Zeng Xiaojun (b. 1954)
Ink and color on paper, 2003
Height: 66 ¾ inches (169.6 cm.)
Width: 36 ⅞ inches (93.7 cm.)
In a display of the noble strength and the enduring spirit of nature, the landscape is powerfully modeled with strong brushwork and light ink washes. The mountain is rendered in great scale from a high vantage point, reminiscent of the Northern Song monumental landscapes. It is a mountainscape of grand gravity and substance, but when viewed against its white background, it possesses an airy lightness, as the light washes of blue ink flow naturally against the mountain cliffs.
As one of the best-known and most important contemporary ink painters active in China today, Zeng Xiaojun was born in Beijing in 1954 and spent his teenage years living amidst the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. He attended the Central Art and Craft Academy of Beijing, from which he graduated in 1981. In 1983, Zeng Xiaojun moved to the United States, taking up residence in Boston. In 1997, he returned to Beijing, where he now lives and works. An avid collector of Ming and Qing furniture as well as scholar’s objects, Zeng Xiaojun is most passionate about wood and scholar’s rocks, reflecting an unusual resonance between his paintings and collected objects. Zeng Xiaojun’s art is in many private and public collections, including the permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.