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Ink is made from burning oil or pine wood to obtain soot. Thereafter the soot is mixed with soluble animal glue for water proofing. 


Chinese, Japanese and Indian inks are made based on the same principles. 

Depending on the quality of burnt pine or oil soot and animal glue, when dried, ink can take on a sheen of ‘blue’, ‘purple’ or brown, these inks are highly prized.


Indian ink created from oil soot has lustre and depth and favoured by traditional Indian artists. Indian ink got its name when Europeans began importing ink from India.

Paper is made from cotton, linen and bark.  Cold or hot press paper means the condition in which paper is pressed, cold is rough and hot is smooth.

Chinese ink sticks

Japanese ink and reed pen

Indian ink and squirrel hair brush 

Chinese ink sticks

Raw material

lifting pulp out to dry     

Paper left to dry and pressed       

Line-up of artists

Andy Yang
Japanese ink, long hair brush and smooth hot press paper

Ang YianSann, Blackness is Not Darkness

Ang YianSann

Concept of man and spirit that is ever changing

Den Warnjing

Birds in the Field no.1

Ink on sa-paper

(reed pen)

Tian Mangzi, New windows, 2012, ink on p

Tian Mangzi

The confidence can be judged by the unwavering edges of brush strokes

Oh Chai Hoo, The Phoenix, 2021, ink on m

Oh Chai Hoo

Mica is a mineral for strengthening paper, made in Sichuan, China.

Mark Elliot-Ranken, Fiction, 1997, acryl

Mark Elliot-Ranken

Ink spilt on paper saved by palette knife slashes

Yeo Shih Yun, In Between Spaces, 2008, a

Yeo Shih Yun

Colour creates new depth and dimension into an ink composition

Frederic BergerCardi, The Untold Story,

Frederic Cardi-Berger

Written signs of imaginary calligraphy are memories 

Rudra drawing and ink and brush

Rudra Dev Sen

While drawing flowers, holding and releasing breath are important


Control of spread of ink by mere touches is a ‘boneless’ style