|Honolulu Academy of the Arts exhibition - welcome! |
|More from the exhibition--this looks like Wang Meng|
|The final exhibition photo before museum intervention--cannot identify the gorgeous bamboo, rock and calligraphic composition to left--Wu Zhen?--see another image on museum website, linked above. How beautiful the ornamental doorway!|
|View from Moana Surfrider - like Chinese landscape...|
|Westin's Moana Surfrider hotel, founded 1901|
|Hawaii Botanic Garden|
|Hawaii Botanic Garden shoreline|
|Looking up at million year old Mauna Kea (13, 796 ft.) from the Saddle Road at about 6000 ft. in Hilo|
|Public park in Hilo, island of Hawaii (all photos courtesy PM)|
Leaving LA I flew east instead of west, missing the easiest way to see the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition at the Honolulu Academy of Art on view through January 8, 2012. A friend who just returned alerted me to it and forwarded these photographs; she'd taken a few of the show before a guard intervened and included some breathtaking images from the rest of her trip that create a sensitive and immersive exchange between painted and actual worlds. How hopping on a plane to see it beckons, right now, right away: this is a major exhibition of Chinese scrolls, including the Four Yuan Dynasty Greats: Huang Gongwang, Wang Meng, Ni Tsan and Wu Zhen. The Yuan Dynasty was the first in China ruled by foreigners--learned culturati and government officials had the choice of working for the Mongols or retreating to private life (most chose the latter, as hermits in the mountains). These painters, and others, developed the literati tradition of painting initiated in the art-friendly Song Dynasty, first ruled by Emperor Huizong, himself an artist ultimately overtaken by the Jin Dynasty of Manchuria as he was too focused on painting to develop the military. Working collaboratively with the Jin, one of Huizong's sons later founded the Southern Song Dynasty, but tended toward poetry, along with painting and calligraphy the three beauties of ancient Chinese culture.
In this delicious lunch of cabbage, tofu, enoki mushrooms and pork, an armchair traveler might discern volanoes, trees, plateaus and mountains surrounded by a porcelain moat, preserving Shih-Tao's dictum that "Painting is guided by the mind."