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Fung Mingchip (Chinese, born 1951)
Pair of hanging scrolls; ink on paper
Image (each): 26 5/8 × 27 1/2 in. (67.6 × 69.8 cm)
Gift of Susan L. Beningson and Steve Arons, in memory of Renée Beningson, 2011
Not on view
A self-taught calligrapher and seal-carver, Fung made this pair of hanging scrolls as a meditation on the content of the widely known Buddhist text the Heart Sutra. In both scrolls, Fung has transcribed the same text, but in each case he has taken advantage of the special qualities of paper and ink to intensify the scripture’s message, that form and emptiness are one and the same. On one scroll Fung wrote the text in pale ink. On the other, he first wrote the text in water. This text only became visible when he applied a layer of dark ink over it, resulting in ghostlike traces where the water-saturated paper only partially absorbed the ink.