Ziyou Hua - Human Figure

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The great poet of Tang dynasty, Du Pu, described in his poem the spirit and inspiration of his work. It is similar to the story about Zhang Xu who used his hair (men had long hair then) as a brush. He could write rapidly (because of long disciplined practice) that his writing appeared like cloud and smoke on the paper. We can see from Du Pu's caoshu, although the style appears unrestraint, there was strict discipline in execution. He expressed what was in his heart, and his art was the manifestation of his inner beauty.

His inspiration was from a dance. He watched a woman performing an ancient sword dance and understood that it was the result of a combination of energy and the beauty of her movement. In every step of the dance, there must be not just energy of movement but also the energy of love of the art and that was the manifestation of inner beauty. Every move of the dance had life and vigor that could only be attained through long disciplined practice. This was beauty of movement. The hands and legs (and body) could show strong or soft lines, this was the beauty of the body. Through the execution of the dance all these attributes were combined and expressed clearly.

Huang Yao, Shiyong Huagao, 1957-1958

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