Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art

Modern & Contemporary Chinese Art

The Joys of Wine
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    Nie Ou (Chinese, b. 1948)
    The Joys of Wine
    , 1993
    album of nine leaves, ink and color on paper
    Gift of Red Rock Studio, Hong Kong, A Williams Alumnus
    M.2007.20.8
    Photo by Jim Gipe-Pivot Media and Stephen Petegorsky

    Nie Ou (b. 1948, Shenyang) encountered Western art at an early age but initially avoided traditional Chinese art. She attended the Beijing Youth Palace, a preparatory school that incorporated Western art into the curriculum. In 1969, she was sent to a small farm in Datong as part of the Cultural Revolution agenda of re-educating urban youth. Based on her experiences in Datong, peasant life became a prominent subject in her work. Only after her return to Beijing did Nie express interest in learning Chinese painting techniques. Nie uses an abstract style to merge contemporary peasant figures with traditional ink techniques and landscape elements.

    Translation of the calligraphy on each leaf, right to left:

    The wine warms the body in the chilly country wind. By Nie Ou

    The aroma of the wine carried a long way. By Nie Ou

    The most pleasure is drinking with bosom friends. By Nie Ou

    Wine from the humble farmhouse is tastier. By Nie Ou

    The clear spring is used to brew the best wine. By Nie Ou

    The best wine is served for the distinguished guests. By Nie Ou

    The wine is delicious and the spring water is fresh among the mountains. By Nie Ou

    Good wine best relieves fatigue. By Nie Ou

    Enjoying the company of wine in the silent drizzle. By Nie Ou

    Nie Ou made this album in Beijing in 1993.