"For Life": Qi & Blood

I am honored to contribute two pieces to the 6th International Exhibition of Calligraphy, held at Moscow's Sokolniki Park from September 1st-10th, 2017. They will remain in the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy's exhibition until September 1st, 2019. 

 

The theme of this year's exhibit--"For Life"-- demanded more than what my hands can create. How can my strokes reflect and express the complexity of the mysteries of life? 

I turned to the One who gave me life and meditated upon His words. It was His breath that formed the universe and it is by His blood that I am saved. These truths in scripture shaped the vision for my pen. 

To convey the universal breath and blood, I illustrated an union of eastern and western calligraphy. The ornamental script and flourishes interpreting the verses of the KJV Bible form the Chinese characters 氣 (qi or breath), and 血 (blood). 

氣 (qi or breath):

The silhouette of these verses forms the Chinese character 氣, which means qi or breath. In oracle bone script, the earliest known form of Chinese writing which dates back to the late 2nd millennium BCE, the three horizontal lines in the character 氣 represented the original void: heaven and earth. The middle stroke symbolized the air flowing between heaven and earth. I chose for these strokes, the documentation of the creation of qi in Genesis. Beneath the breath of the universe, the shape enclosed under the horizontal strokes means rice, or sustenance, from which we derive our breaths. Tracing this origin to God's gift of the plants of this earth, we are reminded as we read the scripture forming the shape of our breath--to whom we owe our every inhale and exhale. 

Genesis 1: In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth and the Earth was without form and void. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. And let it divide the waters from the waters. God called the firmament Heaven, and God called the dry land Earth. And God said, "Behold, I have given every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be meat." 

Genesis 1: In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth and the Earth was without form and void. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. And let it divide the waters from the waters. God called the firmament Heaven, and God called the dry land Earth. And God said, "Behold, I have given every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be meat." 

血 (blood)

The vitality of life depends on qi and its manifestation in the blood. In this piece, I examine the absence of qi during the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord. The silhouette of the ornamental script forms the Chinese character 血, which means blood. In oracle bone script, this character illustrated the drop of liquid in the bowl on the altar as an offering to God. By the blood of Christ shed for us in our Savior's suffering hour, we are atoned and redeemed. We give thanks, for we can partake in the blood of the new testament--the qi and blood we cannot live without in life eternal. 

From the gospel of Matthew & the book of Romans:  He took the cup and gave thanks Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. "His blood be on us, and on our children." And they stripped Him and put on him a scarlet robe and when they had platted on Him a crown of thorns, they put it on His Head, and a reed in his right hand and they bowed the knee before him and mocked him, saying: Hail, King of the Jews, and they spit upon Him and took the reed and smote on the Head, crucified Him...parted His garments, casting lots. This is Jesus the King of the Jews. Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani? And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. After three dates, I will rise again. Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is Risen from the dead. And all are justified freely by His grace. 

From the gospel of Matthew & the book of Romans

He took the cup and gave thanks Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. "His blood be on us, and on our children." And they stripped Him and put on him a scarlet robe and when they had platted on Him a crown of thorns, they put it on His Head, and a reed in his right hand and they bowed the knee before him and mocked him, saying: Hail, King of the Jews, and they spit upon Him and took the reed and smote on the Head, crucified Him...parted His garments, casting lots. This is Jesus the King of the Jews. Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani? And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. After three dates, I will rise again. Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is Risen from the dead. And all are justified freely by His grace.