Go to  Advanced Search

Sailing the boat of tradition : Mi Fu’s revision and innovation in calligraphy

Show full item record

Files in this item

Files Size Format Description   View
ubc_2009_fall_hudson_adah.pdf 126.2Kb Adobe Portable Document Format   View/Open
Title: Sailing the boat of tradition : Mi Fu’s revision and innovation in calligraphy
Author: Hudson, Adah Liana
Degree: Master of Arts - MA
Program: Art History (Critical Curatorial Studies)
Copyright Date: 2009
Issue Date: 2009-08-31
Publisher University of British Columbia
Abstract: The affiliation of text and visual material in the Chinese calligraphic tradition has a rich history informed by ancient models and continual innovation. My thesis explores the Northern Sung dynasty calligrapher Mi Fu’s (1051-1107) appropriation and contention of the legacy of the Jin Dynasty calligraphers Wang Xizhi (307-365) and Wang Xianzhi (344-388), both icons in the history of Chinese calligraphy. Following the Wang’s rise to fame in the fourth century, historical texts delineate the importance of the father, Wang Xizhi, and discredit the son, Wang Xianzhi. Over half a millennia later, Mi Fu boldly negated this claim, asserting that Wang Xianzhi’s father could not compare to his son’s “transcendent and untrammelled” perfection. My research regarding Mi Fu’s study of the Two Wangs brings forward Mi Fu’s disruption of the conventional adherence to the father’s style, demonstrating Mi Fu’s appropriation of the calligraphic model of Wang Xianzhi. As a scholar-official, Mi Fu’s manipulation of the foundations of calligraphy was a daring transformation of calligraphy into a form of individual expression. Resulting from his study of past calligraphic models Mi Fu developed a distinctive approach to calligraphy. This is exemplified by Mi Fu’s pivotal work Letter About a Coral Tree. Informed by Francois Jullien’s theory of detour and access, I discuss Mi Fu’s stylistic development as an oblique approach guided by ingenious detours. Furthermore, I situate Mi Fu’s manipulation of text through Derrida’s theory of writing and difference. In conceptualizing Mi Fu’s work in this way I consider both the ideological and technical innovation of Mi Fu’s calligraphic oeuvre in eleventh century China.
Affiliation: Arts, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/12643
Scholarly Level: Graduate

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record

UBC Library
1961 East Mall
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 604-822-6375
Fax: 604-822-3893