fig. 5 
Zhu Da or Bada Shanren

Zhu Da or Bada Shanren (1626–1705) (fig. 1), a noted eccentric, ‘had the genius of an immortal who disguised himself as a calligrapher and a painter’.1 This was acclaimed twenty or thirty years after Zhu Da’s death by Zhang Geng (1685–1760) in his Guochao Huazheng Lu (Bibliographies of painters from the beginning of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) to the beginning of the Qianlong reign (1736–96), completed between 1722 and 1739), Quoted from Osvald Siren, Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles, Lund Humphries, London, 1956–58, vol. 5, p. 152. On Zhu Da’s life and work (poetry, calligraphy and painting), see the following: Yiyuan Duoying (Gems of Chinese Fine Arts) 17, 1982; 19, 1983; Xie Zhiliu, Zhu Da, Shanghai renmin chuban she, Shanghai, 1979; V. Giacalone, ‘Chu Ta (1626–c. 1705), Toward an Understanding of His Art’, Oriental Art XXI, 2, summer 1975, pp. 136–52; Zhou Shixin, Bada Shanren Quanji (The Collected Works of Bada Shanren), Yishu tushu gongsi, Taipei, 1974; Victoria Contag, (tr. Michael Bullock) Chinese Masters of the 17th Century, Lund Humphries, London, 1969, pp. 17–20; James Cahill, Fantastic and Eccentrics in Chinese Painting, The Asia Society, Inc., New York, 1967, pp. 74–82; Siren, op. cit., pp. 149–56; id., A History of Later Chinese Painting, The Medici Society, London, 1938, vol. 2, pp. 121–5. As if madness were associated with genius, his contemporary, Chen Ding (born c. 1658) recounted in the late 1680s: 

Shanren [Bada Shanren] was crazy! But how then can the production of his brush have such strength? I have asked people from his village, and they all said: ‘He accomplished it while he was drunk.’ Alas! Alas! One can get as drunk as he did, but not crazy as he was.2 Quoted in Siren (1956–58), p. 151. 

 

Zhu Da’s life was as enigmatic as his extreme behaviour; in fact he assumed more than forty different names in seventy-nine years of metamorphosis.3 Zhou Shixin, pp. 104–14. A descendant of the Ningfan line of the Ming imperial house, he was born in 1626 in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, where his family had been living for generations. Zhu (vermilion) was his family name whilst his big ears earned him the name Da (big-eared) from birth. (The character da is composed of da (big) above and er (ear) below.)4 Yiyuan Duoying 19, pp. 17–18; Zhou Shixin, p. 106. 

A child prodigy, Zhu Da was already writing poetry, competent in seal carving and distinguished for his painting and calligraphy by the age of eight. He received a classical education in preparation for an official career but his hope of becoming a civil official was soon dashed.5 As early as the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220), China developed a civil service system based on merit. Under the emperor, a bureaucracy of civil officials was recruited by examinations. See John K. Fairbank et al., East Asia, Tradition and Transformation, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1973, pp. 69, 104, 126–7. When Zhu Da was barely twenty, the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) fell to the Manchus who rose to power on the north–eastern fringe of China and established themselves as the next rulers of imperial China, called the Qing dynasty (1644–1911).6 The tragic event was preceded by a long period of internal decline, and precipitated by famines and peasant uprisings. Ironically, the Manchu conquest of China was accomplished with Chinese assistance: a Ming general, Wu Sanguei (1612–78) was the key figure. As the rebel Li Cicheng (16057–45) descended on the capital at Peking, the last Ming emperor summoned Wu to the rescue; but before Wu arrived, Li took Peking. The emperor, deserted and in despair, hanged himself in a pavilion on Prospect Hill overlooking the Forbidden City. As Li advanced against him, Wu withdrew to Shanhaiguan, the strategic ‘mountain-sea pass’ where the Great Wall meets the coast. He then invited the Manchus, who were waiting patiently east of the pass, to defeat the rebel force and restore the throne to the Ming; however, once inside the Great Wall, the Manchus seized the imperial throne for themselves. See Fairbank, pp. 221–57. The collapse of the Ming, followed closely by the death of his father, had a shattering psychological impact on the young Zhu Da. He developed a speech defect, following the example of his father who had also been famous for his calligraphy and painting throughout the whole district south of the Yangtze River (Changjiang). When twenty-three, Zhu Da left home and withdrew to the mountains of Fengxi, north–west of Nanchang, where he found political and spiritual refuge as a monk in a Chan (Zen) Buddhist monastery. He shaved his head, took the Buddhist name Xue Ge (snowflake) and the name Lu (donkey) – an allusion to his birthname Da (big-eared). A few years later he was canonised and became a Buddhist master, attracting hundreds of students. 

In 1679, the Qing court at Peking set up a special examination to recruit eminent Chinese scholars from the south to compile the Ming dynastic history:7 The early Qing was a very turbulent period. Scholars, greatly disturbed by the fall of the Ming dynasty, were faced with the moral dilemma of whether to serve the Manchus, resist them openly, or protest in silence. Many of those who served as officials of the previous dynasty were either imprisoned, exiled or executed, and some committed suicide rather than face national disgrace (humiliation). As a symbolic gesture of submission, the Chinese were required to braid their hair and shave the rest of their heads like the Manchus, but many scholars simply retired from politics. but Ming loyalists refused to participate.8 Those who still owed their allegiance to the fallen dynasty were called yimin (‘left- over subjects’ or ‘adherents of a former dynasty’). By 1679, however, the Kangxi emperor (c. 1661–1722), who was well versed in the classics himself and had strong intellectual interests, succeeded in getting 152 of the 188 top scholars whom he invited, to take the examination. But of course, refusal would have been interpreted as rebellion. See Fairbank, p. 229; James Cahill, the Distant Mountains, Chinese Painting of the late Late Ming Dynasty, 1570–1644, Weatherhill, New York, Tokyo, 1982; Cheng Te-k’un et al. (eds), Proceedings of the Symposium on Painting & Calligraphy by Ming l-min, The Journal of the Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, VIII, 2, December 1976. Zhu Da was invited to stay with a local magistrate, for a year, supposedly to paint for him, as his contemporary Shao Changheng (1634–1704) relates: 

Hu Yitang, the district president of Linquan [in Jiangxi province, south–east of Nanchang] heard of his fame and invited him to his official residence. After about a year his mind became confused and he was no longer master of himself. Later he went mad and he spent his days first laughing aloud, then crying in agony. One evening he tore up his monk’s robe, burned it and ran back to the provincial capital, where he behaved like a madman among the stalls in the market. Wearing a linen cap on his head, a long garment with a high collar trailing behind him and worn out shoes, he ran about in the market, dancing and waving his sleeves with the boys running after him making a great noise, laughing and gaping at him. No one knew who he was until a nephew of his recognised him and took him home with him, where after a long time, he got better . . . [But then] one day, he suddenly wrote the character ya [dumb] very large and attached it to his door. From this moment on he never exchanged a word with anyone, but he liked laughing and enjoyed drinking even more. If anyone invited him to drink he would draw in his throat, clap his hands and laugh uproariously . . . When drunk he often used to break out into plaintive sobbing and weep bitterly . . .9 Adapted from translations in Siren (1956–58), p. 151 and in Contag, pp. 17–18. For text in Chinese, see Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 42. 

It has been suggested that Zhu Da was held under house-arrest, on suspicion of anti-Qing activities; however, by 1683, any hope of restoring the Ming seemed to have vanished. Despite their sudden success of 1644, it had taken the Manchus thirty-nine years to suppress all resistance and consolidate their power.10 Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 39; Giacalone, p. 150; Fairbank, pp. 211–57. In 1687, Zhu Da left the Taoist temple and devoted himself to painting. Until he died in 1705, at the age of seventy-nine, he was known as Bada Shanren (man of eight great mountains), a name adopted in 1685 of which Cheng Ding notes: ‘He called himself Bada Shanren which he explained thus: “Ba, the eight great ones are the four chief and four secondary quarters of heaven, in all of which I am great and none greater than I.”’11 Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 41; 19, pp. 17–18, 39–40; Giacalone, pp. 150–1; Zhou Shixin, p. 108; Contag, p. 19.

It has often been asked if Zhu Da were genuinely insane, simply eccentric or whether he pretended madness. Throughout Chinese history madness was sometimes feigned in order to escape from danger; as if playing the fool were the only means of survival. Moreover eccentric behaviour – considered outside the social norm – far from being frowned upon was tolerated, even admired as extraordinaire, thus providing freedom of action.12 See Nelson Wu, ‘The Toleration of Eccentrics’, Art News LVI, 3, May 1957, pp. 27–9, 52–4; Cahill (1967). Shao Changheng who met Zhu Da in 1690, recalls the encounter: 

When I was staying in Nanchang I had the desire to get to know Shanren, who was then living close to the Beilan si (northern orchid monastery). Dan gong [(abbot of the monastery since 1679)] arranged a visit to the monastery with Shanren, so we could meet. When the agreed day arrived, a gale was blowing and it was pouring with rain, so I thought Shanren would surely not go out. A little later, however, I received an urgent note from Dan gong saying: ‘Shanren arrived early this morning.’ Pleasantly surprised, I immediately called a bamboo sedan and set out, paying no heed to the rain. As soon as he saw me he seized my hand, looked at me for a long time and burst out laughing. We spent the night in the monastery conversing by lamplight. Shanren was so excited that he could not control himself and began to gesticulate with his hands. Then he asked for a brush and wrote his answers on the table. When we studied, with the aid of the lamp, what he had written, it was clear that he had not been bored by the conversation between Dan gong and myself . . . Shanren had a slightly reddish complexion, a broad chin and a thin beard . . .13 Translation from Contag, p. 18. For text in Chinese, see Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 42. 

