Jij komt op je computer, vriend,

van boven op de berg naar het diepe dal gescrold.

Ikzelf ben de andere weg gelopen.

In vrolijke stemming

naar de heuvels vertrokken,

kwamen we laat bij avond

weer naar huis.


Zot van de lente

waren we als kinderen op pad gegaan.

De dag plooide zich

zijdezacht open.

Buiten de vogels en het beekje

was er nog het briesje

dat op de heuvels

in de bomen speelde.


Nu sta ik aan de poort

met-een-te-veel-aan-op te-noemen gevoel.


Hoe kan dat, hoor ik je vragen.

De hele dag ben je toch binnen gebleven?


Zoveel wandelpaden zijn er in mijn hoofd,

dat ik in dit korte leven

dagen tekort zal komen

om slechts de helft ervan

uit te wandelen.


Eens de maan, een wiel gelijk,

boven de bergen staat,

zaait de voorbije lentedag


 sterren aan de hemel.


Morgen ga ik weer op stap.



Tekening en kleur op zijde: Tai Ch'in: Late terugkeer van een lente-uitstap. (1400)

    Tai Chin, who went by the style name Wen-chin and the sobriquets Ching-an and Yu-ch'uan shan-jen, was a native of Ch'ien-t'ang (modern Hangchow). He is said as a youth to have studied painting under local artists, specializing and achieving fame in the fields of landscapes and figures. During the Hsuan-te reign (1426-1435), he was recommended for service at court, where he was admired by the nobility for his great skill. His fellow painters, however, became envious and later rejected him. Tai Chin thereupon returned home to the south, where he continued to paint in Hangchow. With numerous students, he came to have an enormous influence on painting at the time. Consequently, later generations have revered him as the father of the Che School that emerged afterwards in the area.

    The Che School was an important art movement in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) that emerged from the unique historical background of the area. After the Southern Sung (1127-1279) government moved the capital to Hangchow, the cultural and economic conditions of the surrounding Chekiang area flourished, making it the heart of the country. Court painters, such as Ma Yuan and Hsia Kuei, came to dominate the art scene, specializing in lyrical visions of the surrounding mist-laden hills that were admired by their fellows. After the Sung perished in 1279, the court style was preserved in the Chekiang area by local professional painters. By the Ming dynasty, this style based on the Southern Sung academic mode became marked by rough and unbridled brushwork. It was known as the Che School, named after the area from which it emerged.

    In the history of Chinese painting, Tai Chin is said to have "learned from the virtues of all landscape masters," indicating his broad studies for a multi-faceted style. For example, he not only used the expressive "axe-cut" texture strokes and compositional formulae of Southern Sung court landscapes (represented by the aforementioned Ma and Hsia), but he also absorbed the essence of the Li-Kuo School (based on the styles of Li Ch'eng and Kuo Hsi) as practiced in the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). In other words, he borrowed from and transformed the manners of various Sung and Yuan masters.



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