The first time I saw this Chinese ink painting, I cried from the bottom of my heart. What a wonderland beyond this world, how I wish I could live there! It gave me the deep impression of otherworldliness, leisureliness and tranquility. This place is not for ordinary people, it is the place for the holy hermits living untethered from the world. The painting seems like a clear spring flowing through my body and purifying my soul. People have said: a good painting is like a fine poem, like a beautiful song. Looking at this transcendental art piece, I could hear the elegant Chinese classic music “River flowing down from the tall mountain”, and see the gentle pleasant whisper of the clouds sweeping through the forest. It also reminds me one of the Cold Mountain’s poem:
Clambering up the Cold Mountain path,
The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on:
The long gorge choked with scree and boulders,
The wide creek, the mist blurred grass.
The moss is slippery, though there’s been no rain
The pine sings, but there’s no wind.
Who can leap the world’s ties
And sit with me among the white clouds?
Here you can see the artist combined different kinds of painting skills: center brush-tip technique, side brush-edge technique, large-scale freehand brush work, splash-ink technique and fine brush stroke. The mountain scenery was painted with black ink and heavy hues of green. This artwork not only preserves traditional painting skills but also manifests the realistic effect of modern Western oil paintings.
In Chinese paintings, it is very difficult to apply the perspective technique, with its three-dimensional look, to paintings in which the center brush-tip technique is used to express scholarly charm. However, this painting combines four different elements: the three-dimensional perspective technique together with the scattered perspective technique, the splash-ink technique with lines freehand brushwork, and realism. Attributes from both Chinese and Western paintings form a single stylish charm. It depicts a pristine rural setting, a land accompanied by mountain, river, sun and moon spirits. One regards a place as home when one has cherished feelings toward the local customs and conditions of that place. Wouldn’t you like such a home?
This painting is in permanent collection of The International Art Museum of America.