CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

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一路错到对 ——在误解中诞生的“泼墨皴法”

Session 15 Creative Misunderstanding

Luxun Academy of Fine Arts


A.    The Misunderstanding of “Brushless Ink” and “Splash-ink”

It is a misunderstanding to regard as flaws in traditional Chinese painting representation Xiang Rong’s “brushless ink” and Wang Mo’s “splash-ink”. In fact, they should be viewed as different approaches to ink application, or other ways to explore texturing between water and ink and in the system of splash-ink without using brushes.


  One of the misunderstandings has come from the theorist’s review. Zhang Yanyuan was ignorant about the theory of “the balance of the universe”, but he must have known Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate consisting of Yin and Yang. Logically, besides “dry texturing” (brush-ink texturing method) in traditional Chinese painting, there must exist a system of “wet texturing” (splash-ink or ink-wash texturing method) paralleling it. However, Zhang Yanyuan’s disregard for Xiang Rong and Wang Mo means his denying the above-mentioned fact, which is not only the misunderstanding of the two people, but the misreading of Chinese culture.


  The other misunderstanding has come from art practices. Many artists contemporaneous with Xiang Rong and Wang Mo were trying using hair, hands, feet and the like instead of brushes. What they used seems to have made departure from brushes, but in fact they are alternative forms of brushes, which is the misunderstanding of “brushless ink”. Zhang Daqian, Liu Haisu, and Liu Guosong also misread the technique “splash-ink”.


B.    “Splash-ink Texturing Method” Born in the Misunderstanding

Xiang Rong’s “brushless ink” and Wang Mo’s “splash-ink”—their non-mainstream practices have given rise to the originality of the posterity, the birth of “splash-ink texturing method” (wet texturing) in the constant misunderstanding—“ink texturing with water instead of brushes.”


C.   Conclusion

   Like “brush-ink texturing method” (dry texturing), “splash-ink texturing method” (wet texturing) embodies Chinese wisdom, is a psychological adjusting approach to releasing emotions through gesticulation, and another greater learning of studying nature and a new way of rendering.


Shenyang people. 
Lu xun academy of fine arts graduate student graduated from Chinese arts.
Lu xun academy of fine arts department of art history teacher, Xianzhi is now an associate professor.
Director of the teaching and research office of the Chinese art history, excellent teachers.