Creator: Mansheng Wang
Title: Rock and Bamboo
Work Type: Ink and walnut ink on paper
Size: Unknown (approx. 6’ x 2 1/2’)
Repository: Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room, Charles E. Shain Library, Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut
Mansheng Wang’s piece Rock and Bamboo depicts a young bamboo plant nestled slightly behind a pair of weathered-looking rocks. The neutral colors of the piece (with only ink and a yellowed paper used as a medium) help to accentuate the level of detail in the brushstrokes. Wang’s brushwork brings to the viewer’s attention the contrast between the bamboo and rocks. On one hand, the bamboo is painted with a gentle, line-less style, the soft grays of the leaves almost appearing to fade into the background. This soft appearance is shared by the grass, the other example of plant-life depicted the painting. The jagged, blotchy style that the rocks are painted in serve as a sharp contrast to the bamboo; their black outlines only serve to increase this contrast, making the rocks pop out to the viewer’s eye. The two styles that Wang used in the making of Rock and Bamboo emphasize a level of depth in the scene.
This depth has been carried into the display of the piece in the Charles Chu Reading Room at Connecticut College. While the bamboo in Rock and Bamboo has been placed behind the rocks, slightly to the left, a small pot with bamboo has been placed to the right of the rocks, bringing the piece into the third dimension. In addition, when one stands in front of the piece, they are able to see a third, larger pot of bamboo sat in the left-hand corner of the room; this too adds another dimension to the display, creating a sense of immersion in the piece.