PROPERTY FROM THE MASTER OF THE WATER, PINE AND STONE RETREAT COLLECTION
While all rocks are of different shape, hence their great attraction, for a related piece see a miniature ying scholar's rock, attributed to the Ming and Qing dynasties, included in the exhibition Arts of the Scholar's Studio, Fung Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1986, cat. no. 150, sold in these rooms, 8th April 2010, lot 1707, together with another related rock, also included in the Hong Kong University exhibition, cat. no. 41, and sold in these rooms, lot 1702.
Stones exist as much in the mind as in the Dusty World. Like all high art they are part of the process in the transformation of consciousness so they change as we do: they are not static. I have been asked several times to identify a favourite stone but that depends upon shifting focus. I usually reply that it is the one I am currently painting, either with the ever-changing, ephemeral, ink-strokes of the mind, or on paper. So it is appropriate that on this occasion I am painting not from the imagination but perhaps the most favoured of all my favourite stones. I acquired ‘The Bridge’ from an antique shop in Kowloon in 1978. Its title arose not only from its form but because it was also a bridge for me to the inner world of strange stones. Now Nicolas Chow has asked if I would part with it so he could include it as a centre-piece in his own creative endeavour, a special sale of the literati aesthetic. I admire his extraordinary creativity and we have been friends for many years; I have also enjoyed the friendship of the stone for more than thirty years, so I shall cut my love for it, grant my friend the favour he asks, and pass on the stone to another Stone Fool who will enjoy it as I have. Meanwhile I have the joy of painting it lovingly as a token of my appreciation for all those years of pleasant companionship, and to record its progress through the realm of the Stone Fool.
A little likeness, inscribed by The Master of the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat, January ‘14
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