Past events not forgotten<br>serve as teachers for later events<br>Chinese Wall Scroll
121cm
47½"
50.2cm
19¾"

Approximate Measurements

Artwork Panel: 32cm x 66.4cm  ≈  12½" x 26"

Silk/Brocade: 41.2cm x 121cm  ≈  16¼" x 47½"

Width at Wooden Knobs: 50.2cm  ≈  19¾"

Past events not forgotten<br>serve as teachers for later events<br>Chinese Wall Scroll close up view

Close up view of the artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll

前事不忘后事之師

Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.

Chinese Calligraphy Wall Scroll

Note: It took me about 6 years to get around to translating this wall scroll. This one has been sitting on the shelves (sealed up) for a long time. It may be a little wavy when you first unroll it. The price has been reduced from $60 to $20 to make up for any such issues.

If you want a custom wall scroll made to your specifications, click here: Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.

The most literal translation to English of this ancient Chinese proverb is:
"Past events not forgotten serve as teachers for later events".

However, it's been translated several ways:
Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.
Past calamity is my teacher.
A good memory for the past is a teacher for the future.
The remembrance of the past is the teacher of the future.
If one remembers the lessons of the past; They will serve as a guide to avoid mistakes in the future.

The origin:
This proverb comes from the 5th century B.C. just before the Warring States Period in the territory now known as China.
The head of the State of Jin, Zhi Bo, seized power in a coup. He did this with help from the armies of the State of Han and Wei. Instead of being grateful for the help from Han and Wei, he treacherously took the land of Han and Wei. Never satisfied, Zhi Bo employed the armies of Han and Wei to attack and seize the State of Zhao.

The king of Zhao took advice from his minister Zhang Mengtan and secretly contacted the Han and Wei armies to reverse their plans and attack the army of Zhi Bo instead. The plan was successful, and the State of Zhao was not only saved, but was set to become a powerful kingdom in the region.

Zhang Mengtan immediately submitted his resignation to a confused king of Zhao. When asked why, Zhang Mengtan said, "I've done my duty to save my kingdom, but looking back at past experience, I know sovereign kings are never satisfied with the power or land at hand. They will join others and fight for more power and more land. I must learn from past experiences, as those experiences are the teachers of future events".
The king could not dispute the logic in that statement and accepted Zhang Mengtan's resignation.

For generations, the State of Zhao continued to fight for power and land until finally being defeated and decimated by the State of Qin (which lead to the birth of the Qin Dynasty in 221 B.C.).


About the artist:

This calligraphy was created by Li Dan-Qing of Beijing. He's an older gentleman who has been involved with the art community of China, all of his life. Now in retirement, he creates calligraphy for us for sort of "hobby income".


About the materials and construction of this wall scroll:

The calligraphy was done using black Chinese ink on xuan paper (known incorrectly in the west as "rice paper"). The raw artwork was then taken to our Wall Scroll Workshop where it was laminated to more sheets of xuan paper, and built into a beautiful silk brocade wall scroll. Except for the use of a lathe to turn the wooden knobs, this wall scroll is virutally 100% handmade from start to finish (even the paper is made by hand).