Ink: Central to the Literati Arts, and Chinese Civilization
Whenever we think of Chinese Arts, the images that leap to mind inevitably revolve around a very controlled use of line, and a deep glossy black. This black is a product of Chinese Ink, an artistic material that has survived largely unchanged for thousands of years. Ink has been not only the primary medium of literary visual artistic expression, but has also played a pivotal role in the formation and maintenance of the Chinese cultural complex. Without ink, it is impossible to tell what the historical landscape of China would look like. In other cultures, the keeping of records and maintenance of bureaucracy was often dependent on much more laborious processes, or on products that surrendered to the vagaries of time. It may be argued that the ease of preserving works executed with Chinese Ink has had an impact on the remarkable continuity of the Chinese culture across millennia.