Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha .
The workmanship of these warriors is exquisite. All have unique facial expressions and are stamped with the symbol of their craftsmen creators. Over 700,000 artisans worked relentlessly over 40 years to create an army of soldiers, horses, generals, archers, acrobats and charioteers to surround and support Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin dynasty, in his transition to the afterlife.
Visiting the site of the mausoleum was overwhelming;the sheer size of the site, the pits, the individuality of each warrior. the statistics.
When I couldn’t take anymore in, I sat in the marbled hall and let my mind process the experience. What struck me the most was the refinement and exquisite detail of each piece and yet the status quo for working tools at the time was rough, so it appeared that the master craftsmen fashioned the tools they needed as they worked. And where did their inspiration come from in terms of physical features of the statues? Apparently they fashioned the warriors based on each other.
It was later when I naively asked how much they were paid for their art that the sad history of the craftsmen became apparent. Nothing.
They sought some wages and were refused. They tried to revolt against this injustice but in fact failed. In the end they were buried alive with the Emperor who died suddenly in 210 BCE, accompanied to the afterlife by their magnificent creations