Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art

Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art

Lake Tai
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    Xiao Ping (Chinese, b. 1942)
    Lake Tai
    , 1992
    ink and color on paper
    Gift of Red Rock Studio, Hong Kong, A Williams Alumnus
    M.2007.20.16
    Photo by Jim Gipe-Pivot Media and Stephen Petegorsky

    Xiao Ping (b. 1942, Nanjing) employs traditional techniques and subjects for his landscape, bird-and-flower, and figure paintings. He is also an expert in the techniques and theory of calligraphy. His training in art appraisal adds another dimension to his knowledge of the Chinese artistic tradition. In 1962, he began his career as a researcher and art appraiser for the Palace Museum in Nanjing and has since consulted on ancient Chinese collections in museums all over the world. Incorporating different types of brushstrokes for the paintings and script for the calligraphy, the two works in our collection demonstrate Xiao’s technical versatility.

    Translation of the calligraphy, right to left:

    Releasing Captive Water Deer on Dragon Head Island in Tai Lake

    …I traveled and stayed in the Maji Mountain of Tai Lake with my friends. This mountain is an ancient island in Tai Lake with a quiet and beautiful landscape. One day after sunrise, I went for a walk and saw that someone was selling a captive water deer. This animal looks like a buck but has no antlers. Its belly swelled and obviously demonstrated its pregnancy. With strong compassion I bought the water deer. Then, I took a boat to release it on Dragon Head Island, where it was captured. The day was on November 1st 1991, my son’s 22nd birthday. Later, I made this painting and inscribed it in my Lotus Lover Studio in Nanjing….