100 Layers of Ink
On View: Asian Galleries, Southwest, 2nd floor
In the decade between 1989 and 1999, Yang Jiechang created this painting as part of his seminal series, 100 Layers of Ink. He applied black Chinese ink repeatedly to the same piece of traditional xuan paper, until the paper became saturated and more three-dimensional, and then mounted it on canvas. By combining processes of traditional Chinese and European painting and mounting, Yang’s work benefits from the absorbency of xuan paper and the stability provided by the canvas. Alum, a salt employed by Song (960–1279) and Yuan (1279–1368) dynasty painters, was used to modulate the absorbency of the paper and facilitate the layering of the ink. Together these materials create a shiny, black, textured surface that becomes particularly glossy and luminous when layered more than thirty times. This technique of multiple layers of ink is also connected to Yang’s study of Zen Buddhism and Daoism; the process becomes a kind of meditation. He first developed this process when he was one of three Chinese artists chosen to participate in the milestone exhibition Magiciens de la Terre, held at the Centre Pompidou, in Paris, in 1989.
Ink and acrylic on paper laid down on canvas
37 1/8 × 26 5/16 × 3/4 in. (94.3 × 66.8 × 1.9 cm)
framed: 39 x 27 15/16 in. (99 x 71 cm) (show scale)
Gift of David Solo
© Jiechang Yang
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Yang Jiechang (Chinese, born 1956). 100 Layers of Ink, 1994. Ink and acrylic on paper laid down on canvas, 37 1/8 × 26 5/16 × 3/4 in. (94.3 × 66.8 × 1.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of David Solo, 2014.35.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2014.35.2_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2014.35.2_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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