The Four Arts Of A Chinese Scholar

My 16 days in Shanghai were based upon ‘siyi’ – ‘the four arts of the Chinese scholar’.

In China, to qualify as a well educated person, you should learn these four skills for self-cultivation.

Qin Qi Shu Hua. – (Music, Go game, Calligraphy and Painting)

So, on this journey of self-cultivation, I studied each skill from a master who shared a deep rooted love for their craft and culture. Something that has lingered in my mind, is when painter Liu Jiafang spoke of a simple bamboo paintbrush as though it was a personalised gift from the earth, just so that he was able to create his beautiful paintings.

With each encounter came a brand new creative outlook. Shanghai is filled with art and aesthetics and I can’t think of any other place to begin such a journey of creative discovery.

Link to actual feature:

Words and Photography by: Sarah Morgan

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