Calligraphic Abstraction is about beauty. It’s a celebration of one of the oldest artistic traditions – and what can be seen just by looking. On view now at SAM’s Asian Art Museum, the exhibition presents 36 outstanding works selected from collections of the Seattle Art Museum and private collectors to showcase this art form that has thrived for thousands of years. In East Asia, calligraphy is more than a means of written communication; it lies at the core of arts for learned minds. It also has profound connections with philosophy and literature, as scholarship on calligraphy to date has well explored. For those who are not versed in the language or familiar with the culture, however, calligraphy can be better appreciated as abstract art for its beauty—compositional structure and flow of lines, for example—rather than to attempt to decipher the meaning of the words. With

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