Huajian Ci (Huajian Lyrics) and Jiangnan (South of the Yangtse)
Jiangnan, with the literal meaning “south of the river”, refers to the south of Yangtse River in human geography concept. Its literary image varies in different historical periods. First appeared in the pre-Qin period (21 B.C.-221 B.C.) and Han Dynasty(202 B.C.-220 A.D.), it refers to the middle reaches of the Yangtse River in the southern part of Hunan and Hubei, and part of Jiangxi Province, which originally is Chu’s( a kingdom of ancient China) territory. Therefore, “Chu culture” is regarded as the representative of Jiangnan. In Records of the Grand Historian in the book of Twenty-Four Histories, “Shun (an ancient Chinese emperor)… at the age of 61, replaced Yao (another emperor) and got enthroned. After 39 years, the deified emperor Shun died on his southern inspection and hunting tour in the wild of Cangwu, and was buried in Jiuyi of Jiangnan, which is called Lingling afterwards”. This is the origin of “Yue (a kingdom of ancient China) culture” representing Jiangnan. When it came to Qin-Han Period(221 B.C.-220 A.D.), the meaning of Jiangnan became distinct, which refers to the southern part of the middle reaches of the Yangtse River, i.e. Hunan and the south part of Hubei Province and part of Jiangxi Province. Until Sui Dynasty, the word “Jiangnan” had been using as an equivalence of Yangzhou in Yugong Geography. And this is typical of “Wu (a kingdom of ancient China) culture” when we refer to Jiangnan.
Although Jiangnan is a geographic term, it has many meanings other than “territory”, like “culture”, “custom” and “temperament”.
Huajian Ci is created by Ci writers in late Tang Dynasty(618 A.D.-907 A.D.) in Shu (now Sichuan Province). At that time, many writers and poets, infatuated with temporal freedom and romance, were obliged to find shelter against anarchy in Shu. Adopting the form of long and short sentence, Huajian Ci is elegant, bold in style and rich in imagination. It inspires one to think about the hidden meanings of the art. There are many symbols implying Jiangnan such as “kapok”, “Yue bird”, “bronze drum” and “song of southern nationalities”, expressing the writers’ of Ci longing to return Jiangnan. By using flowery words, abundant images and beautiful sounds and colors, Huajian Ci can arouse the readers’ synaesthesia of sight, sound and even taste.
The work “Huajian Ci-Illusion” tries to use visual images to manifest the rhyme of C i representing the characteristics of Jiangnan.
Photo: Printed on Epson Art Paper, White Border 48x68cm - Limited Edition 3. All limited edition artwork is signed and numbered by the artist, including authenticity certificate.
epson fine art paper