Asemic writing on different surfaces informed by elements of Chinese calligraphy
1. Find a chinese calligraphic brush with a long and thin point or a similar western brush with a thin point. You can use chinese ink, in black, red or mineral colors or western water colors , eventually acrylic are also fine; prepare
2. Find at least three kind of support: different kind of paper are fine, but it can be fun to go for unusual materials like sandpaper, photographic paper, package paper. And also other kind of materials not totally flat, like tree bark, pieces of wood, and other found materials
3. Start practicing as if you were writing , holding the brush as in the picture (just as a starting and then let your gesture find its own grip, comfort and pace). Instead of focusing on speed or intensity, or on finding a sort of technical gesture (as in sport), just explore how many micro movements the hand, the fingers and the wrist can generate by simply trembling a little through micro impulses from the nerves and from the muscles. Each of micro-impulses actually informs the thin point of the brush, which leaves marks driver by this inner current. Following this procedure it appears how small invisible movements generate a sort of current between the body, the hand and the brush and leave interesting, slow and fast ,delicate and powerful marks which do not look ´forced’ but simply witness the natural rhythm of that internal current.
4. At this point you can explore how this inner current changes when the brush encounters different surfaces: the brush encounters a different resistance, the ink runs differently, the marks change their quality. The micro movements and the rhythm need to adjusts to start a dialogue with a new surface, and find that certain quality, that keeps changing while it remains familiar and natural.
5. As you become comfortable you can play with the dilution of the ink and the degree of pressure you apply to your strokes. But try to continue exploring all the micro movements and their degree of intensity and how they can inform the point of the brush and the marks.
6. Working with small brushes helps to explore the variety of these micro possibilities and their specific variations and getting use to let the brush move informed by one ‘s inner energy more than by a full voluntary gesture. A listening more than a doing.
7. Cultivate this sensibility to enjoy the qualities generated by the different levels of synchronicity and association of the different elements involved. Keep all your works, observe and compare them in time to see how the marks change and how they remain similar and how this practice affects you in multiple ways. During the practice you can use music, or silence, close your eyes or not and change the physical position, the location, the time of the day and any other sensorial element you can think of and witness how it does change the marks .
8. There is nothing mystical or esoteric about all this, just a process to explore spontaneity and record one of our most intimate gesture, handwriting.
Alessandro Rolandi, born in Pavia (1971) lives and works in Beijing