Wang Fangyu (1913-1997) and Sum Wai (1918-1996), to 1997 
Shao F. Wang, New York and Short Hills, NJ, by descent, to 1998 
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Shao F. Wang in 1998
 According to Curatorial Note 4, Joseph Chang and Stephen D. Allee, May 7, 1998, and Joseph Chang and Stephen D. Allee, August 18, 1998, in the object record. See also Curatorial Note 3.
 See note 1.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Shao F. Wang
Wang Fangyu 1913-1997
Sum Wai 1918-1996
Created after Bada Shanren had left the monkhood and become a professional artist, these four leaves (F1998.56.1 thru F1998.56.4) originally belonged to a larger album of similar ink sketches. Both style and subject matter are typical of his small-scale works during the late 1680s and early 1690s. Each object stands out boldly on the otherwise empty white paper, and the drawing is simple and straightforward, but Bada's brushwork and skillful use of ink achieve a wide range of tonal effects, from wet and light to heavy and dark.
An unusual term, sheshi, meaning "involved in affairs," serves as a primary compositional element in the leaf, showing a falling ink-flower, and appears in either Bada's signature or seals on two of the three remaining leaves. Bada used this term exclusively during the period between 1690 and 1693, when he was completely "involved" in perfecting his painting technique. Despite their outward simplicity, these four unassuming album leaves illustrate Bada's audacious approach to composition as well as his abiding concern with ink tonality and the visual possibilities of calligraphic brushwork in painting.
- Published References
- Joseph Chang, Quianshen Bai, (Catalogue) Stephen Allee. In Pursuit of Heavenly Harmony: Paintings and Calligraphy by Bada Shanren from the Bequest of Wang Fangyu and Sum Wai. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 5, p. 46.
- Yuan Li. "近距离阅读大师." Exploring the Enigmas of Bada Shanren – Freer’s Special Exhibition Review., 284. Shanghai, May 2016. p. 65.
- Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 244-251.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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