Artwork Panel: 32.4cm x 92.6cm ≈ 12¾" x 36½"
Silk/Brocade: 41.7cm x 147.5cm ≈ 16½" x 58"
Width at Wooden Knobs: 50.7cm ≈ 20"
Close up view of the artwork mounted to this silk brocade wall scroll
An homage to Musashi's famous artwork
This artwork is a hand-painted homage to Musashi's artwork titled 枯木鳴鵙図 which is known as "Shrike Perched in a Dead Tree", but more accurately means, "Dead Tree, Singing Shrike - Picture".
Besides his legacy as a warrior and tactician, Musashi was an extraordinary sumi-e artist. The man who painted this may not be a warrior, but is an accomplished artist and has been a personal friend of mine for the past 17 years.
平時多流汗戰時少流血 The paper used is handmade as well. You may see some fibers, husks, and other artifacts embedded in the paper. This is a testament to the handmade nature of the paper.
This work was done in Chengdu by Huang Xin'an (Pronounced a little bit like "who-ong shin un") from the Sichuan (Szechwan) Province of China.
After I bought this work in Chengdu, I later returned to Beijing and had it mounted as a traditional hand-made silk scroll in our workshop. This makes a nice, ready-to-hang piece of wonderful hand-painted art.
Huang Xin'an signing some of his work in Chengdu.
I lost track of Huang Xin'an after my last trip to Chengdu. His phone number was out of order, and I was disappointed that I could not contact him to get more of his paintings.
I make the decision to go to Chengdu on my new art-buying trip mostly because of him.
After 15 hours on a slow train, I arrive in Chengdu. I check-in at Sam's Guesthouse (a hangout for backpackers from around the world, and a hostel with reasonably-priced beds). After a much-needed shower, I head out to find Huang Xin'an.
Taxis drive at the speed-of-light in Chengdu (the city boasts over 1000 fatal auto accidents per year), I arrive in no-time at the place I last found Mr. Huang. Sure enough, as I walk down the alley toward his gallery, he sees me and runs out to greet me. I'm really happy to see him, and the feeling is mutual.
I tell him how I came to Chengdu just to buy art from him (after not being able to reach him on the phone). He is so honored that I think he wants to hug me. He offers me a chair, and says he's painted a lot of work over that last 9 months with both me and my customers in mind. I was also honored by this gesture. He shows me a lot of new work in styles that I like.
I spend 2 days with Mr. Huang and we talk about a lot of new ideas and artwork that I think my western customers will like. He offers to close his gallery for a few days, and paint the art that I asked for. So I took a few days to meet and visit other artists in Chengdu. When I return to Mr. Huang's gallery, I am not disappointed. He did such a great job, words can't describe.