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Details & Cataloguing

The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings By Chang Dai-Chien ── A Master’s Secrets Unveiled

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Hong Kong

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien, 1899-1983)
DAOIST GODDESS PLAYING PANPIPE
with three seals of the artist. Titleslip by Kao Ling-mei

Inscription:
Carried by tiger and flew by phoenix, the deity is not yet far off;
The idle court is quiet and forlorn in the longish night.
Under the west tower shone on by the cool and hospitable moon,
I remember a phoenix’s warble in the thick clouds bringing to mind the music of her flute.
Painted by Dai-chien Jushi Chang Yuan at Dafeng Tang. It was autumn, the eighth lunar month of the yiwei year.
ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll
116 BY 65 CM. 45⅝ BY 25⅝ IN.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Exhibited

France, Paris, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Tchang Ta Ts’ien, Juin-Juillet 1956
Singapore, Victoria Memorial Hall, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 12-17 March 1963
Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 24-30 June 1963
Malaya, Ipoh, Ku Kong Chow Kung Wai, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 9-16
November 1963
Malaya, Penang, Penang Museum, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 20-29
December 1963
Thailand, Bangkok, Kai Shou Hall & Metropolitan Bank, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang
Dai-chien, 12-25 September 1964
Thailand, Haadyai, Hakkas Association Auditorium, Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Daichien,
2-8 February 1965
Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Art Gallery, The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 17 April-23 May 1993
Japan, Tokyo, Shoto Museum of Art, The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, 5 April-21 May 1995

Literature

Exhibition of Tchang Ta Ts’ien, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France, 1956,
exhibition catalogue, pl. 16
Chinese Paintings with the Original Paintings & Discourses on Chinese Art By Professor Chang Dai-chien, edited by Kao Ling-mei, East Art Co., Hong Kong, February 1961, p. 103
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, Eas t Art Co., Hong Kong, March 1963, Singapore exhibit no. 75
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, June 1963, Kuala Lumpur exhibit no. 75
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, November 1963, Ipoh exhibit no. 75
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, December 1963, Penang exhibit no. 75
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, September 1964, Bangkok exhibit no. 75
Exhibition of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, exhibition catalogue, East Art Co., Hong Kong, February 1965, Haadyai exhibit no. 75
The Paintings of Zhang Daqian, Vol. 4, Sichuan People’s Publishing House, May 1983, pl. 18
Selected Modern Beauty Paintings, Art Book Co. Ltd., Taipei, 28 February 1984, p. 10
Paintings and Calligraphy Works of Zhang Daqian, vol. 1, People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, 1991, pl. 254
The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, edited by Kao Mayching, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Art Gallery, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 25
The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings by Chang Dai-chien, Shoto Museum of Art, Japan, 1995, pl. 24
Authentication of Paintings by Zhang Daqian, written by Xing Jie, Tianjin Ancient Books Publishing House, August 1997, pl. 34

Catalogue Note

Of Classical Ladies

As it is imperative to make a draft when painting other human figures, so it is in the case of painting classical ladies. As a matter of fact, the draft should be made with greater care and, particularly in the elaborate style, should never be rough and offhand, for a little error in one single line may spoil the whole picture. When the willow-charcoal draft is completed and its outline marked out with diluted ink, the charcoal lines can be dusted off without leaving any trace at all.

Some boudoir themes are so difficult to interpret that the painter must exert his imagination over and over again and make no bones about striking out and correcting parts of his draft several times till it is unimpeachable, before using ink. The face of his subjects, as well as the clothes and ornaments, may be either dignified, radiant, ravishing, or graceful, as the case may be. But each must be at its best and, above all, the subject should be quiet and ladylike, with a retired demeanour and the attitude of one standing alone and away from the world. The slightest hint of frivolity or lechery would condemn the picture to the lower order.

The contour of the face and its features should be accurately outlined with pale ink, as in the case of painting other human figures, and be washed over with light vermilion. The eye-sockets and the slopes of the nose should be shaded with ochre to show their respective depression, while the forehead, the ridge of the nose and the chin should be highlighted with flake white. That is what the ancients call san pai lien, or "the face with three white areas". If thin paper or silk is used, the painter may support those areas with a white backing to produce a smooth, three dimensional effect. Finally, the lines should be touched up with deep ochre and the lips filled in with vermilion before being set apart with imported carmine.

As to the garments, the painter must decide whether they should be magnificent or elegant, according to the theme of his picture. For the decorative designs on the coat, cape, skirt and sashes, he must refer to the masterpieces of the old masters, such as The Ladies Wearing Flowers by Chou Fang, Emperor Hsüan Tsung at a Summer Resort by Chang Hsüan, a copy of Chang Hsüan's The Silk Beaters by Emperor Hui Tsung, or the murals in the Tun Huang Caves.

Extracted from Chinese Painting with the Original Paintings and
Discourses on Chinese Art by Professor Chang Dai-chien
Edited and compiled by Kao Ling-mei
Translated by Yao Hsin-nung

The Mei Yun Tang Collection of Paintings By Chang Dai-Chien ── A Master’s Secrets Unveiled

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Hong Kong