Bounded by Mountains: Mount Hua

Michael Cherney American

Not on view

This album of twelve images was created from a digital scan of a single frame of 35mm film shot while the artist was visiting Mount Hua, the sacred mountain of the west, in winter 2005. Through the subjective and selective process of cropping, the resulting series of images mimics the sense of shifting perspective often depicted in traditional Chinese landscape paintings. Cherney was inspired by the
early-Ming dynasty painter Wang Lü (ca. 1332–1395), who is most famous for his album of scenic studies of Mount Hua and for having advocated the study of nature over that of earlier painting styles in order to achieve realism. The label strip on Cherney's wood album cover bears a seal with a legend that quotes Wang: "My eye takes Mount Hua as its teacher."

But Cherney reverses Wang's creative process: by enlarging and fragmenting a panoramic vista of the mountain, he transforms objective realism, as captured by the camera lens, into tonal abstraction. Although born and raised in the United States, Michael Cherney has adopted a Chinese name (Qiu Mai) and, in recent years, has been exploring processes that honor traditional Chinese materials, mounting techniques, and subject matter. This work is from his series of printed albums entitled Bounded by Mountains, all produced in a format that combines the technologies of photography, digital printing, and traditional craftsmanship.

Bounded by Mountains: Mount Hua, Michael Cherney (American, born 1969), Photographic album of twelve leaves; inkjet print on mica-flecked paper, China

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