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Wang Mansheng (b. 1962) 王 満 晟

“Mountain Vein” 2009

Ink and color on cardboard, framed
14.0 x 32.6 cm. (5 1/2 x 12 7/8 in.)

Artist’s seal: Bansheng

Guo Xi, the great 11th-century Northern Song period master, was Mansheng’s inspiration for this work, but, interestingly, not the paintings of the master in this case, but rather his words. As translated by Mansheng: “Rocks are the bones of the earth. The bones are prized when strong and deep, not shallow. Mountains take water as their blood……” While moved by these words, the image was produced with techniques that are Mansheng’s own invention, consisting of cardboard painted with layered colors to form the mountain range, the surface layer of the cardboard then torn away to shape the peaks against sky where some remnants color appear as scudding clouds. Substantial three-dimensional forms, “strong and deep,” are enhanced by linear patterns in ink, with a narrow stream of paler green tumbling down the center, a waterfall, the “blood” of the mountains, grounding the image in the world of nature.

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