The distinguished Chinese painter, Dong Qichang (1555-1636), opens a refreshing chapter of literati painting in late Ming dynasty with his bold and insightful theory of the Southern and Northern schools of landscape painting which synthesized traditions and set the course of artistic development for the following generations. Dong’s theory profoundly impacted and nurtured his followers such as the early Qing Four Monks, the Four Wangs, Wu Li and Yun Shouping, Jinling School, Xin’an School, and cultivate literati painting to reach its peak, and beyond to late Qing and Modern China. Since Yuan dynasty, Zhao Mengfu and Dong Qichang are the only two most inﬂuential painters who could bridge the past traditions to the future, and thus are respected as “two Literati Masters in the painting history”.Holding an important collection of Dong Qichang’s works of art, Shanghai museum is proud to present the debut exhibition in Mainland China after decade-long research effort, The Ferryman of Ink World: Dong Qichang’s Calligraphy and Painting Art to commemorate this great Ming artist and a native of Shanghai as well. The exhibition title adopted the terminology of Chinese Buddhism in Wu Weiye’s work in this show, which means every achievement in the world is driven by an enlightenment, the same way as Dong Qichang, who acted like a ferryman in the ink world to assist and inspire a later group of artists such as Zhu Da, Wang Yuanqi to accomplish their goals in the art journey. Dong Qichang’s contribution is tremendous and unrivaled in his time and throughout the following centuries, as commented by his close friend Chen Jiru, “A drop of Lion’s milk, Breeding a glory family”.
The book is a catalogue of the exhibition. It consists of three sections, “Dong Qichang and His Time”,“Dong Qichang’s Achievement and Transcendence” and “Dong Qichang’s Influence and Works Copying after Him”, which provides a comprehensive understanding of the arts of Dong Qichang.