Ali Mountain Based on Sketches - 6

Accession Number
2006/1.141

Title
Ali Mountain Based on Sketches - 6

Artist(s)
Chang Ku-nien

Object Creation Date
1965

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink on paper

Dimensions
68 1/8 in. x 36 13/16 in. ( 173 cm x 93.5 cm )

Subject matter
Located in middle-Taiwan, the Ali Mountain is one of the most famous scenic landmarks among Taiwan’s National Parks. Ali Mountain is best known for the beauty of the vast “cloud sea” surrounding the mountain peaks and the towering “divine giant trees” found amid the ridges and valley of the mountain.
The painting’s format, a traditional mounting style called “the screen of connected scenes” or “sea curtain”, gives the artist the advantage of representing a panoramic view of monumental landscapes. Each of six individual pieces was first painted on the ground in the artist’s studio with an overall composition envisioned in the artist’s mind. Then, the inscriptions were added on the top, (inscribed by the artist himself in this case), and finally the six paintings were mounted into the current format.
Inscribed is a piece of classic Song lyrics (the most popular in the Song dynasty), written in calligraphy style running script. The poetic lines describe a forested mountain filled with vigorous energies. Yet the atmosphere is melancholic. The vast landscape appears dream-like, symbolically representing the lost homeland of Chang and his peer generation-- mainland China-- that awaits its recovery from the Chinese Communists. The inscription thus connects the painting’s otherwise natural scenery to the advocated political theme of the Nationalist government’s rule in Taiwan in 1960s.

Physical Description
One of six hanging scrolls in a series depicting the landscape of Ali Mountain, trees and hillside are shown below calligraphic text. The artist uses alternating wet ink washes for the misty clouds and dry flying-brushes for the large pine trees

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Rights
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Keywords
hanging scrolls
ink
mountains

& Author Notes

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