Chinese Idiom: Bamboo Exists in the Painter’s Mind
According to Records of Wen Yuke Drawing Bamboo by Su Shi of the Song Dynasty, Wen Tong who styled himself as Yuke, was a very famous painter in the Song Dynasty, He was very good at drawing bamboo. He planted bamboo on a large scale in his garden. He observed their growth and appearance in different seasons and weathers so he knew bamboo like the palm of his hands.
Whenever he took a paint brush to draw the bamboo, he already had the perfect picture of bamboo in mind and he could always paint bamboo in a vivid and lovely way.
From this historical story comes the idiom—“ Xiong You Chen Zhu”—the concept of bamboo exists in the painter’s mind. Now it is used to describe having a well-thought-out plan beforehand.
Calligraphy by Harrison X. Tu, Confucius Classroom in Denver