The Treasures of Eight Thousand Years
Sung Dynasty 960－1279 C.E.
Timeline of Dynasties:
(1) Northern Sung 960－1126 C.E.
(2) Southern Sung 1127－1279 C.E.
Marked by cultural expansion, the Sung dynasty is characterized by its blanketing simplicity. Scholar-officials in the Sung imperial court valued highly the classical rites of antiquity; and, artists upheld the prevailing sense of naturalism and function when creating decorative items and writing utensils.
At the same time, the spreading word of Confucianism, an idealistic philosophy characterized by a keen observation of nature, also played a large role in the Sung aesthetic. Artisans infused form and decorative motifs with organic elements; thus, revealing a celebration of the essence of life.