Wind Entering Pine

Ink and Brush Painting © Che Qianzi

 

車前子 | Che Qianzi

Poet and painter Che Qianzi (Gu Pan), was born in Suzhou, China in 1963. Poet, essayist, and ink artist, he has published six books of poetry and fifteen essay collections, and held nine solo painting exhibitions. He declares “the ego a poet shows in his or her work is a component of the art, simple as that.” Che Qianzi lives in Beijing.

 

車前子,原名顧盼,1963年生於蘇州。詩人,散文家,水墨工作者。出版有詩集六本,散文隨筆集十五部,并舉辦過個人畫展九次。對他而言,「詩人作品中的自我,僅僅是一件藝術品」,如此而已。

 

Artist’s Statement

excerpted from “Water and Ink”

In traditional Chinese ink painting, there are “five shades of ink”, meaning five strengths of water dilution. Like the movement of air through sparse or dense vines, dilution of the solid ink cake on the inkstone yields a drier or wetter, thicker or thinner mix. It’s been said “A horse may pass through thin ink, but thick can block the wind.” Even the densest, driest ink, however, carries some water within. As we say, “the parched tree revives in spring.”

Between heaven and earth, and brush, paper, and water, a mysterious conversation may ensue, with ink recording the exchange. All this, plus the inkstone, form China’s ancient and perhaps most creative art. In a skiff, one may glide back to the beginning of the universe and hang a fishline over the side, probing for the scales that swim, the feathers that soar. Brush and paper are the skiff, ink and water the fishline. But who’s in the skiff? Seeking sages’ wisdom in a Tang dynasty crisis, the poet Chen Zi’ang said “See no one in the past; no one in the future.”

Water flows alone from high ground; ink traces its dreamlike course.

…The relation between water and ink is curious. Water arrives from hidden places. In poetry, ink forms the words, reflecting everywhere the art’s watery ripplings. Sometimes I think brush, paper, water, and ink are more like spirits than materials. When unified and harmonious, they convey one sense or spirit of the East, a land of ink and water, and its imagining through paper and brush.

Beside the Grand Canal, I gauge with one hand a certain height, as if writing in air.

 

車前子藝述

節選自《水墨》

古代畫論有「墨分五色」的說法,其實這就是水的功德。像風穿行於藤蔓之間,使藤蔓「疏可走馬、密不通風」地錯落變化,水使墨枯濕濃淡起來。即使墨枯到極點,也是「枯木逢春」的枯:因為水做了枯墨悄然的底蘊。

於天地之間,筆、紙、水進行著神秘的交流,墨錄下它們對話,這一切,再加上硯的話,我以為是中國從古至今最有才情的文藝社團了。駕扁舟一葉,上可以追溯到宇宙洪荒,垂釣絲一線,下可以探尋得鱗潛羽翔。筆紙為扁舟,水墨作釣絲。那駕舟人呢?那垂釣人呢?陳子昂曰:「前不見古人,後不見來者。」

只有水在高處,墨留住水淡然的夢痕。

……

水與墨的關係的確有趣,水在暗處。水像格律,在這格律內所填的詞句一如墨蹟,這墨蹟無處不映出水之格律的粼粼波動。有時候我想,筆、紙、水、墨,既是物質,更為精神,它們融洽,就轉換出另一種精神:東方,被紙筆想像過的水墨家園。

大運河邊,我用手比試著某種高度,仿佛咄咄書空。

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