Qigu (Emotional Vitality andForcefulness)
This term refers to the emotional strength and the vitality of a literary work. It was first used during the Southern Dynasties, resonating with the social practice of making comment on people. The term was used to describe the emotional vigor and forcefulness of artistic works such as poetry, essays, calligraphy, and paintings. It is similar in meaning to fenggu (风骨), but contrary to fengzi (风姿), a term meaning external elegance of an artistic work.
In terms of its emotional vitality and forcefulness, the poem stands equal to works of the Jian’an Reign period; in terms of its musicality and rhythms, it surpasses the works of the Taikang Reign period. (Yin Fan: A Collection of Poems by Distinguished Poets)
This piece of calligraphy by Lord Lu (Yan Zhenqing) is amazing, vigorous, mellow, and forceful, fully illustrating the admirable emotional vitality and strength that characterized the style since the Wei, Jin, Sui and Tang dynasties. (Huang Tingjian: Inscription on Lord Lu’s Calligraphy)