History of Our World

Celestial Realm | Wang Wusheng

Posted in Art, Photography, Print by R on April 16, 2010

Pines and stones in mist, taken at Heavenly Sea New Path, June 2004, 11 AM

Pine forest below Cool Refreshing Terrace, taken at Lion Peak, December 1984, 3 PM

Peaks and cloud in valley, taken at the Heavenly Sea New Path, June 2004, 5 PM

18 Disciples of Buddha down mountain ridges, taken at Dawn Pavillion, May 1984, 3 PM

Rare rock in mist, taken at Heavenly Sea New Path, June 2004, 1 PM

Natural rock and pines at the foot of Lion Peak, taken at Lion Peak, November 1984, 10 AM

North Sea Guest House, taken at Lion Peak, November 1984, 4 PM (detail)

Now-I-Believe-It Peak, taken at Dawn Pavillion May 1984, 1 PM

Clouds, taken at White Goose Peak, November 1991, 8 AM (detail)

Pine forest in mist, taken at Stone Bamboo Shot Bridge, June 2004, 4 PM

Dogen, one of Japan’s foremost medieval Zen priests, wrote in the Sansui-kyo chapter of the Shobogenzo that “to view sansui is to meet yourself before you were born.” The self before birth is a self beyond time and space. Dogen, wrote that this self is a ‘formless self’ no one has ever seen. This yet unformed self is the essence of sansui. A depiction of something beyond time and space whose appearance is yet unformed. As I stood before Wang’s photographic sansui, I could feel this acutely.

Wang’s stoicism shows itself in the strategic placement of of dark forms, at times centering the frame on forms whose blurring and gradation are overpowered by blackness.
Not mere shadows, the depth of his blacks represent …void and the silence of time.

A dark mass of mountains is not dead space but the very soul of the living mountains. The white sky in his photographs is not an empty sky  but a sky shown after the passing of a raging storm, now bathed in sunlight.

– Seigo Matsuoka (excerpt from Photographic Sansui)

Born in the province of Anhui, Wang Wunsheng (1945-) has been photographing the Yellow Mountains since 1974.


Celestial Realm | The Yellow Mountains of China

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Abbeville Press



Wang Wusheng

Barry Friedman Ltd.

Abbeville Press