Zhangjiajie (張家界), a city in the northwest of China’s Hunan (湖南) province, is home to the famous Wulingyuan (武陵源) Scenic Area. This expansive protected zone encompasses thousands of jagged quartzite sandstone columns, many of which rise over 200m, as well as caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites. Wulingyuan also encompasses forests, rivers, waterfalls and two large natural land bridges, and shelters endangered plant and animal species.

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A Draft for a Major Work (34 x 68 cm)

Pillars of Forty-eight Generals (四十八將者巖) (1989), 34 x 68 cm, ink and watercolour on paper

The inscription reads as follows.

張家界四十八將軍巖 己巳初秋於香江培風画苑繪製應香港中國美術會年展四尺乘八尺巨幅之初稿以為燿漢仁弟雅賞 松盦並識

Pillars of Forty-eight Generals (四十八將軍巖) dated Autumn, 1989, a draft for a major work (129 x 248 cm) in the Annual Exhibition Hong Kong Chung Kok Chinese Art Club.  Mr Ip generously gave this draft painting to me.

Despite it was a draft, it is a piece of meticulous work containing all the details of various textural strokes or shadings:  Bent Ribbon Ts’un (折帶皴), Cloud Head Ts’un (雲頭皴), Ox-hair Ts’un (牛毛皴), etc.

The leaves of the trees are painted red, orange and yellow depicting an Autumn scene.

The Major Work (129 x 248 cm)

Spring in Wuling (武陵春色) (1989), 129 x 248 cm, ink and watercolour on paper

The plum blossoms depicts a Spring view. The Zhangjiajie Mountains are called by locals ‘The Floating Mountains” (浮山)  because when it gets foggy, they look like they were floating in the air.  The Zhangjiajie Park is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site.  Mr Ip was able to capture the beauty of the scenery with his amazing painting skills.

The draft and the major work depict scenes of different seasons. In the major work, the pink and white peach blossoms bring joy and vitality in Spring, the mountains are greener with more fog at the base.  In the draft, red, orange and yellow leaves give the colours of Autumn, the mountains are brown and less green in colour.

In addition to these two paintings, Mr Ip painted 12 scenes of Zhangjiajie in 1989 (己巳), with three paintings for each of the four seasons. Each season has its own particular colours. The dimensions of each painting is 44.5 x 30 cm, ink and watercolour on paper.  More information can be found at the link below.