The theme of Zhong Kui quelling demons is invariably portrayed in many amusing compositions. The story of Zhong Kui was thought to have orginated in the Song dynasty from the writings of Shen Kuo who wrote that the ailing Tang dynasty emperor, Minghuang, dreamt of a large ghost eating small demons. When asked, the large ghost replied that his name was Zhong Kui and he wanted to serve the emperor in eliminating demons. Following the dream, when the Emperor recovered from his illness, Zhong Kui's images were painted at the end of every year to ward off evil spirits. For a discussion, cf. Ming and Qing Bamboo, the University of Hong Kong, 2000, p. 286; and a bamboo figure of Zhong Kui, carved in the round, illustrated op. cit., p. 287, no. 70.