After a swim, on the beach at Golfe-Juan, we are talking about Chinese characters. A Chinese friend is drawing Chinese characters in the sand. Picasso has amused himself before by drawing his own ideograms in the sand: bulls, goats, faces of peace. He is fascinated by the interplay of Chinese characters, the strengths and economy of their construction.
"If I were born Chinese" says he, "I would not be a painter but a writer. I'd write my pictures".
The above text is from the book "Picasso on Art" by Dore Ashton. The original French text came from "L'Amour de la peinture: Goya, Picasso et autres peintres" by Claude Roy.