The importance of ink in Chinese writing culture is self-evident. In Chinese, we call calligraphy works “墨宝(mò bǎo, literally meaning the treasures of ink)”, intellectuals “墨客(mò kè,literally meaning inkmen)”, and painting “泼墨(pō mò,literally meaning splashing ink)”.
Ancient Chinese ink was made by blending carbon elements with gelatin (as an adhesive), mixed with precious spices, gold and other materials. This high-quality ink had the characteristics of dark color, a long lifespan, the ability to retain its deep color when coming in contact with paper, and a strong fragrance.
In the use of ancient Chinese ink, the ink color could be easily divided into different shades, strong and soft. Therefore, it became one of the main tools for artists of past dynasties to express their ingenuity. It also established a unique style of Chinese painting in the history of the art world.