ink painting on rice paper
138 x 71 cm
His time travelling in the United States in the 1980s, after he graduated from the art academy, helped Hsu Yu-Jen to crystallise his thoughts about the necessity to revitalise and modernise the ancient traditions of ink painting. Since that time, he has developed his own language of ink and brush – sometimes his works are forceful, dramatic and expressive, and sometimes, as here, they are very fine and delicate. The subject of the lotus is imbued with cultural memory. The lotus, a frequent subject in Chinese ‘bird and flower painting’ and one of the Eight Auspicious Signs of Buddhist tradition, represents purity and grace because it rises out of the mud to bloom.