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Au takes painting out of the clouds

Updated: 05 07 , 2013 19:39

His works have been prized since the 1950s by public and private collectors around the world, including the British Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art in California, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the Musee Cernuschi in Paris. He has also held solo shows at more than 10 art museums of world importance.

Easily recognizable elements of Au's style include broken textural strokes and the dry rubbing effect of a partially dry brush, which are harmonized with the techniques of water and pigment infusion.

Au likes to apply ink tones and color washes directly while sparing the use of outline, thus achieving an emphasis on dimension and distance.

He says, painting is "just one of the pleasures that one seeks from life."

He is also a poet in both Chinese and English, and a calligrapher and connoisseur of Chinese arts.

A piece on show titled "Yuping Peak of Huangshan Mountain" illustrates how Au takes pleasure in his art.

It snowed in 2000 on the mountain where Au had gone on a sketching tour, and he set down the scene on a fan he had with him.

"Snowflakes fell onto the fan and diffused the fresh ink, creating a delicate scent. It was one of the most lovely and memorable moments of my life," he said.

Once a week for the past 30 years Au has driven to Yangming Mountain in Taipei, where his university lies.

"At dusk I drive down the mountain towards the Danshui River at its foot. I have drawn this familiar scene more than 20 times, but it seems to be impossible to capture the spirit of the scene on paper," he said.

(Editor: Li Guixiang.)

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