酣畅淋漓的“六分半书” ——献墨行善的王宾湖书法

郝军政 沈文华

沈 文 华

By Shen Wenhua

现年79岁的沪上著名书法家王宾湖被誉为“海上一怪”,其书法是酣畅淋漓的“六分半体”,感情饱满,笔意流畅,情感得到充分抒发。“无所放其意;则往往从布衣野花;酣嬉淋漓;颠倒而不厌。”(宋· 欧阳修)

The renowned calligrapher Wang Binhu, aged 79 in Shanghai, is acclaimed as the "Sea Eccentric". His calligraphy embodies the spirited "Six and a Half Style", brimming with emotions, flowing with ease, fully expressing sentiments. "Without constraint of intent; often from common cloth and wild flowers; in joyous abandon; turning over without fatigue." (Song Dynasty, Ouyang Xiu)

王宾湖现为上海市赵朴初研究会特邀理事、香港国画院副院长、日本东京中国书画院特聘高级院士 。笔者曾先后撰写三文:2017年7月《肃然绝俗、积德行善——评“海上一怪”王宾湖书法》、2019年11月《从“六分半书”到“诸体相掺”——王宾湖先生与书法》、2020年11月《风雨中提灯而来——漫谈“海上一怪”王宾湖与书法》,曾刊发在“中国国际新闻”等媒体,引起读者的广泛关注。其书法曾被“中国国际新闻网”评为“中国国际影响力书法艺术家”。

Wang Binhu currently serves as a specially invited council member of the Shanghai Zhaopu Chu Research Society, Vice President of the Hong Kong National Painting Academy, and a distinguished senior academician at the China Calligraphy and Painting Institute in Tokyo, Japan. The author has previously written three articles: "Solemnly Transcending the Mundane, Accumulating Virtue and Doing Good—An Evaluation of 'Sea Eccentric' Wang Binhu's Calligraphy" in July 2017, "From 'Six and a Half Style' to 'Assorted Styles'—Mr. Wang Binhu and Calligraphy" in November 2019, and "Arriving with a Lantern in the Wind and Rain—A Discussion on 'Sea Eccentric' Wang Binhu and Calligraphy" in November 2020. These articles were published in "China International News" and other media outlets, attracting widespread attention from readers. His calligraphy has been recognized by the "China International News Network" as a "Chinese internationally influential calligraphy artist".


"In the desolate wind and rain, memories are distant, of the old plank bridge fifty years ago." After the reform and opening up, he returned to settle in Shanghai with his wife (a sent-down youth from Shanghai). Over the course of more than a decade, he visited over a hundred famous temples and academies in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, and Jiangxi, enjoying the Zen ambiance and contributing his calligraphy for charitable purposes. "Entering the Mountain Border Temple, outside the trees seem to touch the sky." Guided by eminent monks of renowned temples in Shanghai, he adopted the artistic name "Sea Eccentric". In recent years, Wang Binhu has revisited and expanded his visits to over a hundred temples in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, and Jiangxi, indulging in calligraphy, fostering ink connections, and engaging with Buddhist monks and devotees. He has interacted with faculty and students from Fudan University, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and Shanghai International Studies University, and has visited various art and calligraphy creation bases such as the China Academy of Art and Tonglu, delighting in forming friendships with fellow calligraphers. His calligraphic masterpieces have spread to Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Europe, America, as well as renowned ancient temples nationwide such as Mount Wutai, Mount Jiuhua, Mount Putuo, and Mount Bailu. It's like "the beauty of the ancient temple corridors in the quiet night, with the wind rustling through the pine and cypress trees." His works were designated as the exclusive awards at the Silk Road "Miss World Cultural" contest in December 2015. In June 2019, they were presented as gifts at the "Hong Kong World Centenarians Forum". His calligraphic work "Seeking Kindred Spirits in High Mountains and Flowing Waters" won the highest award, the "Golden Sakura Award", at the 2009 Second China-Japan Master Exchange Exhibition.


"Born by the Lan River, you cultivate expertise with mastery." Mr. Wang Binhu was born in July 1946 in Lanxi, Zhejiang Province, known as the "hometown of orchids", along the banks of the Lan River. His ancestors managed the century-old renowned store "Qibuzhai Brush and Ink Old Village", one of the top ten famous stores in Lanxi. In his youth, he studied under the tutelage of the renowned maritime painter Bai Lushan, known for his rustic style, and later studied painting and calligraphy under Wu Wenzhi, a professor of landscape painting at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts. He received guidance from more than thirty famous calligraphers and painters such as Deng Bai and Ding Ding, and has been practicing the calligraphy style of Zheng Banqiao for over fifty years.