 

Shao Changheng also describes Zhu Da’s unfathomable personality: 

Although we know a great deal about Shanren today, there is no one who really knew him. In his innermost being he was at once wildly ebullient and melancholy; he was also unable to relax and seemed like a river bubbling up from a spring that is blocked by a large stone or like a fire smothered with wet wool. Thus deprived of an outlet, he would start raving at one moment and fall silent the next. Being inscrutable, he was detached from the world. If some considered him a crazy intellectual, others found him sublime. They were both entirely superficial in their knowledge of Shanren. What a tragedy!14 Translation adapted from Contag, p. 18. For text in Chinese, see Yiyuan Duoying 17, p.42. 

Zhang Chao, another contemporary, reveals Zhu Da’s secret for survival in his Yuchu Xinzhi, compiled between 1683 and 1700: 

I have heard that Shanren who lives on the right side of the Yangtze River was often summoned by military men to paint for them. They often kept him for two or three days without letting him leave. Shanren would then defecate in the audience hall. His host couldn’t stand it and so he let him go. Later on, a provincial governor despatched an invitation to him which he strongy refused. Someone asked him why, and he answered ‘Those military men, how can I annoy them enough but to defecate so that I can go home . . .’ I also heard that Shanren had written on a fan a large character saying ya (dumb). When he could not take part in a conversation, he just raised his fan to show the character ya. The seal that he used on his painting resembled the shape of a shoe. I love his paintings the most and I regret that I live so far from him that I have not been able to obtain one.15 Translated from Chinese text quoted in Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 41. 

According to another source, a friend of his, who was often summonsed by officials to paint for them, was so disturbed that he was thinking of giving up painting altogether. It is said that Shanren heard of this and wrote to his friend to teach him the secret: ‘just defecate and you can then go home’.16 Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 40. The power of an official should never be underestimated; Zhu Da’s friend, Dan gong, the abbot of Beilan si, was jailed and executed by a local magistrate. See Giacalone, p. 150. The Manchus adopted from the Chinese the policing system of ‘mutual responsibility’. The political offence of an individual could lead to the extinction of an entire clan. See Fairbank, p. 230.   

Zhu Da’s poetry and painting are often as intriguing and unfathomable as his behaviour. Shao Changheng relates: 

There exist several scrolls of poems by Shanren, which he had hidden in a box and kept so secret that no one ever saw them. What I saw of Shanren’s inscriptions on paintings and other writings was all of an old-fashioned elegance, and interspersed with obscure incomprehensible turns of phrase which I could not fully decipher.17 Translation from Contag, p. 18. For Chinese text, see Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 42. On Zhu Da’s poetry, see references in footnote.

The following two poems were written by Zhu Da on a wall, in 1674, probably in response to the resistance movement gathering momentum in the south:18 Wu Sanguei, who rebelled against the Manchus in 1673, entered Jiangxi (Zhu Da’s native province). Wu received internal support but the rebellion was unsuccessful and finally suppressed in 1681. See Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 39; Fairbank, p.216. 

I return to the land of the southern sun. 

The cities are doubly desolate. 

Phoenix and cranes are startled in my dream. 

To heaven’s edge I live out my days in the setting sun. 

 

Mountain and stream reflect the old country. 

Flames of war recall a bygone homeland. 

When will the plan to return be fulfilled? 

Floating like a single reed I sail.19 Translated from Chinese text in Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 39. 

Zhu Da veils his political dissent in metaphors of nature thus the sun images the Ming dynasty – for Ming (brightness) is composed of the characters of sun and moon – and the setting sun signifies the decline of the Ming. The ‘land of the southern sun’ refers to southern China whose opposition to the Manchus persisted the longest. The benevolent phoenix and cranes possibly symbolise yimin, scholars loyal to the Ming dynasty, forced like Zhu Da to flee ‘to heaven’s edge’.20 On the poetry and painting of another yimin artist, see Jerome Silbergeld, ‘The Political Landscapes of Kung Hsien, in Painting and Poetry’ in Cheng Te-k’un (ed.), pp. 561–74. 

Zhu Da expresses his inner anguish, caused by ‘flames of war’, more directly in the second stanza; only the mountain and stream remain the same, the old homes are gone. The same sentiment is echoed in Zhu Da’s inscription on a landscape album: ‘The brush may still paint the mountains and stones but the actual ground is lost.’21 Quoted in Siren (1938), p. 124.Zhu Da’s feeling of hopelessness surfaces in the final couplet in his question when will the Ming be restored, answered only in his final realisation that he wanders aimlessly like a single reed.22 The metaphor of ‘like a single reed’ may refer to Zhu Da’s life as a Chan (Zen) Buddhist monk. The Bodhidarma, founder of the Meditative (or Chan) school of Buddhism, was once seen crossing the Yangtze River on a reed. See Ε. T. C. Werner, A Dictionary of Chinese Mythology, The Julian Press, Inc. Publishers, New York, 1969, pp. 359–61. 

In the second of these inscribed poems, Zhu Da again laments the inaction of the yimin with a tragic irony: 

A small clay jar speaks to a larger one. 

Each has the same origin. 

Drunkenness has reached the Middle Kingdom. 

But where is this Middle Kingdom?23 Translated from Chinese text in Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 39; Zhou Shixin, p. 149. 

 

The esoteric images of clay jars (probably wine vessels) personify scholars who in their drunkenness neglected their duty to their country. As a result, the Middle Kingdom (China) was lost to the Manchus, leading to Zhu Da’s bitter question ‘But where is this Middle Kingdom?’

In Zhu Da’s painting, as in his poetry, images of nature are metaphors of thought and feeling.24 On Chinese poetry, see James J. Y. Liu, The Art of Chinese Poetry, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962; id., Chinese Theories of Literature, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1975. Painting is called ‘silent poetry’, and poetry, ‘painting without form’. On the relationship between poetry and painting, see Michael Sullivan, The Three Perfections; Chinese Painting, Poetry and Calligraphy, Thames and Hudson, London, 1974; Susan Bush, The Chinese Literati on Painting; Su Shih (1037–1101) to Tung Ch’i-ch’ang (1555–1636), Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1971, pp. 22–8; James Cahill, ‘Confucian Elements in the Theory of Painting’, Arthur F. Wright (ed.). The Confucian Persuasion, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1960, pp. 77–102. A lotus plant is the theme of an ink painting, dated c. 1685–94, (now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts) (fig. 2)25 Reproduced in Jan Fontein & Pratapaditya Pal, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Oriental Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass., 1969, p1.100. The character ‘Ba’ of the signature ‘Bada Shanren’ is hooked and is used exclusively during 1685–94. See Yiyuan Duoying 19, pp. 35, 39. and the inscribed poem, here translated: 

The blossoms of that lotus have no fragrance; 

Its long stalks will hold no wine cups. 

What may it become if it drinks not for a hundred years? 

The time will come when it will bear new roots of amber yellow (wine).26 Quoted from Giacalone, p. 145. Inscription transcribed into standard Chinese script in Zhou Shixin, p. 155.  

 

The lotus – a conventional symbol of purity – here becomes a desolate metaphor of the Middle Kingdom, devoid of fragrance, celebration and life – Zhu Da’s only consolation is that one day a native dynasty – symbolised by the amber yellow wine – will emerge and China will be restored.27 The colour yellow is associated with anything native or Han Chinese, who regarded themselves as descendants of the legendary Yellow Emperor, reputed founder of the Chinese empire, see Giacalone, p. 147; Werner, p. 186. 

The poem is written with brush and ink in elegant, cursive calligraphy – an art of the living line expressive of motion and emotion.28 The inscription is read from top to bottom and right to left. Calligraphy, a non- representational art, is closely related to nature. Each character is conceived as a living being which is endowed with spirit, vital force, bone, flesh, blood, muscle. Cui Yong (A.D. 133–92) in his treatise on calligraphy, describes characters as appearing ‘to be sitting or walking, flying or moving, sad or happy’. Each brushstroke embodies speed, movement and direction; its thickness varies in accordance with the pressure applied on the brush. It is accomplished spontaneously, its mastery requiring diligent practice which begins in childhood. On calligraphy, see John Hay, ‘The Human Body as a Microcosmic Source of Macrocosmic Values in Calligraphy’, Susan Bush & Christian Murck (eds), Theories of the Arts in China, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1983, pp. 74–105; Tseng Yu-ho Ecke, Chinese Calligraphy, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1971; Chiang Yee, Chinese Calligraphy: An Introduction to its Aesthetic Technique, 3rd edn rev., Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1973. Appropriately, the lotus is painted in the xieyi (writing ideas) manner with ink splashes to suggest leaves and calligraphic strokes evocative of stems and blossoms. As in calligraphy, these formal elements are spaced and balanced in an abstract design. This accords with the aesthetic theory of scholar-amateur painters, formulated in the 11th century, that painting like calligraphy, aimed to express an idea rather than just to reproduce the appearance of nature.29 Calligraphy was regarded as an art form in as early as the 2nd century A.D. When scholars who were competent in calligraphy took up painting as a pastime in the 11th century, calligraphy influenced painting in terms of technique and aesthetic theory. One speaks of ‘writing’ and ‘reading’ painting. As in calligraphy, the painter must have the images clearly conceived in his mind before he begins to paint. The brush then moves continuously as the line flows. On the relationship between painting and calligraphy, see Bush; Wen Fong, Tung Ch’i-ch’ang and the Orthodox Theory of Painting’, National Palace Museum Quarterly 2, 3, 1969, pp. 1–26; Cahill in Wright (ed.); id., Chinese Painting, Albert Skira, Lausanne, 1960, pp. 89–98. 

