Vertical hanging scroll of calligraphic text consisting of five Chinese characters in black ink. One of a pair.
These two calligraphic works are done by Chang Ku-nien’s wife, Chen Shu-chen, who was an accomplished painter and calligrapher herself. Written in semi-cursive script, it demonstrates the artist’s affinity for bold and well-defined lines. The couplet of poetry, reads from right to left, praises the importance of one of China’s classics: There are many old books which have many special characters; yet only great I Ching (Book of Changes) shows us a path through past and future.
A rough, red rock seems to grow out of the hillside, almost as organically as the orchids growing next to it. Calligraphic text is in the upper left corner.
Literati theory considered paintings modes of personal expression to be created for private occasions in which they were shared and appreciated by circles of friends. The creation of works with peer artists was also an established literati concept and practice. This painting is a cooperative work by Chang Ku-nien and his artist friends. Cooperative work celebrated respectful mutual relationships and reinforced affections within groups of painters. Inscriptions on such works often declare their corporate nature, mentioning all of the artists’ names and specifying who has done what part. It is common for each artist to be responsible for the part of the painting that best reveals his or her talents. Yet who painted what is not clearly indicated in this work; most likely Chang Ku-nien painted the rock while Liu Yantao and Gao Yihong were responsible respectively for the inscription and orchids. Orchids were appealing subjects to scholar-artists, and their elegance and subtle fragrance have long been regarded as the emblem of righteous gentlemen.
In Orchids and Red Rock, although it was not clearly indicated who did what, Chang most likely painted the rock and his two friends from the Seven Friends Painting Club that he participated, Liu Yantao and Gao Yihong, were responsible for the inscription and orchids respectively. Naturally, in a cooperative work, each artist often takes on a subject best representing his/her talents. Appealing to scholar-artist, the elegance and subtle fragrance of orchids have long been regarded as the emblem of righteous gentlemen, thus a suitable subject for scholars alike.
This is a vertical format painting surrounded by green and gold fabric. It is painted in tones of black with some areas of pink and blue color. It depicts a landscape scene with a cluster of small houses nestled in a craggy mountainous area. There is a river that runs through the landscape with two figures crossing a small footbridge. Other figures are shown in the open area of the village. The trees and vegetation are painted with short abbreviated brushstriokes.
This painting was once attributed to Hasegawa Nobuharu (Tôhaku), one of most celebrated painters of the Momoyama Period, whose large workshop of artists decorated the walls and screens of castles occupied by flamboyant military leaders. The rocky outcroppings and dotted outlines in this painting reveal his style, but it is more likely that this work was done by one of his pupils.
One of six hanging scrolls in a series depicting the landscape of Ali Mountain, trees and hillside are shown below calligraphic text. The artist uses alternating wet ink washes for the misty clouds and dry flying-brushes for the large pine trees
Located in middle-Taiwan, the Ali Mountain is one of the most famous scenic landmarks among Taiwan’s National Parks. Ali Mountain is best known for the beauty of the vast “cloud sea” surrounding the mountain peaks and the towering “divine giant trees” found amid the ridges and valley of the mountain.
The painting’s format, a traditional mounting style called “the screen of connected scenes” or “sea curtain”, gives the artist the advantage of representing a panoramic view of monumental landscapes. Each of six individual pieces was first painted on the ground in the artist’s studio with an overall composition envisioned in the artist’s mind. Then, the inscriptions were added on the top, (inscribed by the artist himself in this case), and finally the six paintings were mounted into the current format.
Inscribed is a piece of classic Song lyrics (the most popular in the Song dynasty), written in calligraphy style running script. The poetic lines describe a forested mountain filled with vigorous energies. Yet the atmosphere is melancholic. The vast landscape appears dream-like, symbolically representing the lost homeland of Chang and his peer generation-- mainland China-- that awaits its recovery from the Chinese Communists. The inscription thus connects the painting’s otherwise natural scenery to the advocated political theme of the Nationalist government’s rule in Taiwan in 1960s.
The many brave heroes standing, side by side, but this one has a strategy, which will never offend heavens will, by what is great peace to be measured? Just one kind heart will last 300 years. Signed: Old Man Taiitsu
This calligraphy is executed in ink on paper. There are a total of three red seals present in the piece, one in the upper right hand corner, and two towards the left center of the piece. The calligraphy is very strong and forceful, with broad, well defined strokes. The work is mounted on golden silk.
Murase Taiitsu was trained primarily as a Confucius scholar but excelled at both calligraphy and painting. He produced paintings of figures and landscapes accompanied by poems, as well as works of pure calligraphy such as the one seen here. This example is a tribute to a military figure whose leadership exemplified Ren (benevolence), the highest Confucian virtue.
Taiitsu was a member of a group of Japanese painters who followed the styles and ideas of the Chinese Southern School of literati (non-professional artist-scholar) painting that flourished during the Ming period (1368–1644). Taiitsu, considered by many a notable eccentric, brought his singular, personal touch to the tradition. A distinctive feature of his brushstroke is its dancing quality, which conveys an exuberance and vigor lacking in the work of his fellow Japanese literati painters, who adhered more closely to Chinese styles.
