colour of

Official Chang I was a great talker and enjoyed argument; he was capable of declaring black white and white black. Itinerant and braggart, he had a mouth that encompassed oceans and seas, and his tongue wagged as he boasted of seeing the curved roofs of mythical cities. This might be called the “colour” of windbags.

Finally, it should concern those who seek “colour” in writing and speaking that words and sentences have not only form but also sound.

Ah! Considering the vastness of the heavens and the earth, looking around at people and things, reading polished essays, listening to brave utterances, all these go together and make a whole and colourful world. How can colour be said to apply only to painting? Evan those who live good and pure lives are part of this world; they are like the landscapes in light ink by Ni Yun-lin at which the ignorant laugh and poke fun. Today so many people live in limited and colourless worlds. How may they be offered a fuller life and contentment? Pictures are one means, so let us speak of painting.

The mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting (excerpt), Trans. Mai–mai Sze


a4 2017


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