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Margaret Shedperd and calligraphy journey in Vietnam

Tue, 23 Sep 2014 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:49

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Vietnam is one of the pioneer countries in the calligraphy art using Roman letter and traditional calligraphy. On calligraphy journey in Vietnam, Margaret Shedperd has inspired the love of calligraphy in each Vietnamese student.

Margaret Shedperd has quiet skillful hands at the art of calligraphy, at the art of writing. At 45 years of experience, she has written diploma of many prestigious universities of the US and joined in restoring description on the ceiling of ancient works. As a resident of Boston, Massachusetts and one of the America’s premier calligraphers, Margaret Shedpred’s expertise has been praised for rekindling the love of calligraphy and written incompletion in the US and many countries throughout the world. Margaret’s calligraphy features in the Cooper Hewitt Museum on Smithsonian Collection in New York City as well as the rare book and manuscript department of Boston Public Library. As an educator, Margaret researches in the world calligraphy in competitive huge script of knowledge. She has given lectures, workshop and completed artist investment program in Boston University, Harvard Library Association, Stanford University and many other places in the US and aboard, including Vietnam.

Vietnam is one of few countries in Asia using Roman letters to write its language. It seems so basic but everybody else has their own special script. Vietnam uses Roman letter. Yet, this is almost the first time Vietnamese students had a course where they could learn where the Roman letters came from and how to write them right and how to use them in design.

On the three-week stay in Vietnam this time, Margaret showed Vietnamese students the basic art of Roman lecturing - a fundamental character yet understudied alphabet in Vietnam. Each letter in the alphabet was studied and found detail for maximum accuracy. The students in class are mostly from school graphic design and find the course is important for their study. Students also learned how to incorporate western calligraphy and Vietnamese. Such courses challenge the limit students’ hand and inspire them to be more creative in their future artistic design.

In addition, Margaret Shepherd is the author of 17 books on calligraphy and art of communication. Her best-selling 2011 book “Learn Calligraphy” provide details instructions on structure in science and art that we see around us every day. Learn World Calligraphy on the other hand showcases more extensive an in-depth research of the lettering of civilizations across the globe. The other journey to find out the alphabet system, Margaret has analyzed the anatomy of language scripting and the cultural, social and historical nuances. Perhaps the most impressive thing among her book is that she hand writes each page, every single word and number.

In her calligraphy course, Margaret came to Hue, the former capital city of Vietnam. It features the hub of the Han-Nom scripting culture of the country. Forty minutes outside the city, at Huyen Khong Son Thuong pagoda, Margaret met the head monk, one of Hue premier calligraphers – Monk Minh Duc Trieu Tam Anh. His calligraphy works were exhibited early in Vietnam since early 1980s. The western and oriental calligraphy has exchanged during this meeting. Through this exchange and seeing Margaret’s writing strokes, we can see that when westerners script the Latin alphabet, they tend to focus a lot on the techniques and methods. Oriental lettering, on the other hand, are less about techniques and more about the moment, revealing the soul of each calligrapher. For Margaret, the space surrounding pagoda and the meeting with Vietnam calligraphy legend has been a memorable experience.

Margaret has really helped many Vietnamese students to understand the origins of calligraphy and the beauty of this art. They have been able to be much more versatile in their graphic design in using hand-lettering and logos for products. Currently, Vietnamese students lack knowledge on such kinds of art forms. This is a chance for students to learn about of a foreign perspective on an art form, to learn more about technique and the extent of their creative capabilities.


Source: VTV4 –

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