The decal artwork Old Trees, Level Distance is from Guo Xi's ink painting from the year 1080. I got the idea to use this decal while watching a documentary on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection of Chinese art. The piece was created as a goodbye present for Xi's good friend and fellow coworker who was due to retire and move somewhere far from the city. Although it's not immediately apparent, the overarching theme of the artwork is eternal friendship.
Coincidentally, I had just learned that Junji would likely be leaving town to manage a studio several hours away. And while I'll be sad to see him go, I know the opportunity to run his own ceramics studio will be a dream come true. I wish him luck in getting the job, and I know that like Xi and his compatriot, we'll always be friends.