National Palace Museum Guides Audience to Calligraphist's Heart Using Animation

Calligraphy is part of the invaluable heritage that Chinese takes pride in. To present the rich heritage in a more accessible way to the general public, the National Palace Museum in Taipei created an animation featuring a prized work Besotted by Flower Vapors by distinguished calligraphist Huang Ting-chien. 

Besotted by Flower Vapors
Huang Ting-chien (1045-1105), Song Dynasty

Huang Ting-chien was a renowned Northern Sung poet and calligraphist. Huang once sent two poems to his friend, Wang Gong, who was residing in Yangzhou. One of the poems was "Besotted by Flower Vapors". Around 1100, Huang Ting-chien re-transcribed the second poem onto this scroll, which is in the National Palace Museum's collection.

Translation: The fragrance of flowers is so intoxicating that it threatens to disrupt my Zen meditation. My heart and spirit are actually well past middle age. Spring comes, and I should have been inspired to compose poems. But why does my motivation run like a boat struggling upstream against the rapid water in Bā Jié Tān?

This scroll was written freehand in firm brushwork. The ink varies from moist to dry, dark to light. Though predominantly in cursive script, it still contains semi-cursive script styles. Each character is discrete, the beginning and ending for each stroke softened and contained. Though a mere 5-line poem, the spacing of brushwork is beautifully cadenced. The color of the ink transitions from dark to light, with just enough variation to make it a superlative piece.

The film employs live film and multimedia to depict the work’s contextual meaning, leading audiences to understand the flower exchange custom practiced by the literati and guiding them into the calligraphist's spirit.

Calligraphy Animation - Besotted by Flower Vapors

Period: 2018/2/8 - 2018/4/2
Venue: Room 102, (Northern Branch) Exhibition Area

Taipei National Palace Museum

Opening hours (exhibition I):
Sundays to Thursdays8:30am - 6:30pm
Fridays to Saturdays8:30am - 9pm
Address: 221 Section 2 of Zhishan Road, Shihlin District, Taipei
GroupNT$320 (groups of 10 or more)
DiscountNT$150 (Students with valid international student ID)
FreeChildren under school age / People with disabilities and one accompanying person
Enquiries: 886-2-6610-3600