Hanzi consists of two systems : simplified Chinese characters and full-form traditional Chinese characters. Simplified characters are used on the Chinese mainland and among Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, and traditional Chinese characters are used widely in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan Province and among overseas Chinese in North America. In recent years, the use of simplified Chinese characters has grown, as more and more people in other countries are choosing Chinese to study as a second language.
Hanzi evolved into various written styles from pictograms to symbols, from design to the final shape. In writing Chinese characters, a unique art emerged-calligraphy. The writing tools are brushes made of weasel and goat hair, and the soft brush tip, after being dipped in ink, can deliver a variety of writing styles.
Seals are important on a piece of calligraphic work. As a token of identity, both official and private seals have evolved with more cultural elements attached. For Chinese calligraphers and painters, the seal inscriptions affixed to their works and color, balance the layout and enrich the vision. The combination of calligraphy, painting and seal inscription is typical in works of Chinese literati.
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