Journal / Liu Kuo-sung

Icy Tree with Silver Branches

Catalog Entry
What Liu Kuo-sung’s Icy Tree with Silver Branches Conveys Is Perseverance
Set against an icy outcrop, clusters of snow-clad branches dominate the painting. Despite the weight of winter snow, the branches remain upright and shoot toward the sky, patiently waiting for the arrival of spring.
Liu Kuo-sung, Icy Tree with Silver Branches, 2009 © The Liu Kuo-sung Archives

Mountain Light Blown Into Wrinkles

Catalog Entry
The Scripture of a Missionary of Modern Ink Painting II
Starting in 1977, Liu Kuo-sung spent nearly a decade exploring and perfecting his technique of “Water-rubbing.” This dedication illustrates Liu’s “revolution against the brush,” and the notion that great painting can be created with or without the brush. Mountain Light blown into Wrinkles is a representative work from this inspiring period of experimentation and creativity.
Liu Kuo-sung, Mountain Light blown into Wrinkles, 1985 © The Liu Kuo-sung Archives

Spring of Old Banyan

Catalog Entry
The Scripture of a Missionary of Modern Ink Painting II
This painting is a representative work of Liu Kuo-sung’s “Ink-staining” technique. Liu began experimenting with technique in the 1980s; utilizing the seeping quality of ink, he rid the image of preconceived brushstrokes, in search of a more natural and spontaneous effect.
Liu Kuo-sung, Spring of Old Banyan, 1993 © The Liu Kuo-sung Archives

Floating Mountain Peak

Catalog Entry
The Scripture of a Missionary of Modern Ink Painting II
Floating Mountain Peak is a major work of Liu Kuo-sung’s “Water-rubbing” technique. “Water-rubbing” is an important component to Liu’s “revolution against the brush,” and a total rejection of the dominance of refined brushwork in traditional Chinese painting.
Liu Kuo-sung, Floating Mountain Peak, 1976 © The Liu Kuo-sung Archives

Mid-Autumn Festival

Catalog Entry
The Scripture of a Missionary of Modern Ink Painting II
Of Liu Kuo-sung’s abstract paintings, those with Chinese holidays as the subject matter express a very traditional sentiment. Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the Chinese people’s poetic fascination with the moon, extending a literary tradition thousands of years old.
Liu Kuo-sung, Mid-Autumn Festival, 1969 © The Liu Kuo-sung Archives

Purple Sun

Catalog Entry
The Scripture of a Missionary of Modern Ink Painting II
Liu Kuo-sung once said “although my composition is essentially a circle and an arc, the colors, technique, and texture are greatly different.” Purple Sun is a prime example of a painting from the Space Series, composed of an upper circle and lower arc, in which the colors, technique, and texture are remarkable and visually stunning.
Liu Kuo-sung, Purple Sun, 1970 © The Liu Kuo-sung Archives

The High Tide of Qiantang River

Catalog Entry
The Scripture of a Missionary of Modern Ink Painting II
This is an early representational work of Liu Kuo-sung’s “Water-rubbing” technique. “Water-rubbing” involves dripping drops of ink onto a water’s surface, then as the ink slowly spreads within the water, rice paper is placed onto the water to absorb the ink as it appears on the surface.
Liu Kuo-sung, The High Tide of Qiantang River, 1974 © The Liu Kuo-sung Archives