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Saint Petersburg as a homeland of “the art of perfection”

Saint Petersburg. The International Exhibition of Calligraphy is unfolded in Saint Petersburg. Everyone is welcome to the halls of I.E. Repin State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture to enjoy the beauty of written letters in all kinds of languages from September 16th - 21st. The first handwritten copy of the Constitution of the Russian Federation was presented during a press-conference on September 16th at Baltic Information Agency (BIA). All the project’s authors and participants marked the creation of such a masterpiece as a particular milestone in art, as a “renaissance of Russian calligraphy” and an amazing opportunity for all the calligraphy artists that came from 25 countries to see and to judge the artworks of their colleagues.

According to the project’s authors, the main goal of the exhibition is to get the visitors involved in the art of calligraphy and make it help them to comprehend it. Pyotr Chobitko, Presidium Chairman of the National Union of Calligraphers, explained that "there are many languages in the world. But calligraphy is a universal language that everyone understands".

“We perceive and comprehend the mood and feelings of a human thought a certain point, line or a spot”, he added.

Meanwhile, one of the author’s of calligraphy works presented at the exhibition Nikolay Taranov, Doctor of Pedagogic Sciences, Candidate of Art History, Professor, member of the Union of Artists of Russia remarked that “people come in and get surprised it is actually possible to write this way and with that thing”. More than five hundred people came to see the collection during the first half of the day since the exhibition opened.

The project took nine months of intense work to be completed. During this period of time, a special commission selected around seven hundred works for the exhibition, but only four hundred and eighty of them are exhibited in the exhibit halls of the Repin State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture of St. Petersburg, informally known as the Academy of Arts.

"We did not want to overload the wonderful interiors of the 18th - 19th centuries," Alexey Shaburov, Director of the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy explained.

He also added that around fifty museum exhibits provided by the State Historical Museum and Archives of ancient manuscripts, as well as by private collectors did not enter into the exhibition. Nevertheless, the exhibition turned out to be very interesting, it has already attracted the attention of two foreign museums: from Paris and New York. The collection of artworks which can go to the exhibition in these foreign museums has already been gathered. There is only the artists’ permission left to ensure that A. Shaburov himself was to represent them abroad as the project’s leader. If the exhibition moves forward to a real international level and tours the cities of the world, then it will be held every four years in Saint Petersburg.

According to the organizers, this exhibition has also interested manufacturers of quill pens, technical devices and writing accessories who would like to make presentations of their products within the exposition. The organizers plan to reveal on future plans of the International Exhibition of Calligraphy existence on September 22nd, at the closing ceremony of the exhibition.

Throughout the exhibition work, a series of master classes on calligraphy will be held for everyone willing to explore the art of calligraphy more scrupulously, although they are mainly aimed at professional artists.

"Spaces are limited: only one hundred spaces, but we have over nine hundred and fifty people from all over Russia on our waiting list. Of course, we will inform them as soon as there are spaces available,” he explained.

Meanwhile Shaburov adds that the organizers are preparing specialized master-classes for kids as well.

A series of scientific studies to investigate the effect of fine motor skill on the development of the human personality will be carried out. For that purpose, we invited experts from around the world, as well as scientists of the St. Petersburg Bekhterev Psychoneurological Research Institute. For example, calligraphy lessons can raise the level of training of Russian students. According to Pyotr Chobitko, Presidium Chairman of the National Union of Calligraphers, calligraphy can help to crack the hidden talents and stimulate its development because the low level of training among university entrants can lead to the “lock of students in general”. “The ancients were right in saying that before we start to learn art, science or crafts, we have to learn calligraphy,” he remarked.

Valentina Orlova, Chairman of board of the World Club of St. Petersburg, partner of the project told that because of that reason the project is primarily aimed at families with kids. In the future, the project's organizers suggest adjusting work with children's and youth institutions. Currently we are now negotiating with Young Pioneer Palaces in St. Petersburg and with the administration of Roerich Art School (now -Tavricheskaya Art School).

The above mentioned also suggests that calligraphy might bring a lot of perspectives to advertising. According to her, the use of this kind of art on billboards can make it "nice to look at and to read" opposite to those flashy colors and inscriptions that are used now”.

“The elegance, style and pure taste of St. Petersburg citizens, which are seen in the exhibits, as well as in the design of the exhibition. These components must be shifted from the art of calligraphy into a sphere of practical use," she concludes.

The official opening of the International Exhibition of Calligraphy will take place at I.E. Repin State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture on September 17th at 2 pm.

Source: Baltic Information Agency (BIA)

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