The Xingshu or 'running hand' is something between the regular and the cursive scripts. When carefully written with distinguished strokes, the xingshu characters will be very close to the regular style. When swiftly executed, they will approach the Cuoshu or cursive hand. Chinese masters have always compared with vivid aptness the three styles of writing-Kaishu, Xingshu and Caoshu to people standing, walking and running.
The best example and model for Xingshu, all Chinese calligraphers will agree, is the Inscription on Lanting Pavilion in the hand of Wang Xizhi (321- 379) of the Eastern Jin Dynasty.
To learn to write a nice hand in Chinese calligraphy, assiduous and persevering practice is necessary.
|This has been borne out by the many great masters China has produced. Wang Xizhi, the great artist just mentioned who exerted a profound influence on calligraphy and scholars throughout history, is said to have blackened in his childhood all the water of a pond in front of his house by washing the writing implements in it after his daily exercises. Another master, Monk Zhiyong of the Sui Dynasty (581- 618) was so industrious in learning calligraphy that he filled many jars with worn-out writing brushes, which he buried in a "tomb of brushes".
Renewed interest in brush-writing has been kindled today among the pupils in China, some of whom already show promise as worthy successors to the ancient masters.