Model Letters (fatie) and the Production of Calligraphy in Early Modern China

Sun Kehong (1532-1610), detail from Copying Model Books; handscroll, Ht. 27.9 cm. National Palace Museum, Taipei.

Lei Xue
Associate Professor of Art History, Oregon State University
Thursday, October 24, 2019, 6:00–7:00 pm

807 Schermerhorn Hall

Model letters, or fatie in Chinese, were the major media for learning calligraphy in China, Korea, and Japan before photographic reproduction. A compendium of ink rubbings made from engraved stones, fatie fall between printed images and art objects, challenging notions of boundaries separating media, genres, social classes, and cultures. Despite their long tradition, fatie were reinvented in the turn of the seventeenth century to reproduce calligraphy for new social and political purposes, various display spaces, and for an emerging modern spectatorship.