Wang Dongling is one of the most successful and gifted of the modernist calligraphers in China and one of the few who has for many years enjoyed an international reputation. At 17, he was admitted into the Department of Fine Arts at Nanjing Normal University and studied calligraphy. During the Cultural Revolution, Wang survived by writing big-character posters, a job that ironically provided him with an artistic freedom not available at the university. After the Cultural Revolution, he attended the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou, where he is currently vice-chair of the Calligraphy Department. Wang began developing a new form of composition that synthesizes traditional Chinese aesthetics with modernist art. Usually, there are no decipherable Chinese characters in his works, which have become closer to abstract painting than to calligraphy. Wang Dongling has been enormously influential on the whole development of contemporary calligraphy and ink painting.