Joseph CHANG 張子寧
Asian Art Museum, Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture

Calligraphy, Painting, and Seal: An Initial Survey of the Permanent Collections of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

My talk presents an important group of paintings, in the permanent collections of the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, by painters who were active in Nanjing in the 17th century China. Landscape paintings by Gong Xian (龔賢 1618 – 1689), Fan Qi (樊圻 1611 –?), Zou Zhe (鄒喆 act. 1640s – 1670s), and Ye Xin (葉欣 act. 1640s – 1670s) of the Eight Masters of Jinling 金陵八家 and that by Xiao Yuncong (蕭雲從 1596 – 1673), Cheng Sui (程邃 1607 –1692), Kuncan (髡殘1612 – 1673), and Cha Shibiao (查士標 1615 – 1697) will also be presented. Among which unusual landscapes by Xiao Yuncong, Fan Qi, Ye Xin, and Cheng Sui will be included in further discussions, focusing on the painting My Teacher Cheng Yuanji by Cheng Sui.

An undated fan by the Anhui painter Xiao Yuncong could be an early work from the early 1640s when he spent years in retreat at the Qixia Temple in Nanjing before the fall of Ming dynasty, an early, perhaps the earliest, landscape handscroll by Fan Qi dated 1645, and another rare large hanging scroll by Ye Xin are all little known works of interest to scholars and students alike in the field of Chinese painting. More discussion will be devoted to Cheng Sui’s My Teacher Cheng Yuanji, which is stylistically related to that of Kuncan, on which an interesting seal by Cha Shibiao appears on the join between the painting and the long inscription above reveals a close circle, who were Ming loyalists such as Ji Yingzhong (紀映鍾1609 – 1681) and Zhou Liaoxu (周蓼卹) in addition to Cheng and Cha, active in Nanjing in the early Qing dynasty.

Finally, a brief note on the painting Bamboo, Rock, and Cymbidium by the modern scholar, diplomat, and artist Ye Gongchao (葉公超 1904 – 1981), who was better known as George Ye. The landscape elements of rocks and waterfall were actually added by another younger painter Fan Po-Hung (范伯洪 1937 – 1988). Ye and Fan co-painted many works in the 1970s and most of which bear only Yeh’s signature and seals, a little known fact in the history of modern Chinese painting.