At the end of October, the Grade 10 art students as well as some keen Grade 11 students learned about the origins of chinese writing and essentially the first methods used to write with paper. They explored creating different symbols as well as learning how to write numbers up to 1,000, the date and month and some common words using traditional ink brushes that the guest instructor Shino Yoneda had brought. Shino guided the class through the simplification process of shapes to chinese symbols and how to properly utilize the brush. Shino’s instruction into the origins of paper made the learning process of the symbols feel like clock work.
— Andrew M., grade 10 student

Comments from students after the workshop:

“I thought the brush writing workshop was really fun, and I still learned a lot of thing even though I already knew the Chinese characters. The brush writing also made me calm as I had to do one thing carefully.”

“I thought the brush writing workshop was amazing! I never tried to brush writing even though I am a Chinese, but it is a great opportunity to learn this in Canada. Because I thought brush writing is not so popular around the world, but now I realized that it is a great cultural expression to learn about Chinese history. It was one of the best art classes for me, I hope we can do more workshops in the future. The workshop leader, Shino Yoneda was a really nice teacher. She is friendly and nice to every single student in the class. She knows a lot about Chinese culture and history, and she willing to learn more. She can speak English very well and also very clear.”

“I thought the brush writing workshop was lots of fun and I learned a lot of cool things about the Chinese language. The workshop leader, Shino Yoneda was a good teacher and easy to follow. The best part about the brush writing workshop was doing the final piece on the rice paper.”

“The best part about the brush writing workshop was the relationship between the structure of the font and nature, how the font evolved step by step, from the hieroglyph to the modern font.”

“I thought that the brush writing workshop was a very interesting experience. I enjoyed learning about a new culture and some facts and history about China. It was a very calm and collected workshop. The painting was pretty soothing and the paintbrush smoothly ran across the paper without making any sound and without any resistance. Whatever it was made out of was a great tip and is what made it feel so satisfying. The paper we had at the start before we ran out had something to it that made it feel even smoother and even more satisfying. Shino Yoneda, who was the workshop leader, had a great attitude and I really enjoyed having her teach us. Her English was very good and I still find it impressive how people can speak two languages with minimal problems. I personally believe that the best part of the brush writing workshop was the characters that we drew. I was shocked to find out just how complicated it would be to remember all of that stuff and there were something over a million characters. When we got to paint them and also learn of there meaning and where they came from was really interesting and a worthwhile experience. I also liked how we got to see a timeline of the Chinese characters. It was also great how she called up certain students from the class to draw the characters. Overall I think that it was a great experience and a worthwhile use of time to learn about different cultures and their artistic ways.”