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In Session: Artistic Interventions in Print: Twentieth-Century Chinese Art and the Book in a Transnational Context
3: The Book as a Grotto: Peach Blossom Fish
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
3:00pm – 4:30pm EDT
Ian Boyden Studios, United States
1,800 years ago, a fisherman rowed his boat along a river lined with blossoming peach trees and entered into a utopia where people lived in harmony with nature and were oblivious to the political intrigues of the outside world. This mystical journey has been a foundational ideal for numerous literati over the centuries who have entered into their own states of exile. In this talk, Ian Boyden—artist, poet, and translator—will discuss the life and poetry of Chang Ch’ung-ho, in particular the artist book he produced with her titled Peach Blossom Fish. Boyden will look at her work through the lens of exile, both political and self-imposed, and how exile provides a unique means for relating to the world of the mind, the cultivation of the self, the crafting of the relationship of the individual to the state, how we construct our world through language, as well as abstract and concrete notions of what constitutes the “natural.” Opening this book, we become passengers on Ch’ung-ho’s boat as she steers it into the grotto of the imagination.