(China – )
85.4 x 51.2 cm image; 187.0 x 74.0 cm scroll
‘The isolation of the figure in the painting the dongtian-like mountain sets, and the magic fungus, all evoke the Daoist idea of individuals seeking spiritual freedom and immortality in the great mountains. Wang Jianzhang was born in Quanzhou in Fujian province, where local histories document his skill at drawing but little more is known of him. Some of his landscape paintings reached Japan (the source of this painting), probably through monks of the Obaku sect of Zen Buddhism, which was transferred to Japan after the fall of the Ming. The poem reads:
Trees on the cliff cage clouds, half moist.
The brushwood gate beside a steam is newly opened.
Facing the dawn, I seek for a poem, all alone;
As I gather fungus the sun sets, and I return.’
‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.148.
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 254 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies, Art of the Brush - Chinese & Japanese painting calligraphy, Sydney, 1995, 9 (illus.), 10.
Jackie Menzies, The Art Gallery of New South Wales Collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 200 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Landscape Painting', Sydney, 2003, 148-149 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 149 is a detail of this work.
Public Programmes Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Adventures in Asia. An education kit for the Asian gallery, Sydney, 2003, 6 (colour illus.). card no.6
Goldie Sternberg, Look, 'The Priest of Ink', pg. 14, Heidelberg, Dec 1993-Jan 1994, 14 (illus.).
Great gifts, great patrons, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Aug 1994–19 Oct 1994
Art of the brush, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Sep 1995–12 Nov 1995