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Wintry Forest

© Tai Xiangzhou. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Wintry Forest

Artist: Tai Xiangzhou (Born in Yinchuan, China, 1968)
Culture: Chinese
Date: 2009
Medium: Ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 16 5/8 x 54 13/16 inches (42.2 x 139.2 cm)
Mount (silk border): 22 3/4 x 68 inches (57.8 x 172.7 cm)
Frame: 27 3/4 x 73 3/8 x 1 3/4 inches (70.5 x 186.4 x 4.4 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Anonymous gift
Label Text:Tai Xiangzhou uses classic Chinese techniques to create landscapes reminiscent of those from the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties. By brushing Qianlong-period (1736-95) ink on a silk-like paper created using methods from the tenth century, the artist emphasizes the importance of tradition in Chinese culture and aesthetics. In Wintry Forest, Tai demonstrates the desire of Yuan-era artists to depict an isolated world that reflects the artist’s own inner spirit and sentiments. Similarly, artists during the Song dynasty who had retreated to the mountains sought to portray landscapes that would convey the sense of order in the natural world they believed was lacking in society. Both groups of artists created works illustrating an imaginary terrain rather than literal depictions of their surroundings. Tai’s work modifies these visionary landscapes of the past in the hopes of presenting a view of the future. Tai builds from traditional foundations and reinterprets them for a modern sensibility. In his depiction of rocky hills topped with twisting trees floating across a never-ending body of water, the lack of buildings or other indications of human development lend the work a contemplative mood. This focus on the harmony found in nature allows the viewer to experience a moment of solitude and reflection not often available in our fast-paced, globalized world.
Provenance: Provenance: Purchased by donor directly from the artist (summer 2012).
Object number: 2012.13.1