An inscription below the poem indicates that Zhu Da was emulating the late Ming painter Xu Wei (1521–93) who also had a tragic life, evidenced by the fact that in a deranged fit he drove a nail into his own ears and cracked his skull with an axe, whilst on another occasion he stabbed his third wife to death. The Lotus echoes Xu Wei’s ink painting, Flowers in Four Seasons which creates a sombre mood with splashes of black ink and is inscribed with a poem revealing a stinging political criticism: 

I, my old self, have been playing with ink dripping wet. 

Painting flowers of the four seasons. 

Please do not mind that I missed a brush or two. 

After all, even the way of heaven has not be perfect lately.30 Natural events are closely related to human events. See Edmund Capon & Mae Anna Pang, Chinese Paintings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties; 14th–20th Centuries, International Cultural Corporation of Australia Limited, Australia, 1981, pp. 74–5. The practice of voicing political opinion (or protest) disguised as natural images dates back to the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), when China was oppressed by the Mongols. With a few elegant brushstrokes, Zheng Sixiao (1241–1318), a scholar loyal to the fallen Song dynasty, painted an orchid without earth around its roots. When asked why, he replied that the earth had been stolen by the barbarians. The orchid, associated with a man of high principle, serves as an image of the artist himself, rootless and vulnerable, but maintaining a quiet integrity. See James Cahill, Hills Beyond a River; Chinese Painting of the Yuan Dynasty, 1279–1368, John Weatherhill Inc., New York & Tokyo, 1976, pp. 18–19.
 

Zhu Da adopts the same biting tone in a poem inscribed on a painting of peacocks and rocks, dated 1690 (fig.3):31 Illustrated in Xie Zhiliu, p1.3. 

Peacocks, flowers of fame, rainy bamboo screen 

Bamboo tips, the greater part grown from ink 

How can one bear to discuss those with ‘three ears’? 

Luckily, it’s spring, as they have waited for an audience since the second strike of the night.32 Translated from Chinese text in Xie Zhiliu, p. 8. The second strike of the night watch is nine o’clock. 

 

The scholars who collaborated with the Manchus are satirised as sycophants or ‘three ears’ – a metaphorical term for ‘slave’. Like peacocks and flowers of fame, they are servile opportunists, eagerly listening with an extra ear, prepared to stay up all night in their quest for worldly success. In contrast, the bamboos which are overshadowed in the misty rain represent men of integrity and inner strength who are imbued with learning (ink), but unfortunately are neglected. 

Zhu Da mocks the collaborators further in the painting, where a pair of peacocks stand precariously on a rock which rests almost on a point. They seem to parade with a great sense of self importance. One has three feathers extending from his tail, perhaps signifying a high ranking official who customarily wore three feathers in a ceremonial hat.33 On the poem’s interpretation, see Xie Zhiliu, pp. 7–9. 

Zhu Da’s method of painting is reminiscent of the eccentric painters of the ‘untrammelled class’ (yibin) of the 10th century:34 On eccentric painters of the ‘untrammelled class’, see Shujiro Shimada (tr. James Cahill), ‘Concerning the l-p’ in Style of Painting’, l-lll, Oriental Art 7, 1961, pp. 66–74; 8, 1962, pp. 130–7; and 10, 1964, pp. 19–26; Cahill (1960), p. 29. 

Shanren just loved to drink; he didn’t have other cravings. People love his works in brush and ink and they often set out wine to receive him. They also prepared beforehand several pints (sheng) of ink and sheets of paper. After he got drunk, he would joyfully splash ink all over a large sheet of paper. Sometimes he would scatter ink with an old broom, or smear and daub it with his hair, so that the entire paper became so untidy that you couldn’t lay your eyes on it. He would then take the brush and apply shadings of ink wash, bringing out forms of mountains and forests, hills and valleys, or birds and flowers, bamboos and rocks. There wasn’t anything that did not enter this magical realm of the extraordinary.35 Translated from Chinese text in Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 41. 

His method of calligraphy appears somewhat uncouth: 

When he felt inclined to write, he would bare his arm and grasp the brush, at the same time emitting loud cries like a madman. The ink flowed abundantly without interruption. He would finish a score of sheets of paper or more in a trice.36 Quoted from Siren (1956–58), p. 151 . But when he is sober, you can’t get even a piece of paper or a mere character from him. Even if you offered him a hundred taels of gold, he would not pay any attention to it. That was how crazy he was.37 Translated from Chinese text in Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 41. 

In the tradition of the literati or scholar artists, it is said that Zhu Da gave his paintings to the poor and humble, but refused to paint for people of worldly importance, such as politicians and rich merchants. On one occasion, someone gave him silk – an expensive painting material – and asked him to paint for him. He was said to have received it with the comment ‘I could make some socks out of it.’38 Related by Shao Changheng, ibid., p. 42. Painting was never for sale, but was only given to like-minded friends, as an expression of friendship and of oneself. It was often reciprocated with a poem or a piece of calligraphy. See Cahill in Wright (ed ).  

fig. 4a

(image pending)

Zhu Da is famous for his paintings of eccentric birds. In a pair of scrolls (possibly part of a group of four or eight) dated c. 1685–94,39 Illustrated in Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting, The Collection of The Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, and The Cleveland Museum of Art, Clevland, 1980, catalogue nos 237A & B, pp. 320–1. The artist’s seals and style of painting are similar to those of the Gallery’s scrolls (figs 6a–d). in the Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, introspective birds are portrayed in the most precarious positions in a desolate landscape. In the ‘Mynah Birds and Rocks’ (fig. 4a), a young bird stands with one leg on a tapering rock and looks up anxiously at a threatening overhanging cliff, while the stern, menacing bird appears completely oblivious. Similarly, in the ‘Mynah Birds, Old Tree and Rock’ (fig. 4b), a mynah bird, standing with one leg on a rock resting on an old branch, looks up enquiringly into the void; whereas the second bird, perching on the tip of the withered tree trunk, is self-absorbed. Whilst the expression and the posture of the birds are vividly captured with a few brushstrokes, the tree and rocks are sketched in swirling, tortuous calligraphic movements. One cannot help wondering if these brooding, enigmatic birds are personifications of Zhu Da and the other yimin (‘left- over subjects of the fallen Ming’). 

Zhu Da’s four landscapes, in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria (figs 5a–d )40 This group of four ink on satin hanging scrolls was purchased in 1983 with funds from the Goldenberg Bequest and The Art Foundation of Victoria. Illustrated in Zhou Shixin, p. 101, figs 97–8 and p. 181, figs 145-6; Vito Giacalone, Chu Ta, A Selection of Paintings and Calligraphy, New York Cultural Center, New York, 1973, catalogue nos 3A, B, C, D; id., (Oriental Art, 1975), p. 139, fig. 3. On Zhu Da’s painting and calligraphy, see references in footnote 1. painted c. 1685–94, are compelling images of the mind. Zhu Da, like other intellectuals, responded to political upheaval and disintegration by retreating into himself so that ‘the universe is my mind; my mind is the universe’, as stated by Lu Xiangshan (1139–93), founder of the Neo-Confucian School of Mind which flourished in the 16th century.41 The mind is the ultimate reality and the universe exists only in the mind.

The world outside the mind has to be brought into full being and given meaning by the perceiving mind. Therefore, returning to nature and the past is also returning to one’s mind. On the philosophy of the Neo-Confucian School of Mind, see Wm. Theodore De Bary (ed ), The Unfolding of Neo-Confucianism, Columbia University Press, New York, 1970; Chang Chung-yuan, Creativity and Taoism, A Study of Chinese Philosophy, Art and Poetry, The Julian Press Inc., New York, 1963, pp. 82–6. Scholars also withdrew from the harsh reality of the present by rediscovering the traditional ideals of the past (embodied in the minds of the ancients). Literati painters turned to the ancient masters for artistic inspiration and spiritual regeneration.42 Emulating the ancients in art is a form of self-cultivation in which the emulator attempts to identify with and internalise both the style and the character of ideal cultural types (as style and man are one). These notions formulated by Yen Yu (c. 1180–c. 1235) were very much influenced by contemporary developments in Neo- Confucianism which stressed a similar procedure for acquiring sagehood. See Richard John Lynn, ‘Alternate Routes to Self-Realization in Ming Theories of Poetry’, Susan Bush & Christian Murck (eds), pp. 317–40; James Cahill, The Distant Mountains; id., The Compelling Image, Nature and Style in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Painting, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1982; Wei-ming Tu, ‘Inner Experience: The Basis of Creativity in Neo-Confucian Thinking’, Christian F. Murck (ed.). Artists and Traditions, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1976, pp. 9–15; Wai-kam Ho, ‘Tung Ch’i-ch’ang’s New Orthodoxy and the Southern School Theory’, Murck, pp. 113–29. 

