Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A few years back we worked with Merchant/Ivory on their film "White Countess".

About an hour or so into the film, a little girl looks into a picturebox and her imagination brings the slide to life.

James Ivory brought in Quan Handong to illustrate the sequence.

These are paintings from his "Ox Series" taken from a monograph published by Queens Council on the Arts based on an exhibit of the work.

His designs for "White Countess" are more concrete but they retain the looseness and energy.

We got a crash course in Chinese painting history while working on the project.  The broad strokes -much of the Classical art can be broken into two schools: the Northern which is based on strong black strokes, and the Southern which is more calligraphic.

I hope I remember that correctly.

In these Ox Paintings, the paint brush is charged with a controlled frenzy.   It's like the ultimate Steinberg -all in the line.

In his notes on the exhibit Quan Handong remarks: "the ox represents both a strong being and a symbolic abstraction."

The scanner was unkind to this image and I tried to adjust the contrast.  There's a lot of detail in the black that's gotten crush although the blue is close.

1 comment:

theodore ushev said...

Amazing! Thank You for making me discover this artist!