The Lingnan School

Fig. 30. First of crystal bottles without inscription. Fig. 32. From of crysral bottle showing fig– ure in boar. Fig. 34. From of crystal bottle showing fig· ure similar 10 {har in figure 32. Fig. 35. Reverse of bottle in figure 34. Fig. 33. Reverse of bmtle in figure 32. '! Fig. 31. Reverse of bottle in figure 30. The playfulness and rapid, sponta– neous nature of this whole group, whether by one or more artiSts, may suggest that they were not taken perhaps quite so seriously as works of art and were not, therefore, reg– ularly signed. They are clearly by a practiced hand whose claim to fame, and identifying signatures, may have lain in his works in the more con– ventional media. In considering this more playful attitude, however, it is worth remembering that the Chi– nese idea of play was in some re– spects quite different from our own, and when artists spoke of playing at their art, the expression referred to one of the most profound pursuits of the culture, one that was inextricably linked to the highest aim of all-the transformation of consciousness in the enlightenment experience. Their play, therefore, might equate to our pursuit of philosophy in the Western ]4