Meet Again in Spring
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.
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)
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)
柴可夫斯基致冯 . 梅克夫人
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.
Gift of Chen Xiaobing
This item is not on view
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)
overall, 2014.63_overall_PS11.jpg., 2018
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© Wei Peng
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