Skip Navigation

The Empty City: Fragrant Creek

Yun-Fei Ji

Contemporary Art

The Empty City: Fragrant Creek is from a series that comments on the fate of the cities, towns, and villages along the Yangtze River that were evacuated ahead of the flooding expected from the Three Gorges Dam in China. The main subject here is the river itself, meandering through the entire image. On its banks, caught amid tangled vegetation, are the remains of former human habitation; we are witnessing the brutal results of forced displacement. Eventually, the coming flood will submerge this scene.

Despite the highly contemporary references, the artist has chosen to use traditional Chinese techniques and visual symbolism. He uses layered mulberry paper, applying ink, watercolor, and mineral pigments, and often distresses the paper by overworking it.
MEDIUM Mineral pigments on xuan paper Use for wall label: Watercolor on paper
DATES 2003
DIMENSIONS 37 1/2 x 59 1/4 in. (95.3 x 150.5 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 2005.18
CREDIT LINE Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr., by exchange
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Yun-Fei Ji
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here.

The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.

If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email copyright@brooklynmuseum.org and we will assist if we can.
CAPTION Yun-Fei Ji (born China, 1963). The Empty City: Fragrant Creek, 2003. Mineral pigments on xuan paper Use for wall label: Watercolor on paper , 37 1/2 x 59 1/4 in. (95.3 x 150.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr., by exchange, 2005.18. © Yun-Fei Ji
IMAGE overall, 2005.18.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (82%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.