Inkstone ("Yàn Tái")

Relationship: Im/migrant

Dating back to the third century BC, the inkstone held an important role in Chinese culture. It is an indiction of scholarship, art, and a learned culture. Ink is ground upon the surface and the inkstone is carved with delicate figures often reflecting nature or mythological creatures. My grandfather gave an inkstone to each of his two daughters and his son. He was a calligrapher, painter, scholar, and was the epitome of what our family valued. He was a senior officer in the Chinese Law Enforcement, but he retained many ancient traditions which he passed on to the next generation. By giving us the inkstone, he let us hold onto our traditions even in New York. It is a reminder for us to take time out of our daily grind to focus on higher forms of art and personal elevation.

Year: 1990

– Viola Zhang

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant