Wednesday, 27 April 2016

An old calligraphy scroll

Many years ago, an old uncle who is my father’s friend seeks my help for legal matters and I happily obliged.  After I’ve assisted him, the uncle told me that he heard from my father that I am a big fan of Chinese calligraphy and paintings. He then took out a scroll and gave it to me.

When I opened it, uncle explained that this scroll was written by a calligrapher by the name of Wong Wing Sum (Cantonese Pronunciation). Who is he? I’ve not heard of this name but I was instantly mesmerized by the beautiful calligraphy in four different fonts. Uncle then went on to tell me that Wong Wing Sum 汪永深 was a famous calligrapher who crisscrossed Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaya in the 50s and 60s, writing for the rich and famous.

Who is the man behind this 55 year old calligraphy? 
Then, I saw已卯秋月 and 星洲on the scroll which carries the meaning that calligraphy was written in the autumn of 1961 in Singapore.  I told uncle that it is too precious and I cannot accept it. He insists that I must have it. Finally, he told me to help him to be the next keeper of this scroll and I agreed. Since then, I hang this precious this 4 and ½ ft over 1 and ½ feet calligraphy near the entrance to my bedroom in Kuala Lumpur.

Fast forward to 2013, when my friend Frances Tay visited Kuala Lumpur, over lunch and tea, we talked about Chinese calligraphy and the name Wong Wing Sum was brought up. Then, when Frances was in town last week, we talked about Wong Wing Sum again. It ignited my curiosity about this calligrapher but not much is known about him by present day collectors and calligraphers and Google don’t yield any result. Again, who is he? Who is the man behind this beautiful calligraphy that has been hanging near my room for years? 

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