Converse with Delight

Re-View——Opening Exhibition part of Ancient•Contemporary

By Long Museum West Bund

Long Museum West Bund

开今借古 Review-Long Museum West BundLong Museum West Bund

The Long Museum began its collection of ancient Chinese art works with paintings, calligraphic works, porcelain, and artifacts. In terms of painting and calligraphy, the Museum has been able to accumulate, piece by piece, a series of works that are extremely important in the history of Chinese calligraphy and painting. We have selected a number of representative items from the entire collection for the "Opening Exhibition of Long Museum West Bund." this section is arranged under three themes: "Converse with Delight," where communication is established between some ancient works and a few contemporary ones; "Interpret the Subtlety," where modern texts are interpreted alongside ancient ones; and "Observe in Silence," where to grasp the pith and marrow of an art work through observation with one's heart and soul is emphasized and encouraged. In fact,“converse with delight" is not purely a continuation or a criticism. It could be a combination of both, and it asks for the visitors' own comprehension and contemplation.

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

To use the word "imitation" in the title of one's own work (known as fang in Chinesel became a trend during the mid-and late Ming dynasty. Until then, such a practice had been rare among painters. Huang Bosi of the Northern Song dynasty once touched upon a definition of such "imitation" in his book The Critiques Written after Working at the Eastern Edifice(dongguanyulun): the behavior of a painter who imitates the painting style or feature of an original work that he has seen with his own eyes. However, in the late Ming dynasty when "imitation" began to flourish, it developed into something more sophisticated, stressing "follow[ing] the idea instead of the appearance" as well as the painter's subjective consciousness. Thus, "imitation" evolved into a way of creation and then formed a new paradigm of mountain-and-water(shanshui) painting.

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Imitative Classic Landscape (album leaves) (1668) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Background Story: The Mountain in the South Loxoked as a Green Screen, Xu Bing, 2013, From the collection of: Long Museum West Bund
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We may also find out that for some contemporary artists, traditional or classical cultural attitudes, notions, or characteristics are often seen as inspirations or targets, which facilitate their creativity, and have consequently developed into new attitudes and sources of innovation.Xu Bing's work appears to have a connection with the notion of ‘imitation," but, moreover, it reveals mufti一layered, rich, and complicated values from a contemporary point of view. We can see new ways of observing and thinking, new materials, the application of lighting effects, and even the awareness of environmental protection and the psychology of fine culture.

Background Story: The Mountain in the South Loxoked as a Green Screen, Xu Bing, 2013, From the collection of: Long Museum West Bund
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Landscape on a Sunny Spring Day(hanging scroll) (1656) by Wang ShiminLong Museum West Bund

Snow Mountains in the Style of Juran, Xia Xiaowan, 2008, From the collection of: Long Museum West Bund
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Xia Xiaowan's visual presentation by stacking up multiple layers of images is also a contemporary deduction of the classical mountain-and-water painting.

Landscape in the Style of Zhao Mengfu (hanging scroll) (1669) by Wang JianLong Museum West Bund

Mountains and Rivers Without End (1709) by Wang HuiLong Museum West Bund

Copying “The Gathering at the Orchid Pavilion Preface” A Thousand Times, Qiu Zhijie, From the collection of: Long Museum West Bund
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One is called "Copying 'The Orchid Pavilion Preface' A Thousand Times" (shuxielantingyiqianbian), a video clip showing Qiu repeatedly copying Wang Xizhi's "Preface to the Orchid Pavilion Poems" on the same piece of paper, adding one layer onto another till the "Preface" becomes unrecognizable. It is a metaphor which addresses and criticizes a common phenomenon in Chinese culture: the blind worship of classical works and the loss of creativity.

Calligraphy of Writing Backward, Qiu Zhijie, From the collection of: Long Museum West Bund
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The other is "Calligraphy of Writing Backward" (daoxieshufa), which turns a classical Chinese cultural symbol into a somewhat humorous and ironic "performance," which carries realistic cultural criticism and may also bring new experience and food for thought to the public when they appreciate the classics.

Eighteen Luohans Scroll (handscroll) (1615) by Wu BinLong Museum West Bund

Chinese literati's imagination and their insight into and humor toward social phenomena and problems support the cultivation of humanity and the mastery of life. Living through the turbulent times at the end of the Ming dynasty, Wu Bin stands out in art history with his unique yet peculiar style and embodies the spirit and temperament of ancient literati. His "Eighteen Luohans Scroll" is full of imagination and highly creative figures and scenes, outlining his vision for an ideal life.

Eighteen Luohans Scroll (handscroll)-1 (1615) by Wu BinLong Museum West Bund

Eighteen Luohans Scroll (handscroll)-2 (1615) by Wu BinLong Museum West Bund

Eighteen Luohans Scroll (handscroll)-3 (1615) by Wu BinLong Museum West Bund

Eighteen Luohans Scroll (handscroll)-4 (1615) by Wu BinLong Museum West Bund

The New Classic of Mountains and Seas, Qiu Anxiong, 2006, From the collection of: Long Museum West Bund
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New Peach Blossom Spring, Huang Yongping, 2008, From the collection of: Long Museum West Bund
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Huang Yongping's "New Peach Blossom Spring" and Qiu Anxiong's "The New Classic of Mountains and Seas" address the interpretation and reproduction by contemporary literati of ancient people's utopia and ancient people's imagination about the world outside.

Credits: Story

Director:Wang Wei
Curator:Wang Huangsheng,Cao Qinghui,Guo Xiaoyan

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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