Zheng Banqiao (1693-1766), a native of Xinghua, Jiangsu Province, with ancestral roots in Suzhou, was a prominent figure among the "Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou". He self-proclaimed his calligraphy as the "Six and a Half Style", which has historically been quite controversial, with orthodox calligraphers considering it as "wild fox Zen". During his early and middle years, Zheng Banqiao integrated cursive, clerical, and seal scripts into one, while also incorporating elements of painting, thus establishing his unique style. Nowadays, many calligraphers study and research Zheng Banqiao's works, but most tend to standardize his font into a mere "model".


"Wielding the brush, I carve out my own path; in calligraphy and painting, I shun the praise of ordinary folk." Mr. Wang Binhu, pursuing both the heritage and innovation of calligraphic styles, has gradually developed his own distinctive calligraphic style, characterized by a tranquil yet lively demeanor, and a natural and unpretentious spirit, known as the "Sea Eccentric". The essence of Zheng Banqiao's calligraphy lies in its ever-changing nature; the same character can be written differently in various contexts and works. As for how to write, it's entirely improvised and adapted to the situation. With spontaneity, his art flourishes. During the pandemic, his calligraphy, such as "Boundless Love", "Medical Excellence", and "Accumulating Virtue through Benevolent Deeds", gifted to the medical staff returning to Shanghai after aiding Wuhan's orthopedic department, received much acclaim.


"With guests, I wield my brush to write screens and banners; drawing, I leave behind traces of sunlight askew." Mr. Wang Binhu resides near the Longhua Temple in Shanghai, often visiting nearby temples to practice calligraphy and offer his works. Hosted by the President of the Buddhist Association of Minhang District, Master Hui Ping of the Qibao Temple, his calligraphy has been presented as gifts to temples in Taiwan and Japan. In recent years, he has visited numerous temples, including the Qibao Temple, Jing'an Temple, Ningguo Zen Temple, Mingyin Temple, Jade Buddha Temple, and Longyin Temple in Shanghai; the Lanfeng Temple, Faluo Temple, and Tianping Temple in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province; the Sizhou Zen Temple, Daming Temple in Yangzhou, Yuantong Temple in Wujiang, Dajue Temple in Yixing, Nanyue Zen Temple in Nanjing, Mituo Temple in Yancheng, Nanchan Temple in Wuxi, and Ganlu Zen Temple in Wuxi, Zhejiang Province; the Jinhong Zen Temple, Jiufeng Temple, Huangdaixian Temple, and Anguo Zen Temple in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province; the Puming Zen Temple in Mount Yandang, Wenzhou, the Xianghai Zen Temple in Jiaxing, the Fu Gong Temple in Xin'an River, the Wanfu Zen Temple in Kuocang Mountain, the Bailu Mountain Temple and Lanyin Temple in Lanxi, Zhejiang Province; the Shenshan Temple in Chuzhou, Anhui Province; and the Yunyan Temple in Xiushui Mountain, Lushan Huanglong Temple in Jiujiang, and Huguo Temple in Langya Mountain in Jiangxi Province, among others. "Returning from mountain temples, one hears pleasant words; wildflowers and birdsong also bring joy." Wandering through the winding corridors of Zen Buddhism, sharing tea and conversation with friends, meditating in tranquility, listening to the morning and evening bells, engaging in discussions in the meditation room, his calligraphic artistry continues to advance.


"With inspiration, he casually wields his brush, like the wind branches and leaves, gracefully swaying." Reading through the numerous excellent works he has posted on his WeChat Moments from his travels across various places, it is not difficult to notice that many of his pieces blend various styles of calligraphy. Some combine clerical script with cursive script, while others primarily use clerical script with hints of seal script and occasional cursive elements. Furthermore, some works are inspired by his collection of strange stone root carvings, resulting in innovative variations that incorporate inclined and lateral forms. Engaged in sketching, composing, and even poetry, ultimately, it's the characters he creates that are the focus. "Overflowing with natural charm, his art is like clouds and mist filling the entire scroll." He humanizes orchids, bamboo, and rocks.


