During the Southern Song dynasty, painting was inspired by poetic ideas and mainly focused on the beauty that only lasts for a moment, and then is gone, such as rain falling. The emperor Huizong opened an emperial painting academy. Landscape painters tried to make their scenes as life-like as possible. Some of the greatest painters from the Song dynasty were Zang Zeduan, Gu Hongzhong, Fan Kuan, and Guo Xi.
Porcelain was very popular in the Song dynasty. It was during the Song Dynasty that blue and white porcelain was created, which is now very popular in the modern world. During the rule of emperor Huizong, a kiln used to make this kind of porcelain was invented. It was called the Jun kiln. With the Jun kiln, people could make such beautiful porcelain, that the emperor, Huizong, ordered that no one could possess this porcelain except for the royal family. Common people could never own blue and white porcelain.
Later another kiln was made, called the Ding kiln, which could make smooth white porcelain that was perfect for carving, and decorating with elaborate designs.