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Studio scenes

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-05 10:06
A typical scholar's studio in ancient Chinese furniture collector Marcus Flacks' book Custodians of the Scholar's Way, decorated with his collection of about 200 pieces of wooden objects used by ancient Chinese scholars such as weiqi (the game of Go) boxes and inkpad boxes.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The private workspaces of ancient Chinese scholars and their wooden objects are the subject of an art book by a key British antique collector. Deng Zhangyu reports.

What did a Chinese scholar's studio look like hundreds of years ago? Collector, writer and curator Marcus Flacks offers a comprehensive insight into five different scholar's studios in his latest art book Custodians of the Scholar's Way: Chinese Scholars' Objects in Precious Woods, which has just been translated and published for Chinese readers.

In his book released last month, the British author elaborates on his collection of around 200 wooden objects used by Chinese scholars, which were usually made from precious hardwoods, that helped to reflect the social status of their owners. Many of these pieces were bought early in his career as a collector and antique dealer, when classical Chinese furniture such as cabinets, armchairs and stools were popular and highly sought after by Chinese and Western collectors alike.

To give readers a better understanding of how ancient Chinese scholars spent their time in their studios, which were often regarded as private spaces that reflected the personal taste and lifestyle of their owners, Flacks recreated five typical styles of studio decorated by his collections of wooden objects, including a "female studio", an "imperial studio" and a "natural Tao studio".

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