Zhu Da’s ‘inner landscapes’ are inspired by his intimate relationship with nature and his knowledge of the four great masters of the Yuan dynasty (1280–1368). Scholars of the Yuan, with whom Zhu Da felt a strong kinship, had also been forced to endure foreign oppression.43 With patience and inner strength, scholars of the Yuan endured the Mongols who were eventually absorbed by the Chinese. On the four Yuan masters, see Cahill (1976), pp. 68–127. Like the Yuan masters, Zhu Da painted his landscapes in the expressive, xieyi manner and showed his mastery of calligraphy through the eloquent ease of his brush. 44 Zhu Da’s calligraphic line is unique in being expressive, lyrical and sensuous.

His secluded landscapes represent the lofty realm of the scholar-recluse, where human presence is only suggested.45 Even human dwellings which are depicted in the first three landscapes are eliminated in the last scroll (fig. 5d). Zhu Da’s paintings, in their restraint, reflect the sensitivity and refinement of the scholar class46 As art reflects the nature of the artist, aesthetic and human qualities are closely related. The paintings of a scholar – a man of inner virtue and outward refinement – must be equally proper and restrained. Brilliance must be concealed: sweetness, vulgarity, and dependency must be avoided. On the scholar’s attitude toward painting, see Cahill, in Wright (ed.). With only a light touch of blue wash, the sombre, black ink paintings are brooding and introspective. The soft, quiet exterior of the landscapes masks powerful tensions hinting at political chaos. The four scrolls are read temporally and spatially from bottom to top, in a continuous motion like a piece of music. The four movements progress (right to left) from pianissimo to a more tempestuous mood, expressing indirectly Zhu Da’s spiritual anguish.47 I am grateful to Judith Ryan for discussion on the paintings in relation to Western music and the references she has given me: Deryck Cooke, The Language of Music, Oxford University Press, New York, 1959: Otto Karolyi, Introducing Music, Penguin Books, 1965. I also benefited from stimulating discussions with Patrick McCaughey. 

A solemn pastoral mood pervades the first silvery, wintry landscape (fig. 5a) with flickering trees.48 Signature of the artist: ‘Bada Shanren’ in the top left corner. The character ‘Ba’ is hooked and is used exclusively during 1685–94. See Yiyuan Duoying 19, pp. 35, 39. In the paintings of peacocks dated 1690 (fig. 4) and of lotus (fig. 2), the character ‘Ba’ in the signatures is also hooked: the signatures of the paintings are all similar. Three seals of artist: (1) ‘Bada Shanren’ in the top left corner is similar to C. C. Wang & Victoria Contag, Seals of Chinese Painters and Collectors of the Ming and Ch’ing Periods, 2nd edn rev., Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong 1966, pp. 107–8 no. 4; Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 49; Zhou Shixin, pp. 170–1, 1. (2) ‘Bada Shanen’ in the upper left corner, similar to Wang, pp. 107–8, no. 14; Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 49; Zhou Shixin, p. 176, no. 28. (3) ‘Sheshi’ in the lower right corner, similar to Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 53. Collector seal: Wang Jiqian (C. C. Wang) in the lower left corner. In the style of Huang Gongwang (1269–1354) (fig 6 ),49 Illustrated in Cahill (1976), pls 40–1. On Huang Gongwang, see id., pp. 85–113. Zhu Da’s landscape is constructed of hills, plateaux and trees, in an architectonic manner governed by the principles of proportion, balance and symmetry. Landscape elements are engaged in formal relationships which evoke those of music and architecture; rhythmic movements are created by a repetition and variation of forms. This painting is also reminiscent of the style of Dong Qichang (1555–1636) (fig. 7),50 Illustrated in Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting, p. 245.the most influential literati painter of the late Ming, who had discovered and formulated Huang’s mode of construction.51 Dong Qichang advocated a creative approach to painting within tradition; it was accomplished by transforming the styles of the ancients into a style of his own. He also formulated the orthodox (literati) tradition of painting, which included the four great Yuan masters. Both his theory and style of painting revolutionised later Chinese painting. See Cahill, The Compelling Image (1982); id., The Distant Mountains (1982); id. (1976), pp. 85–113 id. (1967). On the theme of formal construction in painting and its analogy to music and architecture, see Mae Anna Pang, Wang Yuan-ch’i (1642–1715) and Formal Construction in Chinese Landscape Painting, Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Berkeley, California 1976. I am grateful to Dr Emma Devapriam for drawing to my attention the analogy between music and Renaissance architecture in James S. Ackerman, Palladio, Penguin Books, 1966, pp. 160–85. 

 

The second, idyllic rocky landscape (fig. 5b),52 Seal of artist in the lower right corner: ‘Sheshi’, same as on the first scroll; see footnote 48. Seal of collector at lower left corner: C. C. Wang. whose scenic spots are punctuated with pavilion, temple and pagoda, echoes the solitary landscape of Ni Zan (1301–74) (fig. 8)53 Illustrated in Cahill (1976), p1.50. – a sparse use of ink, angular rock formation, and formal interplay of solids and voids. Ni Zan, whose painting reached the epitome of refinement, was an eccentric, who was equally obsessed with cleanliness and an abhorrence of vulgarity. In his old age, he distributed his wealth and lived with his wife in a houseboat traversing Tai Hu (the great lake) region.54 On Ni Zan, see ibid., pp. 114–20. Zhu Da’s intricate landscape is interwoven with melodic lines of contrapuntal rhythm, orchestrated with a childlike innocence and tenderness. However, the cool, exquisitely balanced musical structure is upset by a threatening, overhanging cliff which bursts forth like a clenched fist. It is as if there is confusion in the fundamental order of the world (macrocosm), a disorder of the mind (microcosm), a muffled cry of despair, or simply a biting irony. 

The analogy between music and painting was clearly stated by Wang Yuanqi (1642–1715), a contemporary scholar-official: 

As for the way (dao) of music, it has never happened that it is not interchangeable with the way of painting. The clearness or turbidness (qingzhuo) of sound is analogous to the spirit resonance (qiyun) of painting. The rhythmic regulations (pinjie) in music are comparable to the spacing of forms in the compositional framework (Jianjia) of a painting. The rising and falling of sound (chule) in music are equivalent to the brush and ink in painting.55 Pang (1976), p. 74.   

Qiyun (spirit resonance) or qiyun shengdong (life movement engendered by spirit resonance) – the first of the six criteria of painting formulated by Xiehe of the 5th century – was originally a musical term. Qi, an energy compounded of spirit and physical breath, is the vital creative force that permeates the universe. Qiyun is the resonance (yun) of breath (qi) that brings a silent pipe to music. It also refers to an individual’s spiritual rhythm, which could be ‘clear’ or ‘turbid’ (‘clarity’ is achieved by self-cultivation).56 In China, music was the first art to be given serious philosophical consideration and the only art form for which a record of critical consideration exists before the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220). It is hence from the concepts and terminology of music that the aesthetic theories of the other arts (poetry, calligraphy and painting) evolved. See Kenneth De Woskin, ‘Early Chinese Music and the Origins of Aesthetic Terminology’, Bush & Murck (eds), pp. 181–214. De Woskin also points out that ‘Interestingly, the common sensory referent in metaphors for the superior mind in early China was hearing and sound as contrasted to vision and light in the West’ (vision, wit, wisdom in English), ibid., p. 192.Painting, like music (for example whistling) is a configuration of energy (qi) which gushes forth from within like a hidden spring. Overflowing currents of creative energy are transformed spontaneously by the brush into dynamic movements, embodying the vital force of nature.57 Landscape painting (shanxui, mountain and water) was regarded as creation of the mind with cosmic significance. Mi Fu (1051–1107) once said ‘. . . Landscape painting is a creation of the mind and is intrinsically superior art.’ Tang Hou in the 14th century echoed: ‘Landscape is a thing incorporating all the excellencies of creation and it is inexhaustibly protean … Unless there are “hills and valleys” in one’s breast as vast as immeasurable waves, it is not easy to depict it’. Thus, being one with the cosmic force, the creative energy just issues from within. This also applies to other creative activities such as calligraphy and poetry. The calligrapher and painter can feel the strength (energy, qi) coming up through the whole body and flowing down the arm and out at the tip of the brush. Su Shi (1037–1101) talks of his writing in terms of gushing water, flowing effortlessly like a force of nature: ‘My writing is like the water of a deep, full spring. It does not choose plots of ground, but gushes out over everything . . . But I am not conscious of it. All I know is that it moves on when it must, and stops when it has to stop. As for the rest, even I cannot understand it.’ See Ben-ami Scharfstein, ‘Unless There Are Hills and Valleys in One’s Breast: On the Inward Life of Chinese Landscape Painting’, Journal of Chinese Philosophy 3, September 1976, pp. 317–54. (I am grateful to Margaret Ong for giving me this reference.) Also see Bush, pp. 35–6; Chang Chung-yuan, p. 205; Cahill in Wright (ed.), pp. 97–9; Liu (1976), pp. 130–1. Thus in the words of Daoji (1641–c. 1717), ‘Mountains and streams emerge from [the womb of] me. And I, from mountains and streams.’58 Chou Ju-hsi, In Quest of the Primordial Line: The Genesis and Content of Tao-ch’i’s Hua-yu-lu, Ph.D. thesis, Princeton University, 1970, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1971, pp. 139, 151. The word tuotai means ‘to emerge from the womb of; to be born out of’. Daoji was a cousin of Zhu Da, see Wen Fong (1959). An attuned viewer will reverberate in spirit with the ‘spirit resonance’ (quiyun) of the landscape, just as an instrument vibrates in harmony with an equally tuned instrument. In contemplating a painting, perhaps one should follow what the Taoist philosopher Zhuangze had to say on meditation in the 4th century B.C., ‘Do not listen with your ear but listen with your mind; Not with your mind but with your qi (breath, spirit).’59 Philip Hendy, ‘Introduction’, Paintings by Ben Nicholson, Temple Newsam, Leeds, 1944. 

