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In the East, some flowers have been imbued with a special meaning and symbolism beyond their natural properties. For instance, the Chinese revere the plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum as the "four gentlemen," believing that they possess incomparably noble qualities; and the Japanese use cherry blossoms to symbolise love and hope. This has led to a longstanding tradition of painting flowers and plants that had developed into a significant strand of Chinese painting explored in Oriental Flowers.