I read Wang Wei’s (王維 699–759) poetry and paintings about Wangchuan Villa to show how his landscape poetry, which was informed by his painting experience and Buddhist practice, has shaped the way negative space and the idea of “emptiness” are presented and understood. I will also study two of Zhao Mengfu’s (趙孟頫, 1254–1322) paintings to help illustrate the different modes of representing clouds and water and to argue that Chinese landscape painters learned from landscape poetry the way to achieve transcendental enlightenment in negative space.
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