Siyah Qalam Animals

June 2022

Lu Xiang Yi Studio

A workshop over four sessions to make a siyah qalam (monochrome) animal painting, focusing on the materiality of ink and metallic leaf.

Participants delved into the process of making various types of ink, including oil soot, pine soot, charred pomegranate, and tanning-based inks. Using self-made inks, participants proceeded to learn miniature painting techniques in combination with silver or copper leaf gilding and patina making.

The workshop shed light on the very medium for traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy – ink, and participants were able to relate to their own practice, linking it to everyday materials, and learned new ways of expression through materials and processes.