Wei stone inscriptions, or the stone inscriptions of the Northern Wei (386-534), belong to regular script. Wei stone inscriptions show bold innovation spirit and outstanding creative abilities during the evolution from official script to regular script of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Wei stone inscriptions appeared during the transition from official to regular script. The beauty of it lines between likeness and unlikeness, showing both the simplicity and unsophistication of official script and an inkling of regular script of the Tang Dynasty. Wei stone inscriptions are characterized by free, easy, elegant and upright forms in varied sizes. Lines are arranged artistically, changes are hidden in neatly written characters and rises abruptly emerge in leveled lines.
Chinese calligraphy has a long history, ranging from the keeping of records by tying knots before Cang Jie invented writing, to the characters on earthenware discovered at Dawenkou and inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th-11th century BC).
Chinese characters fall into the following styles: regular, running, grass, official and seal scripts. Seal scripts may be divided into large and small characters; official scripts, into Qin and Han styles; grass characters, into Zhang (cursive official), Jin (modern) and Kuang (wild) scripts; and regular characters, into Wei and Tang scripts. Chinese calligraphy not only reflects the character of individual calligrapher, but also presents the style and flavors of different regions and eras.
China has always regarded calligraphy as the quintessence of Chinese culture and a national treasure as well. Calligraphy is a required course at school and every educated person must study calligraphy. Anyone who wishes to have a good command of Chinese calligraphy must have a good teacher and a good book. At the present time when it is hard to find a good teacher, good teaching materials are very important. Professor Huang Quanxin has compiled the Chinese Calligraphy Teach-Yourself Series in six books: A Self-Study Course in Regular Script, A Self-Study Course in Wei Stone Inscriptions, A Self-Study Course in Running Script, A Self-Study Course in Grass Script, A Self-Study Course in Official Script, and A Self-Study Course in Seal Script. Each book consists of the following chapters: A Brief Introduction, Techniques, Strokes, Radicals, Structure, The Art of Composition, Creation, Copying, and Appreciation, which should help beginners learn the rudiments, and other learners improve their calligraphy techniques. With standard model characters, systematic theories for self-study, illustration and texts, the Chinese Calligraphy Teach-Yourself Series is well formatted, informative and interesting. Student may appreciate Chinese calligraphy while practicing the models in the books to improve their accomplishments and techniques.