Yueshan Daozong, a native of Fujian province in southeast China, immigrated to Japan and Muan Xingtao, who was by then the second-highest ranking prelate in the new Ôbaku Zen temple of Manpukuji. Considered Muan’s foremost disciple, he eventually rose to become the seventh abbot of the monastery. Known in Japan as Etsuzan (the Japanese pronunciation of his name), Yueshan was renowned in his day as a fine calligrapher in both running (seen here) and block script.
Painted and inscribed on the occasion of Veterans’ Day. The artist depicts a view of the narrow, winding roadway cutting through a magnificent rocky mountain.
In his inscription, Chang claims to use methods of Song masters that were adopted in painting the scene. A small detail on the lower right of the painting represents a couple of tiny figures standing aside the road. One figure is depicted as making life-sketches of the scene.
Painted and inscribed on the occasion of Veterans’ Day, this scenic landscape painting serves an additional function of commemorating veterans for their courageous work participating in the construction of Central Cross-Island Highway. More than 10,000 veterans were recruited to construct the highway. The project was completed at the human cost of 212 lives and more than 780 wounded.
The artist follows in the footsteps of Song masters’ naturalistic approach and their representations of monumental landscapes.
A view, perhaps from inside a cave, that provides a glimpse of a small strech of highway through mountainous terrain. A river flows below, cutting a path between the mountains.
A scene of the Cross-Island Highway in Taiwan. Central Cross-Island Highway was the first national highway of great magnitude, crossing the Central Mountain Range and connecting the east coast to the west bank of Taiwan. Running through exceedingly rugged and unstable terrain, the construction of this route was extremely challenging. The completion of the roadway not only was celebrated as a symbolic icon of Taiwan’s governmental accomplishment, but also because it opened to worldwide tourists astonishing, yet previously un-accessible scenic spots of Taroko Gorge and nearby natural mountainous areas along the route, nowadays known as the Taroko National Park.
A scene of geese in pond and on sandbars. The geese are congregated in the lower left hand side of the painting, as are most of the reeds growing from the sand bars. Some geese can also be seen flying in the middle of the painting, though they are not as prominent. Five lines of calligraphy are lcoated in the upper right of the painting.
The colophon is a poem by Wang Baigu. The scene is a description of the poem, which visualized the poem and at the same time makes the painting poetic. The poem describes a group of geese lingering in the reeds. Geese were a common metaphor for homesickness in Chinese art and literature. Chang must have been familiar with the feeling of homesickness, which suffuses this twilight scene of water, sandbars, and birds.
An intricate ecology of plants grows up this mountainside landscape. Two men walk in a clearing below a building. A waterfall flows downward on the upper left, below calligraphic text.
Ink painting landscape of a waterfall at Milky Way Cave, a topographical landmark in the suburbs of Taipei. A scholar, identifiable by his robe and staff, walks down a mountain path. The bamboo grove in the middle ground serves as a metaphor for the scholar/hermit in Chinese art and literature. As the scholar in this piece holds a bamboo staff, he is considered to be a high-minded scholar.
The entire top portion of this painting is seemingly blank, but represents the air and atmosphere. Below are mountains hugged by clouds and trees and vegetation in the phase of autumn.
The entire top portion of this painting is seemingly blank, but represents the air and atmosphere. This probably explains why the work has been attributed, perhaps falsely, to Bunsei, a specialist in atmospheric painting.
A tanuki, or racoon dog, is seen peering over its shoulder on a snowy hill. Its footprints disappear in the snow behind it. Bamboo rise from out of view on the bottom right, and dominate the upper register of the image. This painting mounted on a hanging scroll also includes elaborate gold fabric with repeating designs.
A tanuki, or racoon dog, is seen peering over its shoulder on a snowy hill. Its footprints disappear in the snow behind it. Bamboo rise from out of view on the bottom right, and dominate the upper register of the image. The scene has a sense of temporality.
Two seals of the artist at lower left, following signature:
(a) Rai Jô no in (seal of Rai Jô)
(b) Rai shi shisei (successful scion of the Rai family)
One seal at upper right: undeciphered.
The wooden box for this painting is important because it bears an authentication by San'yô son. On the outside, an inscription reads, "Callligraphy by the late elderly San'yô. A poem in seven-character lines, [his] true brushwork." The inscription continues on the Inside of box lid: "Spring day of the mizunoe horse year (1882). Examined and certified by Rai Fuku." [Fuku is another name for Rai Shihô (1823-1889).]
This is a hanging scroll. It is mounted on olive green fabric and includes a poem in Chinese calligraphic text about nature. Has three red seals: two in the lower left side, one in the upper right corner.
This is the poem:
The sounds of rustling leaves and the voices of talented men;
by the window of the mountain villa, a man plays go [Chinese chess] with another on a fine autumn day.
The sun in the forest begins to set and the match breaks up;
the shadow of a tree reaches from the bamboo blind to the catalpa chess-board.