Flow of the Gentle Ink: Storytelling in Calligraphy by Ong BunHan




Ong Bun Han, 81 years old, was born to a poor family in Zhejiang, a coastal province of China. When his parents died when he was five years old, he was brought to Fujian province to live with another family. In the early 1930s, he migrated to the Philippines and worked in his uncle’s grocery while studying on the side.

After school, he worked as an education director at the San Juan Chinese Elementary School and, by 1955, started to engage in business by founding the Extraco Taxi Company and further setting up the Far Ocean shipping company in 1978. After his retirement in 1990, he turned to teaching t’ai chi, writing a column in a Chinese newspaper, and learning the calligraphy of Wang Xi Zhi, a great calligrapher of the Jin Dynasty.

The artist has led an active community life, contributing much in the field of arts, culture, and sports. In sports, he was a head of the development section for the capital region of the Philippine National Ping‐pong Association, the international liaison officer of the Philippine National Bicycle Association, and is also the honorary chairman emeritus of the Oriental Sports Club. He has also contributed to culture and sports exchanges between the Philippines and China. Ong was president of the Overseas Chinese Sports Association of Quanzhou, Fujian province and the honorary vice chairman of the Wushu Association of Zhejiang province.

Ong’s calligraphy is highly regarded and his collections have been shown in exhibitions in countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea.


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