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between mountains and waters -issue124

Editor’s Word: Between Mountains and Waters

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In the Analects, also known as the Sayings of Confucius, written more than 2000 years ago, it’s said, “A wise man loves waters while a virtuous man loves mountains.” Within the majestic peaks of the mountains, one can forge unyielding fortitude; amid the sinuous twists and turns of waters one can find resilience and fluidity.


While our contemporary lifestyle, marked by its towering concrete structures and unrelenting stress, often separates us from nature, we can still seek a delightful antidote in the world of artistry. Fashioned by the masterful hands of a talented mind, artistic creations have the magical power to reconnect our souls to the glory of nature.


Even within confined spaces, exceptional scenic art allows us to instantaneously escape the trappings of modernity and rejoice in the majesty of nature. Thus, in this edition, we invite you to join us on an exploratory adventure into the landscape paintings of some of the world’s most brilliant artists.


In a daunting feat of ingenuity, artist Chen Chun-hao has transformed millions of unremarkable finishing nails, manually inserted one by one onto a board, into enlarged replicas of the Taiwan National Palace Museum’s most renowned ancient Chinese landscape paintings. When softly illuminated, each nail reveals an intriguing shadowy veil, evoking the subtle beauty of delicate ink washes and imbuing these landscapes with an enigmatic and three-dimensional movement.


In ancient Chinese aesthetic culture, mountain paintings transcend the ordinary to become gateways into the infinite. Hugh Moss, the celebrated British collector, dealer, and artist of Chinese art, deeply appreciates this concept. To him, the creative process of painting landscapes, as for the ancient Chinese literati, becomes a journey of attaining the Way of transcendence. Each creation represents an idealized realm, providing both the artist and the audience with a precious opportunity to escape their mundane existence and commune with nature.


Standing in front of Wu Kuan Te’s paintings, we become enveloped by a profound sense of motion within the natural world. Each tree, leaf, and blade of grass appears to emerge organically from the canvas. Instead of the conventional brush-on-canvas painting method, Wu uses a singularly original technique, using tree branches to scrape pigments away. As Michelangelo sculpted to unveil the angel trapped within the marble, Wu Kuan Te works to release the dynamic energy of life from his pigment-saturated canvas.


As you delve into the evocative pages of this edition, take a moment to appreciate the pure simplicity of your existence. Delight in the secluded retreat designed by mwworks amid the lush forests and rugged hills off the northern Washington coast. Traverse Yunnan’s pristine waters and azure sky, where artist Lin Fanglu reimagined ancient tie-dye into alluring textile art. Be enchanted by the aesthetic appeal of Conrad’s semi-transparent natural fibres cultivated in the lush farmlands of Southeast Asia.


As William Shakespeare eloquently stated, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

Enjoy this edition!

This story is from Magnifissance Issue 124

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Inspired for a Beautiful Life

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