Reminder from last issue:
In his late years, painter Zhang Daqian went back to Taiwan and built the Maya Hermitage. He passed away there in his eighties.
A verse of critique says:
Endowed with special talents,
A spiritual monkey manifested.
Although he left the home-life,
He later returned to lay-life and encountered hardship.
His works of art express a charming quality.
The gourmet practiced his skills.
Constantly charming and witty,
Take a look, everyone!
Endowed with special talents/ he was unusual from birth, in that he resembled a monkey. A spiritual monkey mani-fested/ He was a monkey who cultivated and came to this world. Although he left the home-life/ he was never ordained. He later returned to lay-life and encountered hardship/ He was dragged back to lay-life by his mother. It seemed that he was again unable to extricate himself as he floundered and sank in the sea of suffering. His works of art express a charming quality/ His paintings were so masterfully done that they seemed real. However, the gourmet practiced his skills/ He took delight in eating sumptuous food. He couldn't manage without it.
Constantly charming and witty/ He was a most interesting conversationalist. He would tell you the nicknames of each kind of flower or plant. He knew a lot about plants and trees. He was also skillful in writing poems. Although I am not good at poetry, I composed some lines for him. He praised the first six lines unceasingly, but when he heard the last two lines, he lamented to himself that he had fallen! Take a look, everyone/ All of you can take a look: in this life he had his good points and shortcomings. His good points were that he liked to make many friends and was loyal to the country. He was amiable and agreeable to people from all walks of life. His shortcomings were that he indulged in delicious food and somewhat in lust. With regard to wealth, sex, fame, food and sleep, he claimed not to have much money, and yet he had never been short of money. As soon as he was out of money, it would come to him. Probably he wasn't greedy for money. However, he could not put down sex and fame. Besides fame, food and sex, what about sleep? Whether he had this problem or not, I wouldn't know. Probably, he liked to take a nap after lunch, as artists are wont to do. So take a look at him and learn from his good points, but avoid his shortcomings.
Another verse says:
Prominent officials and eminent personages
delighted in his company.
Faithful and sincere, he loved his country whole-heartedly.
With his brush he portrayed many Buddha images.
His profound skill in calligraphy was unique and treasured.
A carefree and wise philosopher, versed in the ways of the
ancient and the present,
He was agreeable, friendly, and in harmony with his neighbors.
He never finished roaming in the Saha World.
His exceptional style is appreciated by all artists.
Prominent officials and eminent personages delighted in his company/ Some of the most distinguished people, such as Jiang Kaishek and Zhang Qun, were his acquaintances and were on good terms with him. Since Jiang Kaishek was very fond of his paintings, he brought over thirty pieces of his work on the plane when he fled from mainland China to Taiwan. He considered them very precious. Faithful and sincere, he loved his country whole-heartedly/ He was strongly patriotic and wished to make some contribution to his country at that disastrous time, but there wasn't much he could do. With his brush he portrayed many Buddha images/ He was also very good at painting Buddha images. His profound skill in calligraphy was unique and treasured/ His calligraphy was well-known and highly valued.
A carefree and wise philosopher, versed in the ways of the ancient and the present/ He was very generous, carefree, witty, and interesting. He also had the disposition of a cultivator, and the immortal's touch. He was very thin, not fat at all. "Versed in the ways of the ancient and the present" means he had read many ancient and contemporary books. He understood the past and the present just as if he had seen them himself. He was agreeable, friendly, and in harmony with his neighbors/ He was never aloof to people, but was quite gregarious. So the people around him didn't think he had any peculiar traits, and felt he was very easy to get along with. He never finished roaming in the Saha World/ He came to the Saha World this time to play, but he didn't manage to travel everywhere. There are still many places he didn't visit. His exceptional style is appreciated by all artists/ His artistic style was so unique that it won the admiration and praise of all other painters.