Calligraphy has traditionally been regarded in China as the highest form of visual art. In the past, children were trained at a very early age to write beautifully, and good calligraphy was a social asset. A scholar, for example, could not pass his examination to become an official if he was a poor calligrapher. A person's character was judged by their handwriting, if it was elegant it revealed great refinement.
The basic tools of calligraphy are paper, ink, ink-stone (on which the ink is mixed ) and brush. These are commonly referred to as the ‘four treasures of the scholar study’（文房四宝）.
All over China, decorative calligraphy can be found in temples, adorning the walls of caves and on the sides of mountains and monuments. A lot of people in China collect calligraphy pieces written by famous calligraphers.