Zhang Hongtu’s Ongoing Shan Shui series explores categories of “East” and “West” in a distinctive way, reflecting his own life lived in two cultures. Here, he reimagines an album leaf by the great seventeenth-century artist Shitao—a small work in ink on paper—in the brilliant colors and brushwork of the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh.
Take a look at this landscape, and then close your eyes and take a deep breath. What do you notice in your body? What part of this painting can you still see in your mind? Does this image remind you of another place you’ve been? As you write, hold the energy and vivid beauty of this painting and this place in mind.
We have two prompts to help you get started. Set a timer for 12 minutes, try to keep your pen or pencil moving, and see what comes.
A bend in the river… / The mountains rose…
Zhang Hongtu, After Shitao’s Landscape Album: Shitao–Van Gogh, from the series Ongoing Shan Shui, 2002, oil on canvas, Gift of Judith B. Anderson, © Zhang Hongtu, 2017.31.1
Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past posts and look for continuing posts on alternate Sundays. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM