Silk

The Chinese invented silk before they invented paper.

The earliest paintings, surving from 600BC, were on silk.

Painting in layers of colour on silk became the most famous art form of The Southern Song Imperial Painting Acedemy. Emperor Huizong of the twelfth century had also encouraged fine painting on silk that has to be sized and able to take layers of paint.

This very precise art form is known as meticulous painting.