Eastern philosophy has always had a very similar goal to Western philosophy: that of making us wiser, less agitated, more thoughtful and readier to appreciate our lives. However, the way it has gone about this has been intriguingly different. In the East, philosophy has taught its lessons via tea-drinking ceremonies, walks in bamboo forests, contemplations of rivers and ritualised flower arranging sessions. These cards take us on a journey around the key concepts of the great Eastern thinkers – Confucius, Lao Tzu and the Buddha – as well as the art and practices of many of their followers. We are invited to sample the distinctive wisdom of a continent and enrich our notions of what philosophy might really be.
The Vinegar-Tasters: 'A favourite subject for Asian Artists for many centuries was a depiction of the three founding figures of Eastern philosophy - Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu - standing together and each reacting in a characteristic way to the taste of vinegar. [...] Three attitudes to the world in one image. We're not being asked to choose, simply selectively to experience the distinctive wisdom of each position.'