A while back for my Chinese class I had to do a presentation on world religions and I came across Sini, which is a type of Arabic calligraphy style used in China. It’s interesting because not a lot of people realize that China a pretty sizeable Muslim population, especially in Western China. There’s even a writing style that was developed specifically for transliterating Sinitic languages with Arabic script. I’ll probably post more on that later but for now, here are some pictures of Sini calligraphy.
Unlike other styles of Arabic calligraphy, Sini uses brushes as opposed to reed pens so you get lots of soft shapes and tapered effects that are characteristic of Chinese calligraphy.
According to China Heritage Quarterly, Sini script probably emerged during the Ming Dynasty when China broke off contact with many of the Muslim populations ruled over by the Mongols, who had control of China during the Yuan Dynasty.
Here are some pictures of Sini calligraphy used to adorn mosques.
And here’s the official site of Hajji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang, one of the most famous Sini calligraphers: http://www.hajinoordeen.com/
Source: China Heritage Quarterly