The calligraphy of "blending various styles" takes a unique creative approach, primarily enhancing the components of seal script and clerical script in the characters, introducing concepts from Zheng Banqiao's "scattered stones pave the street" and the painting technique of orchid leaves. Mr. Wang Binhu's calligraphy is imbued with genuine energy, intention, and interest. With a variety of styles, blending seal script and clerical script, and even cursive script resembling orchids and bamboo, from "six and a half-point script" to "blending various styles," his calligraphic style reaches the pinnacle of effortless gracefulness.


"Wu Jun, how did you acquire such mastery? With the momentum of a thousand streams." The overall characteristic of his calligraphy is its painterly quality, or one might say, he approaches calligraphy as if he were painting. Particularly adept at writing large characters spanning four feet, he possesses a distinctive and personal style. His large-character calligraphy is extraordinarily exquisite, blending artistic intent with calligraphic strokes, encompassing profound philosophical and historical implications within its endless variations of strength. In July 2022, he was specially appointed as the Director of Calligraphy and Painting by the Beijing Starlight Red Culture Media Group.


"With fervor, he wields his brush and ink, as the hall is enveloped in swirling mist." Writing in densely packed characters, he confines sixteen characters within a space of four feet, effortlessly and naturally. His calligraphy blends elements of Regular, Seal, and Clerical scripts, showcasing both skill and whimsy. Some are dominated by cursive script, revealing his temperament, evidently not striving for perfection. Particularly challenging is the calligraphy on fans, with their limited space and complex structure. The varying sizes, thicknesses, lengths, and styles of strokes, the interplay between lines, the rhythm of brushstrokes, the manipulation of space, and the balance between occupied and blank areas, all demonstrate a painting-like approach in his creation, where different styles are blended seamlessly.


"Whenever I recall Zheng Banqiao of Yangzhou, the vigor in brush and ink knows no bounds." Mr. Wang Binhu's brushwork is unrestrained, freely flowing with boldness and vigor. He travels extensively to temples across Jiangnan, creating works at the studio of Wu Chuanming, a retired professor from Fudan University in Shanghai. He has visited the redwood forest and botanical garden in Wenzhou, participated in the second Happiness Cultural Festival organized by the Rui'ouna Group, donating gifts to a private school for children of migrant workers and presenting on-site creations. He attends large-scale charity events hosted by the Shanghai Empress Dowager Love and Public Welfare Special Fund, the World People's Reunion Spring Festival Gala, and interacts with the Pudong New Area and other entrepreneur associations. He also meets foreign friends at high-speed rail stations, airports, hotels, and docks through calligraphy, as well as professors, scholars, dancers, opera performers, flight attendants, architects, doctors, writers, painters, soldiers, scientists, migrant workers' children, high school principals, and young friends from various places during business trips and travels. He mentions that his calligraphy often participates in charity auctions at temples, contributing to charitable causes, and is beloved by the masses. At a charity auction in a Jiangsu temple, a four-foot calligraphy piece titled "Tranquility Leads to Far-Reaching" was auctioned for ten thousand yuan. Wang Binhu seeks no personal gain but strives to contribute, embodying the essence of his personality and emotions through his art.


"Inclined to ascend with slender branches, as if tapping the water railing to send the midday coolness." In different settings, at different temples, with different subjects, sensitive moments emerge, each becoming a focal point of thought and illumination, each offering unique insights. From these moments emerge calligraphic works, ever-changing, strangely ancient yet delicately refined. These exquisite records linger, carrying the charm of words, the settling of calligraphy, the philosophical musings of emotions, all brewing a continuously expanding realm of consciousness. The emotions within this realm will be exceptionally rich.


"In the pure chamber, the scent of the mountains lingers long, a hundred years of honor and decline, just ordinary." In May 2024, local entrepreneur Mr. Li Weibing, impressed by Wang Binhu's reputation, established the "Zheng Banqiao Poetry, Calligraphy, and Painting Art Research Center" and the "Hai Shang Yi Guai Calligraphy Creative Base" for him. The calligraphic works of "Hai Shang Yi Guai," appreciated by both refined and common tastes, elegant and free spirited, imbued with the richness of scrolls, have now entered ordinary households and are gradually gaining recognition among the people.