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Meet Again in Spring

Peng Wei

Asian Art

The Beijing-based artist Peng Wei alters conventions of Chinese ink painting to create works of art that are poignant and erotic. The text at the top of this painting is an 1879 letter (translated into Chinese) from the Russian composer Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky to his confidante, Nadezhda von Meck. The letter speaks of hope and despair in uncertain times, and its contents encourage the viewer to look again at the scroll’s image for signs of romance and turmoil.

Although this painting initially looks like a traditional hanging scroll with silk brocade at each end, it is made entirely of handmade paper that the artist painted in places to look like fabric. With its uneven, watery lines and ragged edges, the scroll offers a sense of fragility and personal touch that is typical of Peng Wei’s work.
MEDIUM Ink and colors on jute paper; Jade pin (to fasten scroll after it is rolled up)
  • Place Made: Beijing, China
  • DATES 2013
    DIMENSIONS 64 1/2 × 15 3/4 × 1 5/8 in. (163.8 × 40 × 4.1 cm) image: 21 1/4 × 13 1/8 in. (54 × 33.3 cm) mount: 64 × 13 1/8 in. (162.6 × 33.3 cm) box: 4 x 12 1/4 x 3 7/8 in. (10.2 x 31.1 x 9.8 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS 柴可夫斯基致冯 . 梅克夫人 1879年10月10日葛兰契诺 看到你的笔迹,知道我们又在互通音信,内心有说不出的喜悦。朱根生忘记告诉我由我们的交响乐改编的钢琴曲终于出版了这件事,因此,你是第一个写信告诉我这消息的。你对这支钢琴改编曲感到满意,我听了简直高兴得不得了。说实话,改编得的确还可以,也还精制。 至于交响曲本身,我事先就知道你会喜欢的;怎么可能不喜欢呢?我写曲的时候,心里无时无刻不想着你。那时我和你远不如现在亲密,但我已经模模糊糊意识到:世界上再也没有人对我灵魂深处那些极为深邃,隐秘的探索反应比你更敏锐了。从来没有一部音乐作品的献词比我的更真诚了。他不仅表达了我的心意,也表达了你的;实际上,这部交响曲不是我的,而是我们的。它将永远是我最得意的作品,因为它是我生命中一个时期的纪念碑--当时我正经历着一场深沉,而且在暗暗加重的精神病以及一连串不可忍受的痛苦,隐患和绝望,陡然之间,希望的曙光出现了,幸福的太阳开始在天空照耀--那太阳就是我把交响曲献给她的那个人的化身。 如果命运之神不把你派到我这来,我会变成什么样子呢?想到这一点,我不禁不寒而栗。一切都是你所赐:生命,追求自由机会(那至今未实现的雄心)以及那连做梦都没有碰到过的,接踵而至的好运道。 读来书时,内心怀着无比深切的感激和爱慕之情,除了音乐之外,非任何其它形式所能表达。但愿有朝一日我能用此形式表达出来! 亲爱的朋友,请多多保重。我祝愿你身体健康之心,比我祝愿自己身体健康之心更切。你信中说,我们的交响曲使你连夜不能入眠,我听了不由心痛如绞。从今而后,但愿我的音乐成为你快乐和安慰的源泉;全心全意地祝你精神愉快和平安。 Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky To Mme Von Meck Grankino Oct. 10, 1879 It is impossible to say how glad I was to see your handwriting and to know we were again in communication. Jurgenson forgot to tell me that the piano arrangement of our symphony had at last been published, so your letter was the first news I had of it. I am tremendously elated that you are satisfied with the arrangement, which in truth is well and skillfully done. As for the music itself, I knew beforehand that you would like it; how could it have been otherwise? I wrote it with you constantly in mind. At that time, I was not nearly so intimate with you as now, but already I sensed vaguely that no one in the world could respond more keenly to the deepest and most secret gropings of my soul. No musical dedication has ever been more seriously meant. It was spoken not only on my part but on yours; the symphony was not, in truth, mine but ours. Forever it will remain my favorite work, as the monument of a time when upon a deep, insidiously growing mental disease, upon a whole series of unbearable sufferings, grief and despair, suddenly, hope dawned and the sun of happiness began to shine—and that sun was embodied in the person to whom the symphony was dedicated. I tremble to think what might have happened if fate had not sent you to me. I owe you everything: life, the chance to pursue freedom—that hitherto unattainable ambition, and such abundance of good fortune as had never occurred to me even in dreams.I read your letter with gratitude and love too strong for expression in any medium but music. May I be able some time to express it thus! Dear friend, may you keep well. I wish it for you more than for myself. Reading how our symphony caused you sleepless nights, I felt my heart constricted. I want my music henceforth to be a source of joy and consolation, and with all my strength I desire for you a spirit well and calm. Yours, P. Tchaikovsky
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Chen Xiaobing
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Peng Wei (Chinese, born 1974). Meet Again in Spring, 2013. Ink and colors on jute paper; Jade pin (to fasten scroll after it is rolled up), 64 1/2 × 15 3/4 × 1 5/8 in. (163.8 × 40 × 4.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Chen Xiaobing, 2014.63. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2014.63_overall_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 2014.63_overall_PS11.jpg., 2018
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    Peng Wei (Chinese, born 1974). <em>Meet Again in Spring</em>, 2013. Ink and colors on jute paper; Jade pin (to fasten scroll after it is rolled up), 64 1/2 × 15 3/4 × 1 5/8 in. (163.8 × 40 × 4.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Chen Xiaobing, 2014.63. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2014.63_overall_PS11.jpg)