By Michael Sullivan
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OF HISTORY times the Universe, according to a popular Chinese legend, was an enormous One day the egg split open; its upper half became the sky, its lower half the emerged P'an Ku, primordial man. Every day he grew ten earth, and from taller, the sky ten feet higher, the earth ten feet thicker. After eighteen thousand Ku years P'an died. the rivers and seas. •'>» it His head His hair became the important. This one man is its —and his fleas for it scheme of more than an afterthought, things; hardly and waterfalls, the trees flowers, the workings of the Tao, he counts for very in far smaller compass, in that of Britain humble devotion and response germs of what they think most expresses a typically Chinese viewpoint comparison with the beauty and splendour of the world and our ancestors.
The and inscriptions activities on the oracle bones of the Shang —or Yin, tell as the much about Chou people the beliefs, social organization called them. Shang society was probably feudal, though this cannot be said as positively of the Shang as  it is of the Chou. The Shang Dynasty Successful generals, sons and even wives of the Shang rulers were enfeoffed, while small neighbouring who, paid regular tribute. Prominent 'states' as a scribe, composed and probably wrote the among the officials was the chen-jen on the inscriptions as a diviner, interpreted the cracks which appeared in them when oracle bones, and, a hot metal rod was applied to one of the holes bored into the back.
Shards found at Ma-chia-yao in Kansu reveal a quite sophisticated brush technique, in one case depicting plants each of whose leaves ends in a sharp point with a flick of the brush Sung artist, however are —the same technique that was to be used by the three thousand years later, in painting rare, and the vast majority whose significance is still are decorated bamboo. The with geometric or stylized patterns a mystery. In point of technique, shape and even to extent in the motifs themselves, the Yang-shao pottery is Western Asia, for the very similar painted red ware found is at least forms, and decoration, a quality that black pottery, is first still in a shapes at Anau in Russian by that of Turkestan number of more in the dynamic linear movement of their brush uniquely Chinese.
An Introduction to Chinese Art by Michael Sullivan