iNGO Academy

Yao Shou’s idyllic dream

Format:Digital  Video
Length 1’15”

This is a digital version of Yao Shou’s original landscape paintings from the Ming Dynasty. His brushstrokes and structure have been recorded to database. This 180 x 47 cm scroll has an estimated history of more than 400 years. It was Yao’s artwork when being an administrator at Yun Dong, China. The artistic conception of this painting fully revealed his pastoral passion and idyllic mood.

Chinese literati who were good at painting often projected themselves on their artworks, such as the solo walker on the mountain path, the paddler on the river side or the banded ficus on the hillside or cliffs. Those were the metaphors reflecting painters’ plight. This one here is certainly no exception. In the pavilion of the lower left corner, through the trees, you can see that the two persons talking about some matters. What topic they were talking about? Maybe about art movement or politic stuffs! We just don’t know which one was Yao Shou himself.

Ink painting has gradually become more and more important in the international art market as China growing to the world power. Art scholars from all over the world has begun to study its constituent elements. If we use the philosophy of Western arts to analyze Chinese paintings, they could be said more conceptual than realistic,  more symbolic meaning than  proportional corrects. This was due to social structure of feudalism that make Chinese culture recession and indirectly expression of the emotion. Well-educated scholars were often looking forward carriers in government system and exhaling feelings by make poems .writing books or paintings.

In the Chinese paintings, there were usually no perspective ratio and lack of depth of field. The material of water-ink color and rice paper that were not drastically changed so much in centuries constituted the characteristics of Chinese paintings. The maturity of painting skill immediately appeared on the rice paper, unlike the Western paintings that including paint, smear and full set of oil colors.

The talented literati painters relied on the understanding of the literary artistic conception, the observation of the natural world, and the familiarity of the tool operation. Most of the successful painters had their own unique way of interpreting the visual world. They were able to create their own style and “innovate” art and fashion. Yao Shou was known for his skill in painting long landscape scrolls. This painting is one of them. If you are interested and want to know more about arts and culture movement, please join iNGO Academy to get notes from the  first hands.