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EVENT REPORT --- Art of One Stroke one-stroke Calligraphy

27 March 2018

“Everyone is a Buddha!” said Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Putting aside the question of “who is actually a Buddha?” it can at least be said that Venerable Master Hsing Yun is a bodhisattva who never tires. Turning 90 years old this year, he has faced 40 years of diabetes that led to a serious eye condition, along with retinal detachment. With unclear visions in both eyes, he can barely see. Despite having to write calligraphy with shaking hands, he still is able to let his heart guide his hands in completing the extremely rare ‘one-stroke calligraphy’ which means that every piece of calligraphy is done in one stroke. No discontinuation is allowed from beginning to end, as any discontinuation will make it difficult to continue to the next character.

After successfully exhibiting at the UN International Centre in Vienna and the China Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan, the Venerable Master Hsing Yun's One Stroke Calligraphy was exhibited at the Yehudi Menuhin space in the European Parliament between 19-23 March. This was the first time that a Buddhist monk has had his work exhibited at the European Parliament. The exhibition was organised by Fo Guang Shan and the EU Asia Centre and sponsored by MEP Alojz Peterle.

The opening ceremony on 21 March brought together nearly one hundred guests from all over Europe. After an opening Zen dance performance by members of BLIA Paris, Dr. Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Asia Centre, welcomed guests to the exhibition. He commented that peace and harmony are very important to the EU and it is impressive that the Master's calligraphy also portrays such values.

In his speech, MEP Alojz Peterle quoted the Master in saying "Do not look at my writing, look at my heart." He encouraged everyone to use their hearts to connect with one another stating that ‘there is no language barrier if we use our hearts.’ Mr Peterle also delighted guests with a harmonica performance of the European anthem ‘Ode to Joy.’

MEP Adam Kosa commended the Master for his dedication to bringing messages of respect, tolerance and peace to the society through his calligraphy, despite his disability.

Venerable Man Chien (Director of Fo Guang Shan Overseas Supervisory Council) introduced the core values of Humanistic Buddhism and explained the essence behind the Masters Calligraphy. She highlighted the important messages of the Master, including Oneness and Coexistence, Respect and Tolerance, Peace and Harmony. She expressed her delight in being able to see these messages displayed at the European Parliament

Throughout the week long exhibition, the 34 pieces of Master Hsing Yun's One Stroke Calligraphy attracted hundreds of visitors who not only appreciated the art but also the deeper meaning behind the Master's works. To promote Chinese culture, many other workshops were available to visitors including tea ceremony, calligraphy writing and ink rubbing.