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Yang Ermin’s inkstone collection exhibited in Nice, France

Inkstone from Ming Dynasty

A collection of inkstones is being displayed at an exhibition held at the Asian Arts Museum in Nice, France, through Feb 14.

The exhibition, titled Spirit of Harmony, presented by the Departmental Museum of Asian Arts in Nice, is dedicated to contemporary creation and literary tradition in China and Japan. Chinese artist Yang Ermin contributed most of the ink stones on display.

Inkstone showing a drunken poet Li Bai

An inkstone is a stone mortar for the grinding and containment of ink. For serious calligraphers and painters, a good inkstone is as important as the quality of the ink. An inkstone will affect the quality and texture of the ink that is ground upon it.

Together with brushes, ink and rice paper, inkstones make up one of the “four treasures” of a Chinese scholar in Chinese history and even today.

Yang’s collection showed various development stages of inkstones, dating from almost all Chinese dynasties to modern China periods.

Porcelain inkstone from Song Dynasty

“Inkstones are one of my passions,” Yang said. “I considered them as both the representation of ancient Chinese civilization and a cross-cultural bridge, especially when curators introduced them to international audiences.”

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