Chow Man Sha
(b. 1916 - d. 1987)
Chow Man Sha was a native of Changsha City, Hunan Province and his sobriquet was Sha Weng (The Old Sha). He graduated from teachers college and came to Malaya in 1937. He founded Beng Teik Primary School in 1945 and became its principal for many years, until he retired in 1972.
Chow Man Sha was the backbone of Penang Chinese School Teachers Association. During the 50s and 60s, Chinese education in Malaysia faced many difficulties. As one of the pillar for the United Chinese School Teachers’ Association of Malaysia (Jiao Zong), he served as the vice president for 16 terms. In 1952, Chow became the acting president of Jiao Zong, when the inaugural president David Chen was assassinated and stabilised the chaotic situation in the association as well as in Penang Chinese School Teachers Association. Three months later, he passed the position to Lee Po Wen. Chow Man Sha was one of the founders and also the advisor for the Calligraphy Society of Malaysia, and as well as one of the founders of Penang Art Society. He collaborated with Ren Yu Nong to establish Nanfeng Magazine, a commentary magazine that propagated the resistance-war against Japanese aggression sentiments, making him well-known in Northern Malaya.
Besides, as representative of Jiao Zong, Chow Man Sha had involved and took painstaking effort in editing textbooks and making curriculum syllabus. The Declaration of All Federation Chinese School Teachers Association, Teachers Association’s Memo to the Malaysian Chinese Association Honorary Adviser Envoy to UK Professor Purcell and the Inscription for the Federation Chinese School Teachers were all penned by him. He was highly respectable for his great feats.
Chow Man Sha’s calligraphic works mainly used oracle bone script, running script and regular script. Guan Zhen Min, Seow Yeoh Thian, Ren Yu Nong and Chow Man Sha are known as the famous Four Scholars of Penang.
Image by JiaoZong Official Facebook.
Article translated from the “Pioneering Calligraphy Exhibition by First Generation Chinese Artists” Catalogue.
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