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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Elizabeth Mann



Wei Letang (John Way)

Chinese, 1921 - 2012

Raised and trained in Shanghai, Wei Letang was considered a child prodigy for his precocious understanding of the art of calligraphy. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1956 and studied architecture at M.I.T., finally settling in San Francisco in 1999. His calligraphy and Abstract Expressionist paintings have been widely exhibited, including a solo exhibition in the Shanghai Art Museum. The couplet, written in "cursive script," and notable for its fluid and bold brushwork in dark ink, reads: "Deep water clears a thousand feet, the setting sun shines on half a building." The inscription is also transcribed on the margin in Wei's distinctive "regular script," which is characterized by square forms and wavy lines.
Ink on paper
Overall: 69 x 16 3/4in. (175.3 x 42.5cm)
Image: 53 1/8 x 13 1/16in. (134.9 x 33.2cm)
Gift of Dr. James H. Soong in honor of Mr. Miles O. Johnson
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, and Culture in Late Imperial China, Dec. 24, 2016 - May 15, 2022 [on view Jan. 9 - July 7, 2019].

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