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Between and Mortarboard

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Portrait of Shirley and Chen-yang Chang

Accession Number

Portrait of Shirley and Chen-yang Chang

Chang Ku-nien

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
ink and color on paper

13 1/4 in. x 26 1/8 in. ( 33.6 cm x 66.3 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Cheng-Yang and Mrs. Shirley Chang

Label copy
Chang Ku-nien created this painting at the age of seventynine. As Chang inscribed on the work, it was made to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the marriage between his elder son, Cheng-yang Chang, and his daughter-in-law Shirley—the
generous donors of UMMA’s Shirley Chang Gallery of Chinese Art. The painting depicts a garden surrounded by blooming apricot trees. Shirley sits at a stone table playing the zither for her husband. In Chinese, zhiyin means “to know one’s notes
(or music)”; it is also used poetically to describe people who understand each other deeply. On the left side of the painting are two swallows. This bird is a metaphor for spring, and a pair often represents a satisfying marriage. In this scene Chang is expressing his fatherly delight in the happy and harmonious marriage between Cheng-yang and Shirley, and offerings them his affectionate blessings. He also inscribed the painting: “Spring is a miraculous hand, turning a sprout of apricot to lush forest. The wife accompanies her husband and teaches her son. They enjoy a firm and happy lifelong marriage.”
Spring/Summer Gallery Rotation 2015

Subject matter
Portrait of artist's elder son Cheng-yang and daughter-in-law Shirley to celebrate their twentieth anniversary of marriage. In the painting, Shirley is playing a kind of zither and her husband standing beside in a caring and appreciative manner.

Physical Description
A man and woman under a tree while the woman plays a type of zither. Nearby are trees in bloom with pink flowers. Writing is located in the upper left corner of the painting.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)

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