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Lao Tzu Riding an Ox (Ming dynasty, 1368-1644)

Zhang Lu (張路)

Hanging scroll, light colour on paper

101.5 x 55.3 cm


Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taiwan


“If you want to be whole,

     let yourself become partial.”


Lao Tzu in Tao Te Ching (translated by Stephen Mitchell, HarperCollins, 1988)







  It is said that with the fall of the Chou dynasty, Lao Tzu decided to travel west through the Han Valley Pass. The Pass Commissioner, Yin-hsi, noticed a trail of vapor emanating from the east, deducing that a sage must be approaching. Not long after, Lao Tzu riding his ox indeed appeared and, at the request of Yin-hsi, wrote down his famous Tao Te Ching, leaving afterwards.



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“I have gathered a posy of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.” — Michel de Montaigne


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