Zhejiang Province is naturally endowed with scenic beauty and ingenious
The ink brush, the ink stick, paper and the ink
stone – collectively called the “Four Treasures of the Study” – were the
indispensable writing and painting tools of the ancient literati. The gems of
Chinese culture and art for a thousand years, they embody the cultural soul and
skilful workmanship of the nation’s ancestors. Not only are they significant
conduits for spreading traditional Chinese culture, they are also highly
valuable collectibles. In 2006, the “Four Treasures of the Study” were listed as
the first examples of National Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The “Four Treasures of the Study” are famous in
many regions in China, but the primary origin among them is Anhui Province,
famous for producing the quality She ink stone, Hui ink stick,
Xuan brush and Xuan paper so highly prized by literati and
calligraphers all over the world. In order to further publicise the intangible
cultural heritage of China, Lou Kau Mansion – in celebration of the 4th Chinese
Cultural Heritage Day – presents the “Four Treasures of the Study” exhibition
from Anhui Province and invites six exquisite craftsmen from that region to
demonstrate the traditional methods of making the She ink stone, Hui ink
stick, Xuan brush and Xuan paper. In addition, a Chinese painting
artist will display the charm and excellence of the Four Treasures with a live
ARTISTIC FEATURES OF THE "FOUR
TREASURES OF THE STUDY"
SHE INK STONE
Named after its place of origin in Shezhou County in Anhui Province, the She
ink stone is one of the four famous ink stones of China. It is famous not just
for its toughness, radiance, smoothness and delicate texture but also for its
detailed, refined and lifelike carved decorations.
HUI INK STICK
The most celebrated Hui ink stick is produced in Shezhou County in
Anhui Province and has a history going back more than a thousand years.
According to the Annals of Huizhou County, the production
of the Hui ink stick began in the late Tang Dynasty (705-907). The fact
that the district of Huizhou had many pine trees (ink is made from soot
extracted from burning pinewood) and also had the clear springs necessary for
making the ink stick nurtured the rise of many ink stick artisans. The Hui
ink stick is primarily characterised by its lacquerlike texture and long-lasting
Jing County, of the Xuancheng Region in Anhui Province, has long been famous
for its Xuan paper, made by strictly following traditional techniques.
Xuan paper is favoured for its easy preservation, its enduring texture and
its ability to hold colour for many years, to the extent that it is known as
Since the Tang Dynasty, Jing County in
Xuancheng in Anhui Province has served as the national brush-making centre. It
produced Xuan brushes to pay tribute and for imperial use. Thus, there
appeared a number of famous practitioners of the art, and the Xuan brush
prevailed throughout the country. Available in numerous varieties, the Xuan
brush is characterised by its sharpness, smoothness, tidiness and firmness.