louie Valdivia, participants will learn about aspects of different Chinese scripts and the Four Treasures of the Literary Studio, as well receiving hands-on instruction to write a character in Chinese clerical script. 

There is no cost to participate but pre-registration is required through Eventbrite. There will be two sessions, with start times at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Recommended age for the program is 8 and up.

About The Instructor:

Louie M. Valdivia, a Los Angeles native, began his study of Chinese at Los Angeles City College in 1964-66. Upon graduation, he first attended Taiwan Normal University’s Mandarin Language Training Center, then continued his Chinese studies at UCLA, graduating with both a Bachelor’s Degree in Oriental Languages and a Master’s Degree Cum Laude in Chinese. (1973-77).

Mr. Valdivia has extensive experience with Chinese calligraphy. He studied with Master Yuan Zhi Zhong at the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in El Monte, CA, specializing in the Han Dynasty calligraphy called Clerical Script. He has conducted more than one hundred and sixty calligraphy workshops and lectures at various institutions and organizations.

Mr. Valdivia‘s calligraphy has been well received by fellow calligraphers in the Chinese community and he has appeared in a number of Chinese newspapers, and aired on Chinese television and radio programs here and in Taiwan promoting Chinese calligraphy and culture. Chinese Calligraphy has become Mr. Valdivia’s lifelong pursuit.

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