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28) Hsia Kuei. Pure and Remote Views of Hills and Streams. Detail of handscroll. Ink on paper. Southern Sung. The values of the Academy painters apparent in their smaller works on fans -brevity, suggestion, virtuosity in execution -- also pervade larger scale compositions such as this handscroll. This work -- one of the most important in the history of Chinese painting -- shows a mingling of Academy and literati art. Like literati works, this scroll is done solely in ink on paper (no color, not on silk). Paper on ink is a much more difficult medium than pigment on silk because the paper absorbs the ink quickly, and the artist must work rapidly, almost instinctively and without belabored forethought. There is a definite connection between this artistic process and the religious process of spiritual enlightenment practiced by Ch'an (Zen) Buddhist masters (see No. 30 below). Both emphasize intuition, suggestion, and quick insight. Particularly valued in this handscroll are the counterpoint between Hsia Kuei's use of the wet and dry brush. His amazing control of ink values is apparent in his ability to convey any tactile impression (from hard rock to tree leaves to clouds) using only brush, ink, and paper. Although Hsia Kuei was an Academy artist, such technical virtuousity was prized by later literati painters as well.

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