Crabs and Stalks

Hu Ko-min (1909-1991)AD 1911-

National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum
Taipei, Taiwan

Hu Ko-min (sobriquets Tiegu weng and Yangbi xuanzhu), a native of Wujin in Jiangsu (modern Wujin District, Changzhou City), traveled across the Strait in 1949 and settled down in Taiwan._x000D_
This painting employs the naturally spreading quality of the brush combined with variations in ink tones to create gradations of dark, light, wet, and dry that successfully render the activities and poses of the crabs seen here. The crabs are also rendered with light brown tones to express their hairy quality, indicating that they are probably mitten, or hairy, crabs. At the top is a crab with a mark similar to the character for “king” (“wang 王”), suggesting a commander for the rest and perhaps a sense of humor on the part of the artist. The overlapping stalks and tassels of grain on the ground show that the time of year is late autumn, when grain is harvested.


  • Title: Crabs and Stalks
  • Creator: Hu Ko-min (1909-1991)
  • Date Created: AD 1911-
  • Physical Dimensions: 74x41
  • Type: Hanging scroll
  • Rights: National Palace Museum
  • Medium: ink and colors on paper
  • Dynasty: Republican Period

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