paper and fabric depiction of Ts’ao Kuo-chiu

Ts’ao Kuo-chiu

was given a recipe for perfection. A member of the imperial family, Ts’ao wears the court headress and official robes, and carries the tablets of admission to court; however, he renounced the life of the court to atone for the sins of his brother, who had committed a homicide. He went to live as a hermit in the mountains, where he clothed his head and body with wild plants. There, when Lu Tung-pin asked him what he was doing, he replied: “I am engaged in studying the way.” When asked what was this “way,” Ts’ao pointed to the sky. When asked where the sky was located, he pointed to his heart. Impressed, Lu Tung-pin gave him a recipe for perfection