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wong tsz mei Art Blog

The Exact Discipline Germinates the Seemingly Easiness(part 3)------ a painstaking construct to accommodate safty and relaxation

by tszmei , April 7, 2011—01:54 AM

Topics: Song dynasty court paintings, imperial art

Another scroll named ___Lying in the shade of pagoda tree to dispel summer heat___having the classical idiom of imperial art of Song dynasty is executed by an anonymous court painter .The conscientious and meticulos attitude of mind is fully displayed in the layout of the artpiece. Furthermore,with his artistic attainments and adaptable wits,the artist achieved the unity of shape and vividness in a genre scene.In the painting,a platform bed is the major element,with a man lying down who is fully stretching and exposing most part of his chest.It is the natural pose of a man to cool off in high summer.On the left end of the bed,a screen being attached served as the head of a bed which guarded the sleeper__™s head.Therefore in a semi-enclosure he could sleep in privacy,so as not to be exposed in wide open.However, the conscientiousness of the artist is down to the very last detail.The painting of the screen is a winter scene.The screen bordered on the edge of the scroll and was cut short.However,having a glimpse of it,we still can see the hills covered with snow with bare branches, which is an interesting comparison with the thick tree-crown of the pagoda tree outside.The delightful inventiveness of the artist indicates a kind of feeling nice and cool mentally by veiwing a chilly winter landscape when someone wakes up from his nap.The ingenuity is easily passed over with a quick look.

As regards physical ingredients arranged on a flat ground seem that the rectilinear forms dominate the overall arrangment of the picture:the figure lying in the oblong shaped bed with one end attached to the rectangular screen,assorted objects on a rectangle table which is adjacent the bed.Especially the table in black silhouette at a distance having considerable visual weigh in relation to the group of rectilinear objects in the foreground holds the observer__™s attention, and one is willing to identify the formal complexity,intricacy of the tininess of objects on it. However,our visual observations would not be help up by the careful perusal of the clarity of particulars.Our sight would go further up,induced by the upright positioned trunk on the left.The tininess and neatly depicted leaves exert their fascination of softness,still more the comfort to shelter one from summer heat.Such intrinsic interest let us glance the whole length of the upper border of the scroll. Subsequently,the oblique top view of the screen on the left leads our eye sights to the lying figure.He is the main subject-matter of the painting.And what all we have scrutinized beforehand are the ideal setting and foils to him.

To some extent the Chinese sense of contained volume is demonstrated in the figure which drew by contours are purely linear.The movement of the actual lines is clearly intended to be three dimensional,but by no means bound to the sihouette of the object.They lead the eye over, under, around and behind the body in the picture.The lines of draperies double back upon themselves in serpentine folds.The configuration and interplay of the liveliness and neatness of a multiplicity of varied lines showing their ethereal nature not only delineate the suppleness of the raiment,but also develop graceful circular rhythms in a continuum of undulating movement.Even the tigs of the belt being the insignificant details were drawn earnestly,they seem to float and flutter as to form the beautiful twists.As a matter of fact,the whole curvaceous weaving tissues of pattern is excuted with___long-breathed___line which the artist depends upon a kind of mental concentration and immediate control of movement.Therefore the whole interest of the figure lies in the vivid expression of movement and life given by springing brush lines;moreover the freedom of linear expression respones to the artist__™s unspeakable mentality and emotion,abandoned the restriction of imitating the composition of human shape,from which an unfettered effect is given to the figure. The very structure of the weaving tissues of curved lines are the experienced reality as a continuous web of movement and change out of which patterns of process are selected for identification as the perceptual forces inherent in it.Therefore the angular objects,the rectilinear forms do not predominate over the curved,the soft part which is constantly drawing new energy from its environment .In fact,the setting and foils have formed a niche to accommodate safty and relaxation.

Speaking of the angular objects in the scroll,they are not the transcription of the seen world through the sober means of the pure craft of painting.The precision and exactness is demonstrated,but also a sensitive response to the organization and overall coherence.The bed and table are depicted as___inverted perspective___,appearing as the opposite of what the imitation of nature would suggest.Instead of converging toward distance,the visual perceptions of the bed and the table are divergent.The artist adopts the inverted angle to let the surface of the bed broaden toward the back and then the broadened locus make more room for the rhythmic curvilineal form to exhibit itself.On another hand,as there does not exist the adherence to convergent perspective,the visual conveniences are so obvious that the artist could freely organize the layout to reconcile incongruous formal elements to achieve the bravura effect with the seemingly effortless artifice.



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