Stalks of Jade in the Pure Breeze
Wu Hu-fan (1894-1968)
The grandson of Wu Ta-cheng, Wu Hu-fan originally went by the name of won, and his sobriquets were Ch’ing-an and Ch’ou-i, while the name of his studio was Plum Blossom Villa. A native of Wu-hsien Kiangsu, he was gifted at calligraphy and excelled at painting, especially landscapes. Schooled at home, his early interest in the arts was stimulated by the older generations of his family, who derived inspiration from Tung Ch’I-ch’ang (1555-1636). Wu Hu-fan was also a respected poet who had a considerable collection of art, becoming a renowned connoisseur in the process. He wrote inscriptions on several hundred paintings that passed through his hands.
In this painting appear new shoots of bamboo and a stalk touched ever so lightly by the breeze. The harmonious placement of clumps of leaves as well as the washes of ink for the stalks, leaves, and rocks echoes the sinuous “S” –shape of the bamboo stalk. Wu Hu-fan was more famous for his landscape paintings, but even this rendering of bamboo, despite some puddling of ink, has a style of its own.
This painting was donated to the Museum by Mr. Ts’ai Chen-nan.