Great Chinese calligraphers of old were also great drinkers. The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup (飲中八仙) were Tang Dynasty scholars known for their love of wine. Probably the best known was Zhang Xu, who used to get so plastered, he’d write calligraphy with his own hair. When he finally sobered up, he could never produce the amazing results he could when drunk.
Tonight, I decided not to get plastered, but I did do some calligraphy with my little one. She was “bored, daddy!” So I said, “Ok, let’s do some shodo.” I don’t think that I was any better with a glass of wine in me – and I don’t think that Zhang Xu would have drunk Pinot Gris – but it was pretty good fun.
Note the inky fingerprint on the wine glass.