January 17 1982: The Chinese Character Longevity and Nourishing Life
What does life's journey look like? Should be like a goose landing on a snow field. By chance leaving footprints, it does not care to count as it flies to the east or west.” This is from Su Dongbo's poem. A friend once asked me, “Where has all your work gone?” The question hit me straight in the heart. Thinking back, I have.....
February 7 1982: Sketching Folk Songs
Many people base their paintings on “Li Sao” (“Departing in Sorrow”, a famous Chinese poem by Qu Yuan), often mixing abstractionism with realism in an exciting way. I had originally wanted to make a painting using “Classic of Poetry” as a theme, but I felt it might feel a little distant if I based it on something so ancient.
February 14 1982: The Foolish Old Man Moves Mountains
I have painted “Yu Gong Yi Shan” or “Foolish old man moves mountains” many times before, in the form of both horizontal and vertical scrolls. There are indeed many details to be depicted: after all “Yu Gong” the foolish old man had a big family, including children and grandchildren; there are the mountains that act as backdrop; the beauty of the of the motions of the people digging up the earth, the stones being broken apart and the mud being carried away. To add to all that, I could also include the sending in of the food and drinks, as well as the people standing........
February 21 1982: Drawing the Poetic Scenes of Dong Po
This story happened about two years ago. One day, a stranger came to Art House Gallery and bought a painting which was inspired by Dong Po’s poem: “Might as well be drunk for the path is hard to walk / Might as well be sleeping for there are words that are hard to speak / The gentleman lies sleeping among these rocks / For eternity no one understands his purpose....
February 28 1982: Pictorial Writing
Words are the symbols of a language. Since the beginning of time, babies have, like apes, known how to make various sounds with their mouths. These sounds represented “desire”. Whether it was the expression of extreme sadness through crying, extreme happiness through laughing, or extreme urgency through screaming, they did it via a string of sounds like “wa”, “he” and “ya”. In order to record the sounds, meanings and shapes that couldn't be expressed by merely hand gestures, movements or facial expressions, all sorts of symbols – which were essentially drawings and writing's most primitive form – were born.
May 16 1982: Returning Boat in the Storm
Sometimes, when I get bored of painting, I do calligraphy. When I get sick of writing, I would paint some “pictorial words”. If I get even more bored, I start writing articles. I don't write poetry or play chess, because they require too much brain usage. When I am painting, sometimes.....
May 23 1982: The Zen in Life
There is much talk these days, both in the East and the West, about “Zen”, as if it is some kind of fashionable knowledge. In truth, Zen is about spiritual cultivation, and if you have the opportunity, it could lead you into enlightenment and into a "wonderful" (and not mysterious) state. In Buddhism, “Zen” was originally known as “Concentration”. ...
June 13 1982: Madman Mi the Stone Worshipper
Previously, in the articles “Daily Lessons ”and “Dots”, I had mentioned “Mi Fu Style”. Someone had asked me about the “Mi family”, but I could not answer his questions at that time. One day, in a pile of old photographs, I found a picture of “Madman Mi, the Stone Worshipper”. That got me thinking: Who was “Madman Mi”? Why was he “worshipping stones”? And why was he known as a “madman”?
June 27 1982: The Painting of Bodhidharma Gazing at the Wall
Speaking of Bodhidharma, three stories immediately come to mind (these stories are often used as themes in paintings). The first, “Nine years of facing the wall”; the second, “Crossing the great river with just a reed”, and lastly, “The return to the West with a single shoe”.
August 15 1982: Su Miao with Ink
A few issues ago I wrote about the topic of “bai miao”. “Bai miao” seems to have become an official term for ink fine line drawing in the world of Chinese painting. In actual fact, “bai miao” is another name for “su miao” (which means to sketch or outline with ink). “Su Miao” seems to be one of the most basic of Western drawing techniques. To sum it all up, “bai miao” is a technique that makes use of “lines” to create outlines. The earliest form of “bai miao” is the “floating silk outline” (originated by Gu Kaizhi).
September 1982: The Ten Talks of Niubizi
147 pages, published in mandarin by Li Ming Cultural Enterprise Co. Ltd, Taiwan. Published in September, 1982.
October 24 1982: Su Miao Ink Painting of Human Figures
The last time I wrote about “Su Miao with ink”, the article focused on landscape painting (painting the scenery). Many friends asked me, “Can we use the same techniques when painting human figures?” I answered, “Yes, of course.” Because I could not express it all in one article, I did not mention human figures, flowers, birds, grass, insects, abstract art and so on.
1983 Tiger Friend
Huang Yao’s paintings became progressively simpler as he advanced in age. By mid 1983, Huang Yao did a series of very simple paintings where each painting has only one child and with no background.
Human Figure Paintings - Men in Zen Setting
Basically Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting come from the same source, using brush and ink. When holding the brush, it is not necessary to hold it tightly or firmly.
January 4 1983: Moyuan Suibi : New Year Prints
Every principle has two sides: the positive and the negative. The Chinese, who place much importance on “virtue”, have within them a latent “conservativeness” that has led to the inevitable falling behind of their science and artistry. Rather than being on the attack, they are often on the defensive; this has resulted in today's emphasis on the “old” above the “new”.....
January 30 1983: Clog-throwing Song
During the earliest part of Chinese civilization, the“Book of Songs” most commonly reflected the voices of the people, especially those of the commoners. Poems were divided into three types: “feng”, “ya” and “song”. “Feng” referred to “guo feng” (“airs of the states”), which was also known as folk songs. “Ya” referred to “da ya” (“major court hymns”) and
March 18 1983: One-stroke paintings
Recently there was an exhibition at the Art House Gallery. I visited and found that the artist and I seem to share a few similar interests. It's a pity that I have never met him. This is because he is also fond of “character paintings”, and this includes “one-stroke paintings”. Yao Tuo tried to introduce us, but as I was hitching a ride with my friend Ye Ri Sheng, I did not have time to chat and had to leave in a hurry.
March 27 1983 : Chinese Character Paintings
Recently there was a “Chinese character painting” exhibition at the Art House Gallery. One afternoon, Mr He Weicheng sent over some pictures to my house, encouraging me to paint one. As it requires quite some inspiration to come up with a “Chinese character painting”, we sat down for a chat. Suddenly there was a thunderstorm......
April 3 1983: Discussing Chinese Character Paintings Again
Awhile ago I had written an article about “Chinese character paintings” and had focused on the word 「鬚」 (“mustache”). At the same time, on that very day, I had completed another “Chinese character painting” for Mr Wei-Cheng He, using the characters 「大家」 (“everyone”).
May 8 1983: Preening Oneself
In one of the issues of "Artist" last year, there was an article about Gao Long Sheng, in which Ye Qian Yu and I were mentioned. We have been friends since the 1930s. Now we live in totally different places and have since lost contact for a long time.