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Sparrow and Bamboo, 1981

Sparrow and Bamboo, 1981

Sparrow and Bamboo, 1981, by Chao Shao-an (1905-1998). China. Ink and colors on paper. Collection of Master Chao Shao-An, 1992.265.

Bamboo is a symbol for virtue because of its unique qualities of strength and flexibility. It is also one of the more difficult subjects for Chinese  artists to paint. Here Chao Shao-an shows his technical prowess not only in his rendering of a single powerful stalk of bamboo but also in that of the three delicate sparrows. The inscription by the artist reads:

Winter has passed, spring is here again.
What I planted stands upright on this hill,
Having endured the cold and frost with great patience,
Seeking only to be remembered for its unyielding
virtue.

Xinyou year (1981), winter, twelfth month. Shao-an at the Lingnan Art Studio.

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