Honoring the 8 Immortals of the Wine Cup


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.


2 thoughts on “Honoring the 8 Immortals of the Wine Cup

  1. I have to agree with your conclusions. He must have been some kind of mutant to get better results intoxicated. When I have a glass, fine motor skills degrade and judgment slows a little. Hence I doodle sober. (The few I produce with alcohol look like something out of the impressionist section of the New Yorker.) I do like the smudge on the wine glass Sean. It’s neat.


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