Oct 23, 2019
Jan 11, 2006

Public Grain

Public Grain


Yun-Fei Ji 季云飞 Harlan & Weaver

(Chinese, b. 1963)

Color etching and aquatint

Support: Chine collé on wove paper

Sheet: 92.5 x 72.6 cm (36 7/16 x 28 9/16 in.); Platemark: 71 x 62 cm (27 15/16 x 24 7/16 in.)

Gift of Judith and James A. Saks 2005.257

Impression: 22



In traditional paintings by the scholar-painter, the essential private garden often includes fields for growing crops. This archetypal detail signifies the ideal of a rural life of self reliance and finds its root in the poem “Return Home” by Tao Qian (AD 365–427), which depicts withdrawal from officialdom into a free and humble life in the countryside.

Ji Yun-Fei’s contemporary work points to the disappearance of ideals replaced by failed revolutionary ideologies in modern Chinese history. In this painting, the rural setting becomes a stage set for human exploitation of Mother Earth and depletion of natural resources under the Communist propaganda of producing “more, faster, better, and cheaper” during the Great Leap Forward (1958–1961).

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 

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