“Poetry is painting without form, painting is poetry with form.” Kuo Hsi, Northern Sung Landscape Painter
While today, the world of art and poetry is rediscovering the power of fusion, the arts of Chinese painting and poetry have always been closely related. Both painters and poets break down complex ideas or emotions into their basic elements. They express themselves through symbolism, a pictographic method of communication, so their words, symbols and images merge together, making the art forms almost indistinguishable.
The Song Dynasty of China, established by the Zhao family in 960 and lasting until 1279, is well known for its achievements in terms of combining poetry, painting, and calligraphy, called the three perfections,into a shared art form, or as complimentary activities. One renowned practitioner of this combination of talents was Mi Fu (also known as Mei Fu). Fusion, though, was more of a rule than an exception in the days of the Song Dynasty.
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