Daniel Lau has chosen an unconventional canvas for a classical art. By writing on a rocky surface, the calligrapher imprints the rocks’ wrinkles into his strokes, and he is letting his ink drip, splatter, and spill. Calligraphy has always been an essential part of classical Chinese art. Calligraphers like Wang Xizhi and Yan Zhenqing, considered some of the best in history, are household names in China. It’s long been regarded as a vital part of a person’s upbringing. And up until the internet age, it was common for people to be judged by their handwriting. Nowadays, with the prevalence of email and text, a handwritten letter carries extra value in Chinese society because it shows the writer’s sincerity. And with calligraphy mostly stripped of its practicality, all that remains is art. Most of the time, calligraphy is practiced indoors. But in major Chinese cities, it’s not uncommon to spot older people using long brushes of water to leave poems on the ground. What makes Lau’s work different is how natural elements like the texture of the sand and the contour of the rocks play a direct role in shaping his work. These lend an element of improvisation and surprise in his art. We asked Lau how non-Chinese speakers could appreciate calligraphy. Hi everyone, thank you for watching. We have more videos about art in China, so make sure to check them out, and don’t forget to subscribe to Goldthread.