Fragrance of the Past + The Orchid Pavilion Gathering

The Ming dynasty handscroll The Orchid Pavilion Gathering, 1621, ink and color on silk, by Sheng Mao-yeh.

At the newly reopened Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, the scrolls of a master calligrapher are on display now through April 2 in tandem with an exhibit on Chinese painting that spans eight centuries. As if the contrast of these adjoining art forms weren’t enticement enough, there’s an ongoing configuration of Buddhist sculpture that rounds up representations of the Buddha from as far back as eighth-century Korea.

Looking through Fragrance of the Past: Chinese Calligraphy and Painting by Ch’ung-ho Chang Frankel and Friends gave me the intimate feeling that I was in the artist’s studio. The tools of her trade — the brushes made from different types of animal hair, the seals by which she presses red stamps onto the periphery of her scrolls, and the ink — are all on display, along with the finished works they were used to create.

Continue reading at Northwest Asian Weekly.

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