The UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland and UCD Students Union co-hosted a unique Chinese calligraphy and landscape painting workshop on November 11th, 2016. The event was sponsored by the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy in Ireland.
Guest speaker Mr Fangming Liu is a national level artist and Director of the Yangzhou Eight Art Masters Research Institute. UCD staff and students who share a common interest in traditional Chinese landscape painting attended the rare occasion. The audience was touched by Mr Liu’s life experience and his reflections on life as well as his innovation in Chinese painting. Mr Xiaochuang Wu, First Secretary of the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy in Ireland expressed his gratitude in a letter for Mr Liu’s contribution in the Irish education. At the end of the workshop Mr Liu wrote down Excel in Your Subject Area in Chinese calligraphy for the All Ireland Students Union. He hoped that the Union will serve the Chinese students in Ireland with continued and innovative efforts.
Chinese artists are often compared to philosophers, expressing their reflections on life through ‘mountain, water and people’ and depicting society through ‘paper, paint brushes and ink’. Mr Liu used the expression three Masters leading with their co-existence when showing his master piece titled Exploration of Confucianism. It incorporates the three mainstream Chinese philosophies in one, namely, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The trinity, which represents the comprehensiveness of Chinese culture, integrates Buddhist tolerance, Taoist harmony between nature and man as well as Confucian down-to-earth approaches.
In addition, Mr Liu offered the following 4 pieces of advice to the Chinese students in Ireland:
Set the highest standard: He quoted a line from the Emperor’s Rules by Emperor Taizong of Tang: You only reach the middle if you set the highest standard and the lower if you set a medium standard. Mr Liu said,’ we must set the highest standard for ourselves and work. Studying is a long-term process, in which we must look into the future and set a very high goal in order to achieve the most satisfying results’.
Never give up: we must always remind ourselves of our goal and keep trying.
Build up your luck: Luck is an indescribable concept and relies on honesty and kindness. Kindness goes a long way.
Learn to adapt: Like art, which draws its inspiration from real life, we should grow in a similar way by keeping what is good and discarding the rest. Shall we give up or keep trying in an adverse environment? Only by leaning to adapt and grow can we excel in our subject area.