More captions/quotes from the BM Ming exhibition:
‘When I grow sober from the wine and the tea and the incense are finished I bid farewell to the setting sun and welcome the clear moon.’ Alcohol sets the mind up for contemplation, a world I assume of pure wine and no hangovers.
Birds depicted in paintings or scrolls: they were it seems ‘symbols of the complex social interactions at court’. They might flutter but ultimately all had their own perches in the bureaucracy.
Guanshiyin, bodhisattva of compassion, appears as a statue, and we’re told the name means ‘observing the sounds of the earth’. Yes, listening is a pure art – but it seems it more literally means ‘sounds of lamentation’, the cruel and not the gentle sounds of earth.
Warrior Yang Hong is quoted as displaying ‘intestinal fortitude of iron and stone’. As will I from henceforth in adversity.
A red lacquer dish has ‘The Imperial Household Department of Sweetmeats and Delicacies’ on its base – something out of fairyland but scratch below the sugar coating it was a pretty brutal place to be.
And there’s more… visit while you can!