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The Book of Orchid

The Book of Orchid

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The Book of Orchid

évaluations:
5/5 (1 évaluation)
Longueur:
187 pages
1 heure
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Oct 15, 2015
ISBN:
9780977059867
Format:
Livre

Description

This ebook provides a complete process of making a classic Chinese orchid painting. In this instructional ebook, Professor I-Hsiung Ju demonstrates many step-by-step lessons on leaves and flowers. He begins this ebook for painting orchid with an introduction of mood and modes of Chinese brush painting. It is followed by more studies of painting tools and positions of hand for doing the exercises. Finally, there is the discussion of composition and creative ideas. Besides the hundred or more black and white illustrations, there are twenty-two prints of the author’s paintings.
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Oct 15, 2015
ISBN:
9780977059867
Format:
Livre

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The Book of Orchid - I-Hsiung Ju

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Introduction

Mood and Modes

Dancing branches

We have heard many artists say that they work only when they are in the mood. In Chinese art, this saying not only refers the fact but is also considered as some kind of golden rule. If an artist being ordered to paint a painting, even one of his favorite types, is not in the right mood, he usually tries to decline the commission. On many occasions, due to circumstances which give him no choice but to accept the order, he accepts with great reluctance and when he finishes the work, either he writes on the painting poetic lines which always have double meanings expressing subtly his regret or resentment, or he signs his name differently in order to emphasize that he is merely a different person, as an artisan, and not the artist he should be.

When a Chinese scholar finishes his bamboo or orchid or anything else, he always writes the date and the place and explains the reason for the painting. He prefers to say he wrote his bamboo and orchids, not that he painted them.

A tranquil heart

He titles his works not only as gossiping leaves, dancing branches, or weeping flowers, but also as an enduring kindness, some sweetish fragrance, or a tranquil heart. It is a common belief that his bamboo or orchids should be, like a book, read by people. His works are not just pictures for visual pleasure. Only an artisan, in Chinese, it is a Hua Kung, meaning painting laborer, or Hua Chiang, meaning painting technician, paints a picture for the picture's sake. A scholar as an artist writes down his message which has started and developed in his mind (Hsin in Chinese) and later been modeled and transformed into symbols or emblems such as bamboo or orchids by his hand (Shou in Chinese). Hence, there is a famous idiom in Chinese to describe one's consummate skill: Teh-Hsin-Ying-Shou, meaning getting it in one's mind and having it immediately executed with coordination by one's own hand. The word Hsin (mind) surely can be translated as one's idea or even ideal and Shou (hand) the execution with skill or through a certain procedure. Since an artisan has only his Shou (hand), he is therefore, only a workman who produces pictures which might depict completely other people's ideas. An artist, however, has his own Hsin, his original idea, and knows how to let people see his Hsin by means of his own Shou, his ability in using his hand.

If he finds there are still more things to say than what his Shou (hand) could bring out, or if his bamboo and orchids could not depict all his message and represent all his feelings, he rather writes extra poems or even more bamboo or orchids with more poems to go with the first portion. It is also true that when a poet feels his poem is not very efficient to express his mood, he writes some bamboo and orchids as the complement.

Training in brushwork and in the symbolism related to moods and feelings was part of the traditional education of a scholar. Up to modern times the discipline was still very much emphasized of practicing and memorizing in both calligraphic styles and painting modes and in the study of the Classics and ancient poetry. Actually, it was a matter of course to write, to be one of the literati. The preliminary steps require many diligent years and account for two important features of Chinese art, which traditionally covers poetry, calligraphy and painting. The first is the close relationship between painting and calligraphy. The same soft, pointed brush is used with a consequent emphasis on high standards of brushwork. The second feature is the traditional view that painting, or writing, is not a profession but an extension of the art of living, for the practice of the Tao (the way) of painting, writing and carving is part of the Tao to human conduct and thought, of living in harmony with the laws of Tao, the Universe, the basic Chinese concept of order and harmony in nature.

Calligraphy by this author

Chinese arts have usually been an expression of maturity. Most of the great masters first distinguished 'themselves as officials, scholars, poets, or expert calligraphers before they turned to painting. Because of their maturity, the masters believed that a painting was, or at least should be, a revelation of the nature of the man who painted it, and of his mood and feelings at the moment he painted it. This is the fundamental contention of the Wen-jen-hua or literati painting theory. It has been repeatedly written in many Chinese books that the expressive content of a painting depends more upon the artist's own personal qualities and his transient feelings than upon the qualities of the subject represented. A man of wide learning, refinement, and noble character will, if he adds to these attributes a moderate degree of acquired technical ability, produce paintings of a superior kind.

Although, according to ancient Chinese records, pictorial writing was one of the early ways of communication, it never developed into an art form, i.e., calligraphy, until the days of Confucius and even later. And due to the Confucian doctrine, the skills of a scholar, such as playing musical instruments, painting and making seal chops, are never too highly praised, but the superiority of his poetry and his calligraphy is a permanent guide to his excellence in art. A master who is considered as a man of three exquisitenesses in the history of Chinese art is always at first a poet. When these exquisitenesses are written of, the order is: poems first, calligraphy second and painting last. Many art critics in traditional China agreed that what is implicitly contained in a place of writing is likely to be more profound and meaningful than what is explicitly stated in a painting. The expression of what is either too subtle or too strong for direct verbal statement is the only reason to have painting as a substitute for literature. Thus, the literati painting are productions of the virtue of concealment, or of the way of indirection, just as Chinese poems also usually are.

A poem

The virtue of

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  • (5/5)
    Great read!
    I found this book very in depth and informative.