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Details & Cataloguing

Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection, Scholarly Art III

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Hong Kong

Master of the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat (B. 1943)
2012
THE SEVEN VINE-STAVES OF THE CASCADE MASTER NO. 2 DRAGON FALLS
ink on cloud-dragon and xuan paper, with four seals of the artist: Shuisongshi shanfang  (‘The Water, Pine and Stone Retreat’), Youyi wuyi ('Intentionally or unintentionally'), Yangshi xianren (‘an idler who cherishes stones’) and Wuwei (‘without action’), mounted as hanging scroll
180 by 96 cm., 71 1/4  by 37 3/4  in.
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Description

INSCRIPTION:

The Cascade Master would never tell me to what extent he had edited his staves.  ‘This one is natural’ he would proclaim, but with such a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous smile that I knew he did not use the term in any normal sense.  Those who have managed to transcend the mundane world of separation and description tend to find far more hidden power in the language, as they find more hidden power in everything once freed from the thrall of every ‘thing’.  The Cascade Master once said to me, while we spoke of immortality, that most people did not have the time to live forever;  a seemingly meaningless contradiction on the face of it and within the realm of explanations.  But to the Realized Man, immortality is achieved by stepping off the Stage of Time, beyond its restrictions, not by living forever.  With that simple shift in perspective, it becomes meaningful.  To him, living forever meant the same as transcending time: immortality in the blinking of an eye - commonplace among Realized Men but an incomprehensible contradiction in the mundane world.  I suspect that when he claimed the naturalness of his staves, he included himself, his chisels and whatever guided his heart and hand in discovering the inner secrets of each piece of gnarled vine as part of nature. 

Dragon Falls

was one of his older staves and a particular favourite.   It rested in a carefully stitched, deerskin bag, darkened with the grease of his hands and drifting smoke and soot from the fireplace.  It was one of his staves that settled most readily into my own hands, accepting me as its master on borrowed time, which was enough for me since, like the Cascade Master, I have little time for time.  Inscribed by the Master of the Water Pine and Stone Retreat 2012.

Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection, Scholarly Art III

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Hong Kong