Rosemary Scott is one of those rare people who have managed to combine their passion with their job - she is an Asian art consultant to the international auction house Christie's. London-based Ms Scott is in Hong Kong to run a class this week on Chinese decorative arts covering jade carvings, sculptures, lacquer cloisonne enamel and silk. The class is run as a herald to the forthcoming spring auctions. Ms Scott's academic background is in Chinese art with a degree from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and postgraduate research into early Chinese lacquer. What's on your mind? The thing that fascinates the most is a qin (a stringed musical instrument) that we have here. I want to hear it played. It was made for the Ming emperor Chenghua in 1485. It is the favoured Chinese scholar's instrument and for me it's the most exciting. If you think of the Stradivarius violin sold recently for US$1.75 million (HK$13.5 million) that was made in 1727, this is a stringed instrument made for a Chinese emperor 300 years earlier. It puts Chinese art and culture in perspective. I'm desperately trying to hear it played - it has a very mellow, wonderful sound. Do you have to speak or read Chinese or understand history to appreciate Chinese art? These things are not necessary to appreciate it but you get more out of it if you know a little. There are people who are working to make Chinese art more accessible. Some are providing translations of rebuses which are visual puns on Chinese words such as the use of cockerels and peonies on objects which are references to riches and honour. It's a joy to find them. What's your favourite era? The Song period (960-1279 AD) is my favourite because it's a more inward-looking period and the colours tend to be very subtle. Do you need to be wealthy to enjoy Chinese art? Obviously there are pieces that are incredibly valuable that go at auction. You can always enjoy them - come along to the auction. For a person who has not got a lot of money, just because an object is not perfect does not mean it is not beautiful.