Art/ Collection/ Art Object

近代 雜體書水流花落 對聯
Couplet on Water and Flowers

Calligrapher:
Feng Kanghou (Chinese, 1901–1983)
Period:
Republic period
Date:
dated 1972
Culture:
China
Medium:
Pair of hanging scrolls; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image (each): 52 7/16 x 8 11/16 in. (133.2 x 22.1 cm) Overall with knobs: 67 5/16 x 10 3/16 in. (171 x 25.9 cm)
Classification:
Calligraphy
Credit Line:
The Lin Yutang Family Collection, Gift of Richard M. Lai, Jill Lai Miller, and Larry C. Lai, in memory of Taiyi Lin Lai, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.509.26a, b
Not on view
In this work, Feng Kanghou transcribes a couplet from Hong Yingming's (fl. 1596) Thoughts on Vegetable Roots together with Hong's short commentary on the ideas expressed in his verse:

However rapidly water flows, it is always tranquil in itself.
Though their petals fall from time to time, flowers remain restful at heart.
If we could deal with daily affairs and people with this attitude, there would be no inner disturbances.
How carefree our bodies and minds would be!

(trans. by Shi-yee Liu)

Water and flowers remain serene though they are constantly busy flowing or shedding. They embody an attitude that transcends the bustle of daily activities by fulfilling their respective roles in life without psychological resistance. Hong clearly saw in this imagery
a key to maintaining peace of mind while living in a clamorous society.

Feng here freely mixes a surprising combination of the standard, clerical, and seal script characteristics. This unusual mix of script types demands a patient perusal of each character, thereby slowing down the reading of the text so that the viewer may fully savor
the wisdom embedded in its mundane imagery and unadorned language.
Signature: Artist's inscription and signature:

Artist's seals:
Kanghou
Dashu Jiangjun zhi hou

Artist's seals
康侯 Kanghou
大樹將軍之後 Dashu Jiangjun zhi hou

Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (5 columns in mixed scripts)[1]

If we could deal with daily affairs and people with this attitude, there would be no inner disturbances. How carefree our bodies and minds would be!

However rapidly water flows, it is always tranquil in itself.
Though their petals fall from time to time, flowers remain restful at heart.

Written at the request of Mr. Li Ming [Richard Lai] for his correction.
In the summer, the fifth month of the renzi year [1972], having newly recovered from an eye illness, I wrote this, which was not too bad. Kanghou

吾人能持此意以應事接物,煩惱盡除,身心何等自在。

水流任急境常靜,
花落雖頻意自閒。

黎明先生大雅屬, 即希正之。
壬子夏五月目疾新愈,書寫尚不大惡。康侯


Artist’s seals

Kanghou 康侯
Dashu Jiangjun zhi hou 大樹將軍之後

[1] Documentation from Shi-yee Liu, Straddling East and West: Lin Yutang, A Modern Literatus: The Lin Yutang Family Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007, no. 34, p. 103.
Related Objects

Poem Written in the Style of the Haotaiwang Stele

Artist: Feng Kanghou (Chinese, 1901–1983) Date: dated 1972 Medium: Hanging scroll; ink on paper Accession: 2005.509.27 On view in:Not on view

Couplet in the Style of the Haotaiwang Stele

Artist: Feng Kanghou (Chinese, 1901–1983) Date: dated 1974 Medium: Pair of hanging scrolls; ink on paper Accession: 2005.509.28a, b On view in:Not on view

Poem Written in Seal Script

Artist: Feng Kanghou (Chinese, 1901–1983) Date: dated 1975 Medium: Album leaf; ink on paper Accession: 2005.509.29 On view in:Not on view