A heavy sadness sets in the third, sombre river landscape (fig, 5c),60 One seal of the artist in the lower right corner: ‘Sheshi’ (same as the ones on the first and second scroll, see footnotes 48, 52. Collector’s seal at the lower left corner: C. C. Wang. which is evocative of the silent melancholy of the river scenes of Wu Zhen (1280–1354) (fig. 9).61 Illustrated in Cahill (1976), p1.26. Wu Zhen was a scholar without an official career and had to paint for a living. On Wu Zhen, see ibid., pp. 68–74. While the river’s reeds evoke the mournful pipings of the autumn wind, the tortuous trees and spiky needle-strokes seem to conceal anger and despair. The black charcoal-ink intensifies the mood of desolation, which carries memories of destruction and premonitions of death. In some ways, this swampy marshland echoes one of Zhu Da’s 1674 poems in its gravity of sentiment. As the third part of the landscape quartet, this piece recapitulates the previous movements, yet anticipates the final movement, as landmass and trees are stirred into energetic, sinuous rhythms.   

Zhu Da concludes with a powerful vision of an apparent catastrophe (fig. 5d)62 Signature of artist in lower left corner: ‘Bada Shanren’ (half removed). Seal of artist in lower left corner: ‘Bada Shanren’ (same as the seal below the signature on the first scroll, see footnote 48). Collector’s seal in the lower right corner: C. C. Wang.
probably inspired by Wang Meng’s turbulent landscape ‘Dwelling in the Qingbian Mountain’, dated 1366 (fig. 10).63 Illustrated in Cahill (1976), p1.53. Wang Meng (c. 1309–85), a scholar-official and the youngest of the Yuan masters, suffered a tragic fate of having been politically implicated and then executed in early Ming. See ibid., pp. 120–7. A rocky cliff appears suspended in mid-air, creating a spatial imbalance, which is intensified by the convulsive, erupting peaks. This tension, however, is balanced by the flowing movement of the landscape which pulsates like a living organism.64 Guo Xi of the 11th century spoke of landscape elements in organic terms: ‘watercourses are the arteries of a mountain; grass and trees its hair; mist and haze its complexion’; ‘stones are the bones of heaven and earth’. ‘Water is the blood of heaven and earth.’ See Kuo Hsi (tr. Shio Sakanashi), An Essay on Landscape Painting (Lin Ch’uan Kua Chih), John Murray, London, 1959. In the Chinese organic view of the Universe, everything is interrelated and interdependent. In the words of Joseph Needham, ‘The key-word in Chinese thought is Order and above all Pattern (and, if I may whisper it for the first time, Organism) . . . They (things) were thus parts in existential dependence upon the whole world-organism. And they reacted upon one another not so much by mechanical impulsion or causation as by a kind of mysterious resonance.’ See Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, vol. 2: History of Scientific Thought, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1956, pp. 281, 466. Forms are energised by the sinuous line into swirling movements of the same tempo.65 It is reminiscent of the slow, flowing and circular movements of Taiji quan, an ancient Chinese way of exercise; the co-ordinated movements of the body are directed by the mind and paralleled by breathing (the circulation of qi). See Sophia Delza, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, An Ancient Chinese Way of Exercise to Achieve Health, Tranquility, Cornerstone Library, New York, 1961. (I am grateful to Dorothy McCulloch for this reference.) Also see Da Liu, T’ai Chi Ch’uan and I Ching, A Choreography of Body and Mind, Perennial Library, Harper & Row Publishers, New York, 1978. One could easily relate the movement of Taiji quan to that of the artist’s arm, wrist and brush. Infused with energy, solids and voids interact in a concentric motion, shaping and re-creating each other, like dual natural generative forces.66 The equivocal line encloses the solid form as well as the space around it. In Chinese thought (as early as the 11th century B.C.), the world was self-created by the two interacting forces of yang (masculine, firm, active) and yin (feminine, yielding, passive). The two forces are the dual aspects of one entity and complementary opposites, engaged in a perpetual state of change and motion, as represented by the Taiji (supreme ultimate) symbol of perfect harmony (fig. 11) . See Delza, p. 8; Chang Chung-yuan, pp. 55–88. It seems that Zhu Da’s landscape is embodied with metaphysical principles of Chinese cosmology. This requirement was pointed out by Wang Wei of the 5th century: ‘Painting is not just one of the manual crafts. Upon completion it should possess the same significance as the hexagrams of the Book of Changes’. See Wen Fong (1969), p. 2. The hexagrams are symbols made of a combination of continuous line (yang force) and broken line (yin force), manifesting the cosmic principles of the Universe. See Da Liu, pp. 5–9; Chang Chung-yuan, pp. 123–68. Rocks and trees seem to float and dance in space;67 Apparently, floating in space is associated with a spiritual state of being at one with the universe. Mi Yuren of the 11th century expresses this meditative state of being which he thought was indispensable to the highest achievement in painting ‘ … Whenever in the quiet of my room with my legs crossed I sit silently then I feel that I float up and down with the blue sky, vast and silent.’ See Chang Chung-yuan, p. 238. the pine trees quiver with a childlike excitement. They are possibly personifications of Zhu Da who once said ‘I will go to the mountain and cliffs which rise into empty space; the pine trees are queer and old like myself.’68 Siren (1938), p. 124. The disturbing overhanging rock is echoed and balanced by the soft, circular rhythms of the trees and rocks. Rising like a cloud, the rocky precipice unleashes an upsurge of energy, a triumphant cry of hope, as if the billows of dark clouds are beginning to clear.69 It seems to express a spiritual transcendence, like the metamorphosis of the landscape from a solid to an ephemeral state. The overhanging cliff acts like a Chan (Zen) koan (a kind of illogical question, statement or action that would lead to a new insight about things) in shocking us out of our conventional way of seeing into a new way of seeing. On koan, see Chang Chung-yuan, pp. 45-8; Isshu Miura & Ruth Fuller Sasaki, The Zen Koan, Its History and Use in Rinzai Zen, Harcourt, Brace & World Inc., New York, 1965; Fung Yu-lan (tr. Derk Bodde), A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1960, pp. 255–65. 

The theme of Zhu Da’s poetry and painting is the universal order of things rather than his own purely personal concerns. He uses nature as a vehicle (safe from political detection) to express his inner vision of the external world and of human affairs.70 This is illustrated in the recent cultural revolution in China. The artists of traditional Chinese painting were relatively safe in comparison with the writers. See Mae Anna Pang, ‘Dilemma or Challenge: The Past and the Present in Contemporary Chinese Painting’, paper prepared for the Asian Studies Association of Australia 4th National Conference, Monash University, 10–14 May, 1982. The landscapes therefore represent the universe in microcosm and mirror Zhu Da’s deepest self. Thus one finds in the four landscapes an ethereal, visionary quality, a psychic energy and flickering, flame like movements, reminiscent of the works of William Blake (1757–1827).71 The work of William Blake was first brought to my notice by Judith Ryan in one of our discussions; I am grateful to the references she has given me. I am also grateful to Jean Oberhansli for her discussions. See Milton Klonsky, William Blake, The Seer and His Visions, Harmony Books, New York, 1977. It is interesting to note that Klonsky in his discussion of Blake’s watercolour of Michael Binding the Dragon, draws a comparison with the Chinese Taiji symbol (fig.11). See ibid., p. 65 and footnote 66. 

