Work inspired by thousands of years of Chinese art is being showcased at Caroline Springs and Melton libraries.

The exhibition, Four Treasures, features ink painting and calligraphy techniques that have been in use since the Han Dynasty – from about 200BC.

The title of the exhibition refers to the ink brush, inkstick, rice paper and inkstone – the four “tools” of these revered art forms.

Four Treasures, created and curated by members of the Melton Chinese Friendship Association, includes more than 40 works.

Melton mayor Bob Turner said the exhibition highlighted the skill and patience of the artists.

“It’s wonderful that the Melton Chinese Friendship Association has been able to share the roots of this ancient art with us,” Cr Turner said.

“At first glance, ink painting and calligraphy may look simpshanle, but many hours of practice goes into perfecting each and every character and brush stroke.

“That’s why we’re delighted to have teaching artists Mr Chen and Mr Huang from the association running free workshops for anyone who would like to try their hand at this ancient art.”

The exhibition will run until March 13.