About Ya & Shi

The Choices of Crows

In his 1994 painting "The Gentleman Scholar", the artist Huang Miaozi depicts a crow choosing persimmons. The poem along the top and the quietly humorous image of an indecisive crow combine to form a sly play on words: Ya1 (鸦) and shi4 (柿) ‘crow and persimmons’ is a pun rebus for ya3 shi4 (雅士) ‘men of refined taste’.


"The greedy bird gazes at the persimmons

with the appetite of intellectuals yearning to go into business.

Well, if you are really interested in money,

then go for it like a yuppie, instead of dithering like a scholar.

Be a real man!"

Huang Miaozi
translation & image: British Museum


Master Huang Miaozi's poem perfectly describes our circumstance. We are greedy crows, who unabashedly peck at persimmons while imagining a gentleman scholar life.

We hope you will enjoy the choices we offer.


Ya & Shi
© 2008 

 

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