Islamic art (Arabic-Chinese hybrid designs)

Islamic art (Arabic-Chinese hybrid designs)
Chinese Islamic art incorporates Arabic calligraphy, architecture and Islamic music, each expressive of Muslim religious life. Hybrid Arabic—Chinese calligraphy is referred to as ‘Arabic- character painting’ (jingzihua), and by non-Han Muslims in Xinjiang as ‘Chinese style’ (zhongguoti). Borrowing from Arabic writing and blended perfectly with the techniques of Chinese calligraphy and aesthetics, a distinctive artistic genre of jingzihua calligraphy and painting has been created. The unique art works of Arabic-character painting carry poetic names, such as ‘seawater welcomes the sun’ (haishui chaoyang), and ‘golden dragon climbs the jade pillar’ (jinlongpanyuzhu).
Diversity of design results from the use of different art media and techniques employing fine brushwork, freehand brushwork, seal character brushwork, and from application of regular and cursive script, resulting in vertical scrolls, horizontal hanging scrolls, couplet scrolls, fan-shaped screens or paintings.
The content of ‘Arabic-character painting’ is inspired by the Koran, hadiths and other religious texts. Calligraphy tools are usually made by the calligrapher: this can be a hard brush made from plant stems and tree roots, or a soft brush made from cloth, yarn or flax.
Islamic music comprises ritual eulogies praying to Allah and praising the Prophet Muhammad, chants for reciting the Koran, and other poems or songs which express belief and religious devoutness in prayers, rituals and religious festivals. These chants tend to have no instrumental accompaniment; cadence and modulation induce a worshipful and stirring mood. In women’s mosques, the tradition of ‘religious songs’ (jingge) is being revived, their tunes closely related to popular local Han folksongs.
Dillon, M. (1996). China’s Muslims. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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