The shifting of a large number of population and technical strength to the south promoted the exploitation and development of the south. The situation of taking the north as the center of economy and handicraft production for a long time began to change and a new situation was formed for the whole nation to develop in a balanced way.
The Six Dynasties, inheriting upward from the Western Han Dynasty and the Eastern Han Dynasty and handing down to the Sui Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty, was an important transitional period in the handicraft history of
In the ideological sphere, metaphysics prevailed. Supported by the ideology of Lao-tzu (Le Er), Chuang-tzu (Zhuang Zhou) and the book of Changes, metaphysics paid close attention to the reality of personal existence, expounded the special relationship between man and society and between man and nature, and advocated idle talk, mysteries, tranquility and detachment from reality. The “nil” of the metaphysics happens to be coincidental to the “emptiness” of Buddhism. What was reflected in the industrial art was the ornamental subjects of uninhibitedness and noninterference, keeping aloof from worldly things. They were represented by the picture of “Seven Virtuous Persons in Bamboo Grove” joined with bricks and formed an industrial style of delicacy and prettiness as well as sparseness and spaciousness. Brick pictures were particularly used to express asges and men of virtue. Compared with the Han Dynasty, the industrial art of the Six Dynasties was richer in the delight of life and was also penetrated with the color of Buddhism such as lotus, curly grass, rocks and trees. Benefited from the improvement of technological level, the Six Dynasties often made larger-scale theme mural integrated with a number of pictures joined with bricks.
By te Six Dynasties,
In the respect of dyeing and weaving technology, the figured satin woven in
By this time, handicraftsmen had already obtained independence and freedom to a certain extent. They were allowed to be engaged freely in production and update the technology. In a certain sphere they could also carry out their own handicraft operation so as to promote the development of the varieties of handicraft articles. The invention and improvement of various kinds of implements impelled the development of social production and life. For instance, during the period of Three Kingdoms, the politician and strategist Zhuang Liang invented the wooden ox and gliding horse, a means of transport in mountainous regions and Ma Jun, a master artisan, invented a farm tool for water conservancy, i.e. the later keel-plate waterwheel, and productivity was greatly improved.