Wed, 09/08/2021 – 19:01
The eminent writer and painter Su Shi (1037–1101) begins a short poem with this bead of wisdom:
If anyone discusses painting in terms of formal likeness,
His understanding is close to that of a child.
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The inner landscape—the mountains and rivers that flow through the mind—became the subject of the works of Chinese literati artists and writers who, like Su Shi, valued the process of self-expression over realistic depiction. The Northern Song literati sought not to translate what they saw into their paintings, but to spontaneously record on paper or silk the landscape that came to them intuitively.
As with the subjects of meditations and apparitions, the world giving rise to the imaginary landscape has changed dramatically since the genre was first established. Besides the new tools and influences described above, the artists within the Dreamscapes grouping are also immersed in a physical and social environment markedly different from that of their predecessors, reflected in their works.