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Poem in Cursive Script

Kuang Lu (Chinese, 1604–1650)

Period:
late Ming (1368–1644) or early Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date:
17th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Handscroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 4 9/16 x 77 3/16 in. (11.6 x 196 cm)
Classification:
Calligraphy
Credit Line:
Lent by The Chih Lo Lou Collection, Hong Kong
  • Description

    Kuang Lu wrote this poem to commemorate an outing to the mountains with four friends on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month—the Double Ninth Festival. On this day custom dictates that people ascend the heights to enjoy the view. Apart from vivid descriptions of natural scenery and musing over the passage of time, he mentions the no-longer-occupied Weiyuan Constellation, the realm of the Jade Emperor. This allusion to the demise of the Ming emperor dates this calligraphy to the final years of Kuang’s life.

    Written in wild-cursive script, this work pushes the graphic potential of Chinese characters to the utmost. Twisting ink filaments link separate strokes and adjacent characters in dynamic configurations. Columnar integrity is willfully and creatively compromised to draw attention to the pictorial quality of this linear composition as a masterpiece of abstract art.

    cat. no. 33

  • Provenance

    Ho Iu-kwong (He Yaoguang) Chinese, 1907–2006

76506:3

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