In Cloud Atlas
, Bingyi’s lyrical and elegant meditation in ink explores the creation and metamorphosis of the cosmos. The viewer is transported on a volatile journey, propelled by wind gusts and solar cycles through transient wisps of clouds, nuanced and minutely detailed in different layers of ink. Climate changes transform the calm sky into dark and menacing nimbus clouds that threaten destruction, with tornados and thunderstorms created painstakingly with dark brush strokes. The unique mounting of the hand scroll expands the artist’s dialogue with historical traditions. As she says:
I invented the method of “naked mounting” to deliver a sense of freshness and magic. The mounting methods, including the application of the bamboo sticks, are modern adaptations of the mounting of a rare Tang-dynasty (9th–10th century) Buddhist sutra. The silk used for mounting is an authentic lining of an unknown woman’s dress. The patterns on the silk resonate with the theme of clouds yet add additional layers of intimacy and secrecy. The biezi buckle, a miniature sculpture with cloud forms, carries the spirit and form of the forever-evolving landscapes.
What Bingyi describes as a biezi
buckle refers to the ceramic clasp, in the shape of a cloud, that she designed to secure the cord that wraps around the closed scroll. At the end of the scroll, there is a large section that she left empty to symbolize the yet-unwritten colophons of generations to come. As the painting demonstrates her artistic dialogues with past and present, the blank space waits for the conversations she imagines will occur between future viewers and her painting.
Ink on paper treated with resistance
Gift of Mrs. Robert G. Olmstead and Constable McCracken, by exchange
This item is not on view
Bingyi (Chinese, born 1975). Cloud Atlas, 2014. Ink on paper treated with resistance, 13 3/8 x 236 1/4 in. (34 x 600 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Robert G. Olmstead and Constable McCracken, by exchange, 2015.69. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2015.69_section_A_view01_PS11.jpg)
overall, 2015.69_section_A_view01_PS11.jpg., 2018
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