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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Elizabeth Mann



Hua Rende

Chinese born 1947

A celebrated Chinese calligrapher and scholar of his generation, Hua Rende's extensive research on ancient writing from the Han to the Six Dynasties periods (2nd century BC to 6th century AD) reinforced his endorsement of the "Stele School" tradition. Exemplified by characters with uniformly thick strokes and a square and wide composition, Hua's calligraphy gives the impression of stability. In this couplet, he compresses the space in between the strokes to form highly compact characters, thereby reinforcing its tangible strength. The rough edges of the characters evoke the effect of carving and chiseling characters into stone. As a result, each character appears to emanate power from within this couplet, which reads: "Pure gold [requires] hundredfold smelting; a fine horse [gallops] a thousand miles; The Yellow River [is distinguished by] nine windings; Mount Taihua [is known for] three peaks."
Ink on paper
Image: 70 × 12 5/8 in. (177.8 × 32.1 cm)
Overall: 105 × 18 1/4 in. (266.7 × 46.4 cm)
Gift of Frank S. Bayley III and Cheney Cowles
Provenance: Artist
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryWalla Walla, Washington, Donald H. Sheehan Gallery, Whitman College, Reflections on Forgotten Surfaces: The Calligraphy of Hua Rende, Jan. 18 - Feb. 20, 2005.

Beijing, China, National Art Museum of China, Special Exhibition in celebration of the founding of the People's Republic of China, July 2009.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, and Culture in Late Imperial China, Dec. 24, 2016 - ongoing [on view Dec. 24, 2016 - June 25, 2017].
Published ReferencesBoyden, Ian. Reflections on Forgotten Surfaces: The Calligraphy of Hua Rende. Walla Walla: Donald H. Sheehan Gallery, 2005, cat. 20

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