The Beauty of Life in Gentle Breeze
High Accomplishments with Moral Excellence
I got acquainted with Ms. Xu Jie over 10 years ago when I associated with Mr. Wei Baorong. Before his death, Baorong had a group of good friends who were art enthusiasts and absolutely extraordinary persons, while Ms. Xu Jie was an outstanding one among them. She was in her prime at the time, and her calligraphic achievement was second to none in the community of womens calligraphy in Shenzhen. However, I have never seen her show off herself, and she always modestly sought advice from seniors in this circle, seeking everyones comments. She gave me the impression that she was only a girl next door, joyful and graceful as well, reserved yet comporting herself properly. My contact with her was like walking in a fresh breeze, without any rashness.
I know that she was born into an artistic family, and both her parents worked as artists, having given good cultivation and edification to her since her childhood. She was transferred to Shenzhen in 1985 for her excellent calligraphy, and this was really extraordinary for Shenzhen at the time, which was called a desert of culture. As viewed nowadays, it really required a foresight to officially transfer a young girl aged only 18 years at the time, and the fact has proved that leader didnt make a mistake. More than 20 years have passed, and Xu Jie has become a rather mature lady. Her calligraphy at present, as compared with that over 20 years ago, is far more excellent! She has come along step by step, trained a large group of young calligraphy lovers for Shenzhen, and driven the thriving development of the female calligraphy in Shenzhen. I have seen several of her teacher-and-student calligraphy exhibitions, and the joyful children just seemed to be celebrating a festival. Nowadays its really a difficult thing to sign up for her calligraphy classes; in conclusion, she has a package of magic keys for inducing children to be in love with calligraphy. Currently she serves as the president of Shenzhen Women Calligraphy Association, she and her sisters all shine impressively. People in the past used to say that three women are enough for a drama of quarrel, but people have never heard of any quarrels at the place of Xu Jie. I think that in a group of women, the head must have some special qualities.
Ignorant of calligraphy, I dare not evaluate Xu Jies orientation of calligraphic values, but I know that no art can stand still and refuse to make progress. Art is a means for mankind to express the inner emotional world. Xu Jie has many top teachers, and those who have greatly influenced her include Wang Dongling, Jin Jiancai, Wei Baorong, Bao Chuanjiang, Wei Ligang and so forth. Her calligraphy has nothing of the coquetry of female fine delicacy, but has a vigorous momentum of majesty and powerfulness like that of a tiger, completely as mentioned in the great poet Xin Qijis poems.
People take happiness as a standard for measuring human life, but there are only a few who can say they have a happy life. People have to do jobs they dont like because they have to make their living at first, and take as their hobby something they are fond of, these two are just contradictory, so the case often is that they want to achieve something but feel helpless, and consequently there are so many people having an unwilling heart, blaming everyone and everything but oneself, and struggling painfully. However, the case with Xu Jie is not so, she is intoxicated with the art of her calligraphy, and is just the person born for calligraphy. She does not dig small holes everywhere, but starts digging a deep well after she has had a right identification, and continues to dig until water arises. Her works are not only famous in Shenzhen, but also quite influential throughout China. Her life is to think, to delve, and to enjoy for the highest domain of calligraphy. Always keeping her moral integrity, she has so many fans, good teachers, and helpful friends, as well as a happy profession and a happy family, such a life is really admirable by people.
Xu Jie made an arrangement with me for my contribution of an article last year, and for me, a lazy man who doesnt know how to write a composition this was just like forcing a donkey to dance. Under her repeated urges, I thought for quite a long time, and only began to write up to today. I have written down those impressions above for Ms. Xu Jie, a female icon before my eyes, and after I have completed the writing, I am not only filled with admiration for her, but also somewhat envious of her.
Zhang Zhixian, a person inside and also outside the circle
May 8, 2012