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Bamboos form part of the rich Chinese culture. To the Chinese, a bamboo symbolizes serenity, modesty and gentleness. This essay examines the treatment of bamboo with reference to the Chinese painting and the symbolism that accompanies the images. Specific examples will be given to make the essay clearer to understand.

Bamboos are often spoiled by molding and insects out to obtain starch from the rods. The treatments are most aimed at removing the starch to avoid infection.  Adhikary (2010) has identified three methods which can be used in the treatment of bamboo; that is, traditional soaking method, vertical soak diffusion method, and boucherie treatment (uses a solution of boron and neem) (par. 3). 

Vertical Soak Diffusion (VSD) Method

In this method a long iron rod is inserted in all the nodes except the last node. The iron rod has the handle in a T shape and the other end is spear shaped. The bamboo rods after being inserted with the iron rod are vertically placed and filled with preservatives (Adhikary, 2010, par. 4).

Traditional Soaking Method

The bamboo rods are soaked for a period of about six weeks. It is believed that soaking dissolves the starch in the bamboos and thus increasing the bamboo durability by about 10 years (Adhikary, 2010, par. 5).

Modified Boucherie Technique

This treatment is effected on freshly cut bamboo rods. A pressurized preservative is forced through the basal end of a bamboo rod. This preservative forces out the sap contained in the vascular bundle of the bamboo rod thus effectively replacing it. The replaced sap contains starch which insects are after (Adhikary, 2010, par. 6).

Chinese Bamboo Painting

Bamboo is a common theme in most of the Chinese paintings. Cameron (1999) argues bamboo painting is deeply assimilated in the Chinese ay of life. He farther describes how the Chinese use the power of copying to create beautiful paintings (Cameron, 1999, p. 106). More often than not bamboos are painted together with plum trees to represent man and woman respectively. The bamboo represents the strength of a man while the plum represents the fertility of a woman. At times the bamboo paintings include pine tree as well as the plum trees. This combination is referred to as ‘friends of winter.’ This is so because all the three trees remain standing throughout the coldest of the winters. A painting with such a combination is a symbol of lasting friendship (‘Chinese’, 2010, par. 2-3).

Bamboos are well integrated in the culture of the Chinese people. The bamboos are used for various purposes from food, painting, and construction among others. There are various methods which are used to treat bamboos before being used. The bamboos are also used to paint picture which have got different symbolic meaning emanating from the qualities of the bamboos and the combination of the drawing.

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