Landscape Paintings

Yang Yan-wen (1939-)
Goddess Unharmed

Hanging Scroll, Ink and Color on Rice Paper, 22 x 19 in., (56 x 48 cm.)

Chu Griffis Collection #12In 1952 , Yang left his village in Hopei to attend a high school in Beijing. During holidays and weekends, he used to go to the suburbs to sketch. After high school, he was enrolled at Beijing Art Institute where he studied oil painting with Wu Kaun-chung, a well-known modern impressionist landscape artist in China. Somehow Mr. Yang felt that oil painting restricted him culturally. He decided then to switch back to Chinese brush work. Looking around he found some living masters who are trained in the West (most in Paris) and they too eventually blended Eastern and Western techniques. He was convinced that this was the road he would travel. And he has.

I have seen many of his paintings since the early eighties. Some are album size, others are many feet long. Our small scroll (1984) entitled "Goddess Unharmed", depicted Wuxia, one of the Three Gorges of the Yangtzu River, provides a good example of his painting techniques. It is mostly monochrome. In many ways this painting can still be characterized as traditional. He used the age-old ink splashing method vigorously and spontaneously to provide freshness in movement and feeling. It is safe to say that changes have taken place in Chinese landscape painting, but traditional painting has not been lost. This new era is the New Literati era, and the trend has continued. Mr. Yang stands solid.

This painting was purchased with funds provided by Sharon and Hughes Griffis in 1988.