Ink and color wash on Xuan paper, mounted on scroll with gray silk
Dimensions: Image: 43 × 36 inches (109.2 × 91.4 cm)
Acquired through the George and Mary Rockwell Fund
Drawing on her training in both Chinese ink and Western oil painting, Hung Hsien combines the emotional expression, energetic brush strokes, abstraction, and bright colors of American Abstract Expressionism with the core characteristics of traditional Chinese landscape painting of the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279): axe-cut (choppy, rapidly worked) strokes of the brush, use of mistlike atmospheric effects, one-corner composition where the structure of a visual composition draws the eyes to a single corner of the canvas, and void—or, synonymously, negative or empty—space. As a result, Ocean Rocks is composed of swirling colors and ink washes, suggesting the crash of unseen waves over craggy rocks and tide pools rich with vibrant anemones and sea stars glimpsed through the haze of morning mist.
-Rebecca N. Clark ("Shifting Ground," curated by undergraduate members of Cornell's History of Art Majors' Society, with oversight by Leah Sweet and Brittany R. R. Rubin, and presented at the Johnson Museum April 21-August 12, 2018)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.