A disciple's lot: laying stones along a very long road

By Zhao Xu | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-07 10:33
Northern Song Spirit Road from the Bounded By Mountains series, 2005.[Photo provided to China Daily]

And vague could be said of the elegant images, an effect achieved by excessive enlargement.

"The loss of detail is meant to invite interpretation from the viewer," says Cherney, who practices Chinese calligraphy himself.

"In this case it adds resonance: the original writing is the author's lamentation on the death of his crane, while mine is a pictorial epitaph to a divine creature that is losing their habitat."

Cherney's work "is done with the great sophistication that draws on the subtleties of China's most scholarly and esoteric traditions", said Jerome Silbergeld, professor of Chinese art history at Princeton University, where Cherney's works have gone on display.

In 2016 Cherney encountered a book titled The River, the Plain and the State. Written by Ling Zhang, history professor at Boston College, the book chronicles the flooding of the Yellow River, China's second-longest and one closely linked to the birth of Chinese civilization, during the country's Northern Song Dynasty between 1048 and 1128.

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