For those of you who partied back at home, you’re going to be in for a bit of a shock because that is not the way it works in China.
You might think that playing beer pong and doing whiskey and vodka shots are the ultimate methods of getting wasted. No way!
Further reading: Chinese Drinking Games Top 7 & How To Play
Baijiu looks exactly like vodka and is usually distilled from sorghum, although sometimes grains may be used. Baijiu is produced differently all over China. For example, in southern China, it’s typically made from glutinous rice, but if it’s from northern China it’s made with sorghum, wheat, barley, and millet.
China’s drinking culture isn’t to get drunk ASAP. Usually it involves drinking small amounts of alcohol over a long period of time, so if you’re feeling tipsy, wait for about fifteen minutes and take another drink. Sooner or later you’ll be feeling tipsy again. You’ll be drinking beer or wine if you are lucky; baijiu if you are not (pray that you live to see the next day).
A Chinese blue and white bottle vase set a online record when it achieved a hammer price of over £3 million at the close of the sale in Singapore this week.
The 15 inch high bottle form vase, with a six character Yongzheng (1722-35) mark to the base. It featured in a timed sale on April 18th to May 3rd held by Hotlotz.
The price is a record for Hotlotz and the biggest selling lot on thesaleroom.com
The vase was decorated with a nine dragon design amongst stylised clouds. It is thought to be to another mark and period vase of the same size and similar decoration (two-dragon) that took a house record of £2.6 million at Tennants of Leyburn in 2012 and was resold by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in 2015 for HK$75.8 million approx £7.5 million.
The first eggshell porcelains date back to prehistoric times, some 2000 years BC and were made by ring modelling, around about this time the potters wheel was invented.
The Chinese sat on the floor, early on in their culture, but with time, low couches and chairs were introduced, most probably through the spread of Buddhism and the figures of Buddha on raised platforms. The idea of being elevated and of being above others was brought into being and saw couches and chairs getting raised higher and higher from the floor. Where special guests, dignitaries, and noblemen were “above” the commoner who remained on the floor.
The colour blue gained recognition during the Tang dynasty (618 – 907). The colour comes from cobalt ores. During the Yuan (1279 – 1368) Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1911) dynasties, different types of cobalt ore and methods of use determined the shades of blue that appears on blue-and-white porcelain ware. The cobalt pigment is one of the few that can stand the highest firing temperatures that are needed for porcelain.
What is mother of pearl (nacre) ? It is a smooth shining iridescent substance formed on the inner layer of some molluscs, like the oyster and abalone.
Mother of pearl has been used for centuries as a decorative inlay on lacquer ware. It was first thought that mother of pearl oyster beds existed in three regions, the Persian gulf, the red sea and the Sri Lanka coast, but explorers soon found pearl oysters throughout tropical waters. The shells were harvested and exported around the world as people became enamored by this lustrous marvel from the sea.
Chinese ink-stone! what is it? It is literally a mortar for grinding and containing ink. Or you could say an artists mixing palette for ink. It evolved from a tool for rubbing dyes, around 7000 years ago. The Chinese ink was solidified into a stick or round ink-cake, which were then gradually ground down on the surface of the stone using a circular movement and with the addition of water from a water dropper which controlled the amount of water. The ink that was produced from this went into the ink-stones reservoir, until enough ink had been produced for the task at hand.
The brush pot (bitong) is mostly a cylindrical container for holding brushes used by scholars. They are made from various materials such as stone, porcelain and bamboo and often are decorated with ornate motifs, symbols and carvings.
The numerous brushes would be rinsed and stored in the pot with their handles down, so that the bundles of hair would keep their shape and point.
The brush is an important tool to the scholar. With it he could engage in calligraphy, landscape and still life painting. Like the pots the brushes came in an array of sizes.
Chinese brush washers were created at the same time as ink painting, and were used to remove excess ink from the brush while the scholar painted, or after the painting was finished. A common shape for the brush washer was a lotus leaf or flower.