Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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The Silver Look of Trees

  • loan
  • Description

    In the 1980s, Michael Sullivan (1916-2013) visited China frequently and made many new friends among the younger artists who had emerged from the darkness of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). On one visit, he met printmakers who were developing the shuiyin (water-based printing) technique into an expressive art form at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. This work, a fine example of the technique, was given to Michael by Lu Fang (born 1932), a teacher at the Academy. The inscription reads ‘For the respected Professor Michael Sullivan and Madam Wu Huan. Lu Fang in Hangzhou.’

    Shuiyin print is a technique perfected early in the 17th century in southern Anhui province and Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The blocks are hand-coloured with watercolor and printed on multilayer sprayed paper to produce subtle gradations of tone and atmosphere, the aim being to create the effect of a painting. With the fall of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the tradition in Nanjing declined and was not revived until the early 1960s, when the Jiangsu branch of the Chinese Artists Association held training sessions in the technique.

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaChinaZhejiang province Hangzhou (place of creation)
    August 1986
    Lu Fang (born 1932) (printmaker)
    Associated people
    Khoan Sullivan (1919 - 2003) (recipient)
    Michael Sullivan (1916 - 2013) (recipient)
    Material and technique
    frame 62 x 74 x 1.5 cm (height x width x depth)
    print 39 x 51.2 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    On loan from the Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Sullivan, Michael, Modern Chinese Art: The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection, revised edn (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2009), no. 33 on p. 186, illus. p. 187 fig. III. 33



  • shuiyin

    Shuiyin is a water-soluble ink printed woodcut.

Past Exhibition

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    • currently in research collection

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