long line of expressive calligraphy, shorter signature line at L; light grey-green mount

Single Line from Zhuangzi, second half 19th century

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Zhuang Zhou, commonly known as Zhuangzi, lived in the fourth century BCE and is considered one of the greatest Chinese philosophers and an important figure in Daoism. In a very expressive and energetic style Doi Gōga wrote the very beginning of his book Zhuangzi, a collection of what is believed to be Zhuang Zhou’s own writings and those of his students and other thinkers in relation to him. The first chapter Xiao yao you (“Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease” or “Free and Easy Wandering”) expresses that we leave behind everything familiar and explore the unfamiliarity of the world when we wander beyond. Leaving behind what we have been taught, we learn to respond spontaneously and immediately. The text continues to describe the transformation of the fish Kun, from the Northern Ocean, into the bird Peng, which wanders to the Southern Sea. Kun stands for dark and passive that ultimately becomes bright and strong, represented through Peng.

北冥有魚 其名為鯤
In the Northern Ocean there is a fish, the name of which is Kun

Details
Title
Single Line from Zhuangzi
Artist Life
1817 - 1881
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2013.29.650
Curator Approved

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long line of expressive calligraphy, shorter signature line at L; light grey-green mount