Wang Zhu (Northern Song Dynasty)
You must study hard at an early age,
Writings can help you live well in the world.
All high officials under emperors,
Are without exception scholars indeed.
A country boy early in the morning,
Can be high officials in the evening.
Successes are not determined by birth,
Real men should be dependent on nothing.
This well known compilation of verses on learning by the Northern Song scholar Wang Zhu manifested the deeply-rooted beliefs in Chinese society – the path to success lies in learning. The imperial examinations, a civil service testing system is the path to office and social advancement in imperial China.
The ideal of a well learned man is a respected scholar – statesman, an accomplished artist and calligrapher, an intellectual with refined tastes and aesthetics.
The scholar’s study is an uttermost important chamber in a literati’s residence. It houses his rare book collections, highly selected tools for writing and painting purpose, objects for contemplation, musical instruments for amusement and relaxation. It is a spiritual sanctuary carefully designed for cultivating one’s sensibility and creativity.
砚山 – Inkstone
笔床 – Brush rest
笔屏- Brush screen
笔筒 – Brush holder
笔洗 – Brush wash
笔掭 – Brush licker
水中丞 – Water dropper
书匣 – Book box
印色池 – Ink pad
糊斗 – Paste ladle
秘阁 – Arm rest
贝光 – Paper calender
箫 – Flute
香橼盘 – Fruit plate