CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

About History Press Release Sessions Schedule Activities Participants Venue Discussion Registration Closed


Social Status and Craftsmanship: An Ink Brush Dealer in Ching Dynasty Huzou

Session 4 Appreciation and Utility

School of Design, Jiangnan University


"Bi Ke" (or, writing brush guest, vulgarly referred to as Walking Brush Pack) was some kind of social identity imposed on those brush peddlers and makers of Shanlian county when they peddled writing brushes in Qing Dynasty (1636—1912). This paper, based on the collection and analysis of the local chronicles, notes of men of letters, literary works and illustrations, has done some research on: 1) its origin and ending, 2) what attributing to its rising, 3) its social attribute and function, and (4) its development and influence. The paper draws a conclusion that the rise of “Bi Ke” is the result of the local economic transformation as well as the changes of cultural, political and economic centers at the time. The paper proposes that the interaction between “Bi Ke” and men of letters contributes mostly to the popularity and prosperity of Huzhou’s writing brushes in Qing Dynasty. Thus, the findings of this paper provide a powerful evidence for restoring original Chinese unique human landscape to a large extent.


Yao Dan, male, PhD, graduated from School of Design, Jiangnan University in June 2016 under the supervision of Prof. Gu Ping, following the Research of Creation in Ancient China. He is currently working in School of Art & Design ,GDUT as a teacher. He had published 7 academic papers during PHD candidate period. 3 of them were published on CSSCI journals, of which, the paper “On the Formation literary Circles in JiangZhe Province and the Rise of Huzhou Writing Brush in Yuan Dynasty” was selected as the “Contributions of Excellent Paper” by ZHUANGSHI magazine in 2014. Meanwhile, he also published 2 other journal papers and 1 international conference paper. In 2014, he completed an "innovation project of graduate education in Jiangsu province", which based on PHD research content.