Through the self-cultivation of painting, Zhu Da also achieves a spiritual fusion with nature and with the ancient masters, which becomes a refuge from political strife. He attains a realisation within himself of the oneness of all things, which enables him to transcend the entanglements of the ‘dusty world’ and his own political alienation. He also penetrates into the primordial source of creativity.72 The state of spiritual fusion is best expressed by Liezi of the 4th century B.C.: ‘… My self, both within and without, has been transformed. Everything about me is identified. My eye becomes my ear, my ear becomes my nose, my nose my mouth. My mind is highly integrated and my body dissolves. My bone and my flesh melt away. I cannot tell by what my body is supported or what my feet walk upon. I am blowing away, east and west, as a dry leaf torn from a tree. I cannot even make out whether the wind is riding on me or I am riding on the wind’. See Chang Chung-yuan, p. 87. On the interfusion of artist and object, in painting, see Bush, pp. 29–82. As Daoji wrote of him: 

Sometimes, to strangers, he plays the mad man; 

His heart is strange, his ways are strange, 

wild, heedless his outlook; 

With brush aslant, ink dancing, he finds his true 

sāmadhi (enlightened state of oneness and peace).73 Giacalone (1975), p. 150. Samādhi is a concept from Chan (Zen) Buddhism, which rose in China in the 7th century. Samadhi is a state of profound peace when the mind is free of the duality of the conventional way of logical thinking. The mind returns to its original state of oneness and non-differentiation. The exterior and interior become one. See Alan W. Watts, The Way of Zen, Thames and Hudson, London, 1957, pp. 72-76, 113, 116, 119. 

Dr Mae Anna Pang, Senior Curator of Chinese and Japanese Art, National Gallery of Victoria (in 1985).    

Acknowledgements 

I am most grateful to Judith Ryan, who does wonders with the English language, for making suggestions on the organisation of the paper and most of all, for polishing and improving my English expression. I am also grateful to Jean Oberhansli who has given me so much assistance and support in the initial stage of the writing. I am indebted to both of them for their encouragement and generosity in the exchange of ideas. 

 

Translation of Chinese Characters 

I have followed the pinyin system of transliterating Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet, standardising quotations from earlier sources, but not published titles or Chinese names already incorporated into the English language. The standard source is: Wu Jingrong, The Pinyin Chinese-English Dictionary, Beijing Foreign Language Institute, 1979.    

Notes

1          This was acclaimed twenty or thirty years after Zhu Da’s death by Zhang Geng (1685–1760) in his Guochao Huazheng Lu (Bibliographies of painters from the beginning of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) to the beginning of the Qianlong reign (1736–96), completed between 1722 and 1739), Quoted from Osvald Siren, Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles, Lund Humphries, London, 1956–58, vol. 5, p. 152. On Zhu Da’s life and work (poetry, calligraphy and painting), see the following: Yiyuan Duoying (Gems of Chinese Fine Arts) 17, 1982; 19, 1983; Xie Zhiliu, Zhu Da, Shanghai renmin chuban she, Shanghai, 1979; V. Giacalone, ‘Chu Ta (1626–c. 1705), Toward an Understanding of His Art’, Oriental Art XXI, 2, summer 1975, pp. 136–52; Zhou Shixin, Bada Shanren Quanji (The Collected Works of Bada Shanren), Yishu tushu gongsi, Taipei, 1974; Victoria Contag, (tr. Michael Bullock) Chinese Masters of the 17th Century, Lund Humphries, London, 1969, pp. 17–20; James Cahill, Fantastic and Eccentrics in Chinese Painting, The Asia Society, Inc., New York, 1967, pp. 74–82; Siren, op. cit., pp. 149–56; id., A History of Later Chinese Painting, The Medici Society, London, 1938, vol. 2, pp. 121–5. 

2          Quoted in Siren (1956–58), p. 151. 

3          Zhou Shixin, pp. 104–14. 

4          Yiyuan Duoying 19, pp. 17–18; Zhou Shixin, p. 106. 

5          As early as the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220), China developed a civil service system based on merit. Under the emperor, a bureaucracy of civil officials was recruited by examinations. See John K. Fairbank et al., East Asia, Tradition and Transformation, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1973, pp. 69, 104, 126–7. 

6          The tragic event was preceded by a long period of internal decline, and precipitated by famines and peasant uprisings. Ironically, the Manchu conquest of China was accomplished with Chinese assistance: a Ming general, Wu Sanguei (1612–78) was the key figure. As the rebel Li Cicheng (16057–45) descended on the capital at Peking, the last Ming emperor summoned Wu to the rescue; but before Wu arrived, Li took Peking. The emperor, deserted and in despair, hanged himself in a pavilion on Prospect Hill overlooking the Forbidden City. As Li advanced against him, Wu withdrew to Shanhaiguan, the strategic ‘mountain-sea pass’ where the Great Wall meets the coast. He then invited the Manchus, who were waiting patiently east of the pass, to defeat the rebel force and restore the throne to the Ming; however, once inside the Great Wall, the Manchus seized the imperial throne for themselves. See Fairbank, pp. 221–57. 

7          The early Qing was a very turbulent period. Scholars, greatly disturbed by the fall of the Ming dynasty, were faced with the moral dilemma of whether to serve the Manchus, resist them openly, or protest in silence. Many of those who served as officials of the previous dynasty were either imprisoned, exiled or executed, and some committed suicide rather than face national disgrace (humiliation). As a symbolic gesture of submission, the Chinese were required to braid their hair and shave the rest of their heads like the Manchus, but many scholars simply retired from politics. 

8          Those who still owed their allegiance to the fallen dynasty were called yimin (‘left- over subjects’ or ‘adherents of a former dynasty’). By 1679, however, the Kangxi emperor (c. 1661–1722), who was well versed in the classics himself and had strong intellectual interests, succeeded in getting 152 of the 188 top scholars whom he invited, to take the examination. But of course, refusal would have been interpreted as rebellion. See Fairbank, p. 229; James Cahill, the Distant Mountains, Chinese Painting of the late Late Ming Dynasty, 1570–1644, Weatherhill, New York, Tokyo, 1982; Cheng Te-k’un et al. (eds), Proceedings of the Symposium on Painting & Calligraphy by Ming l-min, The Journal of the Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, VIII, 2, December 1976. 

9          Adapted from translations in Siren (1956–58), p. 151 and in Contag, pp. 17–18. For text in Chinese, see Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 42. 

10        Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 39; Giacalone, p. 150; Fairbank, pp. 211–57. 

11        Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 41; 19, pp. 17–18, 39–40; Giacalone, pp. 150–1; Zhou Shixin, p. 108; Contag, p. 19. 

12        See Nelson Wu, ‘The Toleration of Eccentrics’, Art News LVI, 3, May 1957, pp. 27–9, 52–4; Cahill (1967). 

13        Translation from Contag, p. 18. For text in Chinese, see Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 42. 

14        Translation adapted from Contag, p. 18. For text in Chinese, see Yiyuan Duoying 17, p.42. 

15        Translated from Chinese text quoted in Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 41.    

16        Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 40. The power of an official should never be underestimated; Zhu Da’s friend, Dan gong, the abbot of Beilan si, was jailed and executed by a local magistrate. See Giacalone, p. 150. The Manchus adopted from the Chinese the policing system of ‘mutual responsibility’. The political offence of an individual could lead to the extinction of an entire clan. See Fairbank, p. 230. 

17        Translation from Contag, p. 18. For Chinese text, see Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 42. On Zhu Da’s poetry, see references in footnote.

18         Wu Sanguei, who rebelled against the Manchus in 1673, entered Jiangxi (Zhu Da’s native province). Wu received internal support but the rebellion was unsuccessful and finally suppressed in 1681. See Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 39; Fairbank, p.216. 

19        Translated from Chinese text in Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 39. 

20        On the poetry and painting of another yimin artist, see Jerome Silbergeld, ‘The Political Landscapes of Kung Hsien, in Painting and Poetry’ in Cheng Te-k’un (ed.), pp. 561–74. 

21        Quoted in Siren (1938), p. 124. 

22        The metaphor of ‘like a single reed’ may refer to Zhu Da’s life as a Chan (Zen) Buddhist monk. The Bodhidarma, founder of the Meditative (or Chan) school of Buddhism, was once seen crossing the Yangtze River on a reed. See Ε. T. C. Werner, A Dictionary of Chinese Mythology, The Julian Press, Inc. Publishers, New York, 1969, pp. 359–61. 

23        Translated from Chinese text in Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 39; Zhou Shixin, p. 149. 

24        On Chinese poetry, see James J. Y. Liu, The Art of Chinese Poetry, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962; id., Chinese Theories of Literature, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1975. Painting is called ‘silent poetry’, and poetry, ‘painting without form’. On the relationship between poetry and painting, see Michael Sullivan, The Three Perfections; Chinese Painting, Poetry and Calligraphy, Thames and Hudson, London, 1974; Susan Bush, The Chinese Literati on Painting; Su Shih (1037–1101) to Tung Ch’i-ch’ang (1555–1636), Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1971, pp. 22–8; James Cahill, ‘Confucian Elements in the Theory of Painting’, Arthur F. Wright (ed.). The Confucian Persuasion, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1960, pp. 77–102. 

25        Reproduced in Jan Fontein & Pratapaditya Pal, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Oriental Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass., 1969, p1.100. The character ‘Ba’ of the signature ‘Bada Shanren’ is hooked and is used exclusively during 1685–94. See Yiyuan Duoying 19, pp. 35, 39. 

