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30) Liang Kai. The Sixth Patriarch Chopping Bamboo. Hanging scroll; ink on paper. Southern Sung. In this carefully constructed scroll Liang Kai treats a Ch'an-Buddhist theme; the life of the T'ang dynasty monk Hui-neng, the so-called Sixth Patriarch and author of the famous Platform Sutra. In this painting, Chan theme and Chan technique come together. The vigorous brushwork suggests the sharp, quick strokes of the knife: the energy of Liang's brushwork manifests the energy of Hui-neng chopping bamboo. For the Chinese observer, a particular pleasure of such painting is to recognize brush stroke common to both painting and calligraphy. For example, the tree trunk to the left and above Hui-neng is rendered in a calligraphy technique know as "flying white": a dry brush is moved rapidly across the surface of the paper so that white spaces are left between the light ink streaks.

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