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Prefaces

Nan Huai-Chin 南懷瑾

Mrs Yao was born at a turning point in Chinese history, but unlike many of those around her, she is not interested in pursuing self-interest. Instead, she elects to spend her time exploring what so many have become indifferent to – the big issues underpinning the Chinese way of life. READ MORE

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche 宗薩蔣揚欽哲仁波切

Xiang determined that these volumes should give future generations all they need to know about their own precious heritage. And to ensure that this wouldn’t turn into another dry and boring culture textbook, she went to great lengths to embellish this encyclopedic collection with beautiful graphics and images that cannot help but entice the prospective reader. READ MORE

Gu Zhengqiu 顧正秋

Xiang spent years organising her materials, and then analysing them and deciding what to pass on… And she’s finally completed this vast map of life. READ MORE

Pai Hsien-Yung 白先勇

This beautiful encyclopedia presents the grace and beauty of our traditional culture as it’s expressed in everyday life: captured and preserved through her writing and illustrations... The four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter – are treated separately. The visuals alone provide a feast for the eye. Xiang even gives us countless stories about the rice we eat every day, and the grains of rice in the wonderful photographic images look like precious pearls. READ MORE

Jiang Xun 蔣勳

Chinese Buddhists speak of su hui – the wisdom accumulated through endless incarnations… To produce these books, Xiang devoted her time to gathering su hui drop by drop – a cup of tea, a bowl of glutinous rice balls, a plate of fried rice, a piece of traditional fabric. They all constitute su hui, applied to modern life and thereby passed on. READ MORE

Yu Guangzhong 余光中

Xiang Yao has entitled this set of four volumes The Art of Chinese Living: An Inheritance of Tradition, indicating her own desire to contribute to an enduring Chinese culture. Her method for achieving this combines traditional wisdom with the practicalities of daily life – filled with both contemplation and celebration, these are books that can be appreciated by all. READ MORE

Lung Ying-Tai 龍應台

There are two levels of truth in Xiang’s books. One that vividly portrays the everyday lives of the Chinese… And a deeper one that shares the Chinese perspective: the way this culture has transformed over time, impacting these everyday habits and manifesting in the sounds, smells and faces of each generation. READ MORE

Jet Li 李連杰

Xiang Yao has created four volumes of The Art of Chinese Living, basing these on a clear structural framework that encompasses a great wealth of details relating to our everyday life and culture. I sincerely welcome this wonderful achievement, and I’d love to see it translated and published in as many languages as possible, so that people around the world with an interest in Chinese culture can gain a deeper understanding of the country and its people. READ MORE

Kris Yao 姚仁喜

When Xiang decided to write about eggs, she went ahead with a plan to raise hens in our backyard, complete with a companion rooster that woke me up every morning at 4:30 am for my meditation session. When she wanted to write about mushrooms, various types of tree trunks appeared in our garden, each growing different kinds of fungi. When writing about vegetables, the serene patio outside my meditation room was suddenly alive with all kinds of green plants… I do worry that when she decides to write about milk, I might one day come home to find a cow in our yard. READ MORE

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