The mid-to-late Ming period (around 400 years ago) was a time
when a cultured lifestyle was greatly valued. Cities developed and
prospered rapidly, and people competed for luxury goods to show off their wealth and power. The intellectual literati looked for
alternatives amid intensifying market trends, emphasizing that
cultivation was not built on materialistic values.
Su Shi of the Song dynasty (960 – 1279) had said, 'The absence of bamboo renders a person banal', and the literati of Ming (1368 – 1644) embraced his philosophy. Ordinary bamboo became elegant objects that were often found in the scholarly gentleman's studio, ranking much higher than items made of expensive materials such as rhino horn, ivory, gold and silver or rare wood.
A Test of Cultivation
Please click on different kinds of artefact and choose the items you like.
You will see how the three Ming experts give comments on your choice.
You can also view other related Museum collection at the same time.