"Knowledge is Power"

Reader Aylwin Lo from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada has sent in these photos of a painting displayed in a framing store called "Images on Bank":

"Tian, I look forward to seeing your analysis. My goodness, those are some hideously-written characters... Thanks for keeping up the site. Very valuable stuff!"

Hideous? Indeed!

For the longest time, I could not figure out what the last two characters were due to the "artist"'s very poor hand writting. Eventually with help from Ken L, Brendan, and Rex, we finally figured out it says:


The quote was originally by 王充. It is the equivalent of 知識就是力量 or "knowledge is power".

Wang Ch'ung (or Wang Chong) (27–97 C.E.) was a Chinese philosopher during the Han Dynasty who developed a rational, secular, naturalistic, and mechanistic account of the world and of human beings. His main work was the Lun-Heng (first translated in 1911 as Balanced Enquiries, and since as Fair Discussions, or Critical Essays). (wikipedia)

百聞不如一見 (or in Japanese 百聞は一見に如かず)

It is translated as "Hearing it a hundred time is not equivaluent to seeing it once" or "A picture is worth a thousand words".

The giant character in the middle is , which means "good fortune".

I wonder how much this painting is priced at.