Landscape Painting - The Dots of the Mi-Family

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Chan Ting Tu

Chan Ting Tu

Chinese ink on rice paper

77.8 x 134.6cm

1982

Private collection

 

The dots in an ink painting are usually called the ìeyes of the painting. They should not be used casually or too enthusiastically, as there are rules for their usage. In the Chinese art history, the most famous rule is the 'Principle of dots' by the Mi (Mi Yuan) Family. The dots of the Mi Family can make the indistinct parts of their landscape paintings look like 'beautiful dragon in the mist', and the distinct parts like 'light clouds in the milky way with bright, brilliant stars'.

The Mi family members could handle the brush as if the tip was made of? steel?and they applied the ink fast, as if it could fly. They treasured ink as gold while 'shooting' dots on paper. The traces of brush and ink are in harmony. This is the real 'Mi'. Those who want to learn ink painting must study the best spirit of that period, the Spirit of the Mi Family because they had an incredibly solid foundation in calligraphy. They could turn the brush into a 'steel' instrument and were able to make every dot into a pearl. The dots accumulated to become a harmony of ink, and a masterpiece of work had been accomplished.

Huang Yao, Moyuan Suibi, 1982

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