26        Quoted from Giacalone, p. 145. Inscription transcribed into standard Chinese script in Zhou Shixin, p. 155. 

27        The colour yellow is associated with anything native or Han Chinese, who regarded themselves as descendants of the legendary Yellow Emperor, reputed founder of the Chinese empire, see Giacalone, p. 147; Werner, p. 186. 

28        The inscription is read from top to bottom and right to left. Calligraphy, a non- representational art, is closely related to nature. Each character is conceived as a living being which is endowed with spirit, vital force, bone, flesh, blood, muscle. Cui Yong (A.D. 133–92) in his treatise on calligraphy, describes characters as appearing ‘to be sitting or walking, flying or moving, sad or happy’. Each brushstroke embodies speed, movement and direction; its thickness varies in accordance with the pressure applied on the brush. It is accomplished spontaneously, its mastery requiring diligent practice which begins in childhood. On calligraphy, see John Hay, ‘The Human Body as a Microcosmic Source of Macrocosmic Values in Calligraphy’, Susan Bush & Christian Murck (eds), Theories of the Arts in China, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1983, pp. 74–105; Tseng Yu-ho Ecke, Chinese Calligraphy, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1971; Chiang Yee, Chinese Calligraphy: An Introduction to its Aesthetic Technique, 3rd edn rev., Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1973. 

29        Calligraphy was regarded as an art form in as early as the 2nd century A.D. When scholars who were competent in calligraphy took up painting as a pastime in the 11th century, calligraphy influenced painting in terms of technique and aesthetic theory. One speaks of ‘writing’ and ‘reading’ painting. As in calligraphy, the painter must have the images clearly conceived in his mind before he begins to paint. The brush then moves continuously as the line flows. On the relationship between painting and calligraphy, see Bush; Wen Fong, Tung Ch’i-ch’ang and the Orthodox Theory of Painting’, National Palace Museum Quarterly 2, 3, 1969, pp. 1–26; Cahill in Wright (ed.); id., Chinese Painting, Albert Skira, Lausanne, 1960, pp. 89–98. 

30        Natural events are closely related to human events. See Edmund Capon & Mae Anna Pang, Chinese Paintings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties; 14th–20th Centuries, International Cultural Corporation of Australia Limited, Australia, 1981, pp. 74–5. The practice of voicing political opinion (or protest) disguised as natural images dates back to the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), when China was oppressed by the Mongols. With a few elegant brushstrokes, Zheng Sixiao (1241–1318), a scholar loyal to the fallen Song dynasty, painted an orchid without earth around its roots. When asked why, he replied that the earth had been stolen by the barbarians. The orchid, associated with a man of high principle, serves as an image of the artist himself, rootless and vulnerable, but maintaining a quiet integrity. See James Cahill, Hills Beyond a River; Chinese Painting of the Yuan Dynasty, 1279–1368, John Weatherhill Inc., New York & Tokyo, 1976, pp. 18–19. 

31        Illustrated in Xie Zhiliu, p1.3. 

32        Translated from Chinese text in Xie Zhiliu, p. 8. The second strike of the night watch is nine o’clock. 

33        On the poem’s interpretation, see Xie Zhiliu, pp. 7–9. 

34        On eccentric painters of the ‘untrammelled class’, see Shujiro Shimada (tr. James Cahill), ‘Concerning the l-p’ in Style of Painting’, l-lll, Oriental Art 7, 1961, pp. 66–74; 8, 1962, pp. 130–7; and 10, 1964, pp. 19–26; Cahill (1960), p. 29. 

35        Translated from Chinese text in Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 41. 

36        Quoted from Siren (1956–58), p. 151. 

37        Translated from Chinese text in Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 41. 

38        Related by Shao Changheng, ibid., p. 42. Painting was never for sale, but was only given to like-minded friends, as an expression of friendship and of oneself. It was often reciprocated with a poem or a piece of calligraphy. See Cahill in Wright (ed ). 

39        Illustrated in Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting, The Collection of The Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, and The Cleveland Museum of Art, Clevland, 1980, catalogue nos 237A & B, pp. 320–1. The artist’s seals and style of painting are similar to those of the Gallery’s scrolls (figs 6a–d). 

40        This group of four ink on satin hanging scrolls was purchased in 1983 with funds from the Goldenberg Bequest and The Art Foundation of Victoria. Illustrated in Zhou Shixin, p. 101, figs 97–8 and p. 181, figs 145-6; Vito Giacalone, Chu Ta, A Selection of Paintings and Calligraphy, New York Cultural Center, New York, 1973, catalogue nos 3A, B, C, D; id., (Oriental Art, 1975), p. 139, fig. 3. On Zhu Da’s painting and calligraphy, see references in footnote 1. 

41        The mind is the ultimate reality and the universe exists only in the mind. The world outside the mind has to be brought into full being and given meaning by the perceiving mind. Therefore, returning to nature and the past is also returning to one’s mind. On the philosophy of the Neo-Confucian School of Mind, see Wm. Theodore De Bary (ed ), The Unfolding of Neo-Confucianism, Columbia University Press, New York, 1970; Chang Chung-yuan, Creativity and Taoism, A Study of Chinese Philosophy, Art and Poetry, The Julian Press Inc., New York, 1963, pp. 82–6. 

42        Emulating the ancients in art is a form of self-cultivation in which the emulator attempts to identify with and internalise both the style and the character of ideal cultural types (as style and man are one). These notions formulated by Yen Yu (c. 1180–c. 1235) were very much influenced by contemporary developments in Neo- Confucianism which stressed a similar procedure for acquiring sagehood. See Richard John Lynn, ‘Alternate Routes to Self-Realization in Ming Theories of Poetry’, Susan Bush & Christian Murck (eds), pp. 317–40; James Cahill, The Distant Mountains; id., The Compelling Image, Nature and Style in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Painting, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1982; Wei-ming Tu, ‘Inner Experience: The Basis of Creativity in Neo-Confucian Thinking’, Christian F. Murck (ed.). Artists and Traditions, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1976, pp. 9–15; Wai-kam Ho, ‘Tung Ch’i-ch’ang’s New Orthodoxy and the Southern School Theory’, Murck, pp. 113–29. 

43        With patience and inner strength, scholars of the Yuan endured the Mongols who were eventually absorbed by the Chinese. On the four Yuan masters, see Cahill (1976), pp. 68–127. 

44        Zhu Da’s calligraphic line is unique in being expressive, lyrical and sensuous. 

45        Even human dwellings which are depicted in the first three landscapes are eliminated in the last scroll (fig. 6d). 

46        As art reflects the nature of the artist, aesthetic and human qualities are closely related. The paintings of a scholar – a man of inner virtue and outward refinement – must be equally proper and restrained. Brilliance must be concealed: sweetness, vulgarity, and dependency must be avoided. On the scholar’s attitude toward painting, see Cahill, in Wright (ed.). 

47        I am grateful to Judith Ryan for discussion on the paintings in relation to Western music and the references she has given me: Deryck Cooke, The Language of Music, Oxford University Press, New York, 1959: Otto Karolyi, Introducing Music, Penguin Books, 1965. I also benefited from stimulating discussions with Patrick McCaughey. 

48       Signature of the artist: ‘Bada Shanren’ in the top left corner. The character ‘Ba’ is hooked and is used exclusively during 1685–94. See Yiyuan Duoying 19, pp. 35, 39. In the paintings of peacocks dated 1690 (fig. 4) and of lotus (fig. 2), the character ‘Ba’ in the signatures is also hooked: the signatures of the paintings are all similar. Three seals of artist: (1) ‘Bada Shanren’ in the top left corner is similar to C. C. Wang & Victoria Contag, Seals of Chinese Painters and Collectors of the Ming and Ch’ing Periods, 2nd edn rev., Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong 1966, pp. 107–8 no. 4; Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 49; Zhou Shixin, pp. 170–1, 1. (2) ‘Bada Shanen’ in the upper left corner, similar to Wang, pp. 107–8, no. 14; Yiyuan Duoying 17, p. 49; Zhou Shixin, p. 176, no. 28. (3) ‘Sheshi’ in the lower right corner, similar to Yiyuan Duoying 19, p. 53. Collector seal: Wang Jiqian (C. C. Wang) in the lower left corner. 

49        Illustrated in Cahill (1976), pls 40–1. On Huang Gongwang, see id., pp. 85–113. 

50        Illustrated in Eight Dynasties of Chinese Painting, p. 245. 

51        Dong Qichang advocated a creative approach to painting within tradition; it was accomplished by transforming the styles of the ancients into a style of his own. He also formulated the orthodox (literati) tradition of painting, which included the four great Yuan masters. Both his theory and style of painting revolutionised later Chinese painting. See Cahill, The Compelling Image (1982); id., The Distant Mountains (1982); id. (1976), pp. 85–113 id. (1967). On the theme of formal construction in painting and its analogy to music and architecture, see Mae Anna Pang, Wang Yuan-ch’i (1642–1715) and Formal Construction in Chinese Landscape Painting, Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Berkeley, California 1976. I am grateful to Dr Emma Devapriam for drawing to my attention the analogy between music and Renaissance architecture in James S. Ackerman, Palladio, Penguin Books, 1966, pp. 160–85. 

52        Seal of artist in the lower right corner: ‘Sheshi’, same as on the first scroll; see footnote 48. Seal of collector at lower left corner: C. C. Wang. 

53        Illustrated in Cahill (1976), p1.50. 

54        On Ni Zan, see ibid., pp. 114–20. 

55        Pang (1976), p. 74. 

56        In China, music was the first art to be given serious philosophical consideration and the only art form for which a record of critical consideration exists before the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220). It is hence from the concepts and terminology of music that the aesthetic theories of the other arts (poetry, calligraphy and painting) evolved. See Kenneth De Woskin, ‘Early Chinese Music and the Origins of Aesthetic Terminology’, Bush & Murck (eds), pp. 181–214. De Woskin also points out that ‘Interestingly, the common sensory referent in metaphors for the superior mind in early China was hearing and sound as contrasted to vision and light in the West’ (vision, wit, wisdom in English), ibid., p. 192. 

57        Landscape painting (shanxui, mountain and water) was regarded as creation of the mind with cosmic significance. Mi Fu (1051–1107) once said ‘. . . Landscape painting is a creation of the mind and is intrinsically superior art.’ Tang Hou in the 14th century echoed: ‘Landscape is a thing incorporating all the excellencies of creation and it is inexhaustibly protean  … Unless there are “hills and valleys” in one’s breast as vast as immeasurable waves, it is not easy to depict it’. Thus, being one with the cosmic force, the creative energy just issues from within. This also applies to other creative activities such as calligraphy and poetry. The calligrapher and painter can feel the strength (energy, qi) coming up through the whole body and flowing down the arm and out at the tip of the brush. Su Shi (1037–1101) talks of his writing in terms of gushing water, flowing effortlessly like a force of nature: ‘My writing is like the water of a deep, full spring. It does not choose plots of ground, but gushes out over everything . . . But I am not conscious of it. All I know is that it moves on when it must, and stops when it has to stop. As for the rest, even I cannot understand it.’ See Ben-ami Scharfstein, ‘Unless There Are Hills and Valleys in One’s Breast: On the Inward Life of Chinese Landscape Painting’, Journal of Chinese Philosophy 3, September 1976, pp. 317–54. (I am grateful to Margaret Ong for giving me this reference.) Also see Bush, pp. 35–6; Chang Chung-yuan, p. 205; Cahill in Wright (ed.), pp. 97–9; Liu (1976), pp. 130–1. 

58        Chou Ju-hsi, In Quest of the Primordial Line: The Genesis and Content of Tao-ch’i’s Hua-yu-lu, Ph.D. thesis, Princeton University, 1970, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1971, pp. 139, 151. The word tuotai means ‘to emerge from the womb of; to be born out of’. Daoji was a cousin of Zhu Da, see Wen Fong (1959). 

59        Chang Chung-yuan, p. 129. The mind is then still and empty, ready to receive. 

60        One seal of the artist in the lower right corner: ‘Sheshi’ (same as the ones on the first and second scroll, see footnotes 48, 52. Collector’s seal at the lower left corner: C. C. Wang. 

61        Illustrated in Cahill (1976), p1.26. Wu Zhen was a scholar without an official career and had to paint for a living. On Wu Zhen, see ibid., pp. 68–74. 

62        Signature of artist in lower left corner: ‘Bada Shanren’ (half removed). Seal of artist in lower left corner: ‘Bada Shanren’ (same as the seal below the signature on the first scroll, see footnote 48). Collector’s seal in the lower right corner: C. C. Wang. 

63        Illustrated in Cahill (1976), p1.53. Wang Meng (c. 1309–85), a scholar-official and the youngest of the Yuan masters, suffered a tragic fate of having been politically implicated and then executed in early Ming. See ibid., pp. 120–7. 

64        Guo Xi of the 11th century spoke of landscape elements in organic terms: ‘watercourses are the arteries of a mountain; grass and trees its hair; mist and haze its complexion’; ‘stones are the bones of heaven and earth’. ‘Water is the blood of heaven and earth.’ See Kuo Hsi (tr. Shio Sakanashi), An Essay on Landscape Painting (Lin Ch’uan Kua Chih), John Murray, London, 1959. In the Chinese organic view of the Universe, everything is interrelated and interdependent. In the words of Joseph Needham, ‘The key-word in Chinese thought is Order and above all Pattern (and, if I may whisper it for the first time, Organism) . . . They (things) were thus parts in existential dependence upon the whole world-organism. And they reacted upon one another not so much by mechanical impulsion or causation as by a kind of mysterious resonance.’ See Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, vol. 2: History of Scientific Thought, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1956, pp. 281, 466. 

65        It is reminiscent of the slow, flowing and circular movements of Taiji quan, an ancient Chinese way of exercise; the co-ordinated movements of the body are directed by the mind and paralleled by breathing (the circulation of qi). See Sophia Delza, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, An Ancient Chinese Way of Exercise to Achieve Health, Tranquility, Cornerstone Library, New York, 1961. (I am grateful to Dorothy McCulloch for this reference.) Also see Da Liu, T’ai Chi Ch’uan and I Ching, A Choreography of Body and Mind, Perennial Library, Harper & Row Publishers, New York, 1978. One could easily relate the movement of Taiji quan to that of the artist’s arm, wrist and brush. 

66        The equivocal line encloses the solid form as well as the space around it. In Chinese thought (as early as the 11th century B.C.), the world was self-created by the two interacting forces of yang (masculine, firm, active) and yin (feminine, yielding, passive). The two forces are the dual aspects of one entity and complementary opposites, engaged in a perpetual state of change and motion, as represented by the Taiji (supreme ultimate) symbol of perfect harmony (fig. 11) . See Delza, p. 8; Chang Chung-yuan, pp. 55–88. It seems that Zhu Da’s landscape is embodied with metaphysical principles of Chinese cosmology. This requirement was pointed out by Wang Wei of the 5th century: ‘Painting is not just one of the manual crafts. Upon completion it should possess the same significance as the hexagrams of the Book of Changes’. See Wen Fong (1969), p. 2. The hexagrams are symbols made of a combination of continuous line (yang force) and broken line (yin force), manifesting the cosmic principles of the Universe. See Da Liu, pp. 5–9; Chang Chung-yuan, pp. 123–68. 

67        Apparently, floating in space is associated with a spiritual state of being at one with the universe. Mi Yuren of the 11th century expresses this meditative state of being which he thought was indispensable to the highest achievement in painting ‘ … Whenever in the quiet of my room with my legs crossed I sit silently then I feel that I float up and down with the blue sky, vast and silent.’ See Chang Chung-yuan, p. 238. 

68        Siren (1938), p. 124. 

69        It seems to express a spiritual transcendence, like the metamorphosis of the landscape from a solid to an ephemeral state. The overhanging cliff acts like a Chan (Zen) koan (a kind of illogical question, statement or action that would lead to a new insight about things) in shocking us out of our conventional way of seeing into a new way of seeing. On koan, see Chang Chung-yuan, pp. 45-8; Isshu Miura & Ruth Fuller Sasaki, The Zen Koan, Its History and Use in Rinzai Zen, Harcourt, Brace & World Inc., New York, 1965; Fung Yu-lan (tr. Derk Bodde), A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1960, pp. 255–65.  

 70       This is illustrated in the recent cultural revolution in China. The artists of traditional Chinese painting were relatively safe in comparison with the writers. See Mae Anna Pang, ‘Dilemma or Challenge: The Past and the Present in Contemporary Chinese Painting’, paper prepared for the Asian Studies Association of Australia 4th National Conference, Monash University, 10–14 May, 1982. 

71        The work of William Blake was first brought to my notice by Judith Ryan in one of our discussions; I am grateful to the references she has given me. I am also grateful to Jean Oberhansli for her discussions. See Milton Klonsky, William Blake, The Seer and His Visions, Harmony Books, New York, 1977. It is interesting to note that Klonsky in his discussion of Blake’s watercolour of Michael Binding the Dragon, draws a comparison with the Chinese Taiji symbol (fig.11). See ibid., p. 65 and footnote 66. 

72        The state of spiritual fusion is best expressed by Liezi of the 4th century B.C.: ‘… My self, both within and without, has been transformed. Everything about me is identified. My eye becomes my ear, my ear becomes my nose, my nose my mouth. My mind is highly integrated and my body dissolves. My bone and my flesh melt away. I cannot tell by what my body is supported or what my feet walk upon. I am blowing away, east and west, as a dry leaf torn from a tree. I cannot even make out whether the wind is riding on me or I am riding on the wind’. See Chang Chung-yuan, p. 87. On the interfusion of artist and object, in painting, see Bush, pp. 29–82. 

73        Giacalone (1975), p. 150. Samādhi is a concept from Chan (Zen) Buddhism, which rose in China in the 7th century. Samadhi is a state of profound peace when the mind is free of the duality of the conventional way of logical thinking. The mind returns to its original state of oneness and non-differentiation. The exterior and interior become one. See Alan W. Watts, The Way of Zen, Thames and Hudson, London, 1957, pp. 72-76, 113, 116, 119.