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By VIRGINIA SMITH
Marco Polo described Hangchou, the
capital city of the Southern Sung
kingdom in China, as "... the greatest
city which may be found in the world,
where so many pleasures may be found
that one fancies himself to be in
Paradise. The current exhibition at the
Ackland Art Museum, Southern Sung
Painting and Its Legacy is the first show
in the United States devoted solely to
revealing the pleasures of the Southern
Sung paradise as they are depicted in
this extraordinary collection of painted
hanging scrolls and album leaves.
The reign of the Southern Sung
dynasty began in 1 127 and lasted 152
years. Hangchou, on the banks of the
misty Western Lake, was surrounded
by a lush, hilly landscape that, along
with religious allegory, was the main
theme for painting of the period.
"Full Sail on the Mysty River" is an
album leaf painting by Hsia Sheng, who
was one of the most influential painters
of the Southern Sung period. Done in
ink on silk, this painting depicts nature
with incredible delicacy. The only color
here is the green of the mountaintop
trees. The cream-grey tones of the river
and mountains indicate the neutralizing
effect that fog has on nature's colors,
while the sharp detail of the figures in
the sailboat makes their journey imme
diate to the observer.
While album leaves were frequently
used by Southern Sung artists, the
Ch'an Buddhist priest painters also
used the traditional Chinese form of
painted hanging scrolls to depict their
philosophy. They felt that enlighten
ment came in a fleeting burst of insight
after long and intense meditation.
"Swallows and Lotus" by Mu Ch'i
is a direct allegory for the Ch'an
Buddhist philosophy. This scroll depicts
a split second in the flight of a swallow
over a bed of lotus blossoms. The
instantaneous quality of the painting is
like the flash of spiritual insight that
the Buddhists pursued.
Bodhidharma, the first Patriarch of
the Chinese Ch'an Sect of Buddhism,
is a favorite subject for the scroll
paintings. According to legend, Bodhid
harma, after a fruitless interview with
the ruler Wu-ti, crossed the Yangtze
River in a reed and went into Northern
China to meditate for nine years.
Bodhidharma Crossing the Yangtze
on a Reed" illustrates the spiritual
leader's journey. His nine years of
meditation are the subject of "Bodhid
harma Meditating Facing a Cliff,"
which is composed in the style of
Southern Sung painter Ma Yuan.
Ma Yuan's "Bamboo and Ducks by
a Rushing Stream" is one .of the most"
delightful works on ' display. Although
it does hot" feature any overt religious
imagery, this scroll depicts nature with
such reverence that the scene of a
turbulent stream running through a
bamboo grove seems like part of a
mythological kingdom where nature is
the source of all wisdom.
The concentration of action in the
lower right corner of the scroll was
characteristic of Ma. His style greatly
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Secret of Lost Legend
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"Bamboo and Ducks by a Rushing
influenced Chinese and Japanese paint
ing for the next several hundred years.
The Japanese painters were influ
enced not only by Southern Sung style
but also by Zen Buddhism. Like the
Chinese, they liked to use deities as
painting subjects. Druing the Muroma
chi period, the royal families commis
sioned their priests to paint Zen themes
in the Chinese monochrome ink style.
"Daruma on a Reed," a hanging
scroll, depicts the Japanese version of
the Bodhidharma. legend. "Hoyo
Hotetsu: Priest Sewing Under the
Morning Sun" portrays the Zen qual
ities of humility and self-sufficiency
through the posture, occupation and
facial features of a priest.
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Photo courtesy of the Ackland Art Museum
Stream" will exhibited through April 28
The influence of the Southern Sung
Ma-Hsia school on Japanese painting
is most evident in the work of Tai-Chin.
His "Hermit Hsu-Yu Resting by a
Stream" features the corner compostion
of Ma, although he improves on that
style by treating his subject with more
drama and vigor than the Southern
Sung painters used. Tai painted during
the Ming dynasty, which showed that
the Southern Sung art was still a viable
force in the greatest creative period of
The Ackland exhibition, which
includes 31 works and runs through
April 28, traces the development of
Southern Sung painting and its influ
ences on Japanese and Chinese painting,
from the 12th-century through 1573. It
offers fascinating insight into the
Southern Sung-influencd painters'
attitudes toward nature and religion.
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By DEANNA RUDDOCK
Special to the DTH
A realistic portrayal of black women dealing with the
problems of society is the theme that holds together the
brief monologues and narratives that compose For
Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the
Rainbow Is Enuf. The UNC Lab Theatre production of
this Ntozake Shange"choreopoem" will be performed this
The play uses vivid accounts of important events in
each of its characters' lives to re-create their world for
the viewer. Although the situations the characters must
deal with are somewhat depressing, Shange doesn't depict
a world only of deprivation. Her characters share the
good times as well as the bad.
"Through all the pain there exists an underlying strength
in all women," said director Sibby Anderson, a sophomore
from Winterville. "All of the women are very strong
characters characters that are basically very developed."
In Colored Girls, each woman shares parts of her past
with the audience. The monologues address, for instance,
the fun of high school graduation night, the fear of being
pregnant and facing an abortion alone, and the terror
of watching a father throw his children out a window.
Anderson said that despite many grim episodes, the
play was ultimately a celebration of being black and being
a woman. Shange 's characters, who are named after the
colors of the rainbow, symbolize the situations black
women encounter and the struggles they endure.
While Shanee's focus is black women Anderson said
Jazz group 's
By MARTHA BOURNE
Perhaps the hottest, definitely the
youngest group on the jazz circuit,
Pieces of a Dream will perform at UNC
this weekend under the sponsorship of
the Fine Arts Festival and the Carolina
Union. Having mastered styles ranging
from straight-ahead jazz to contempor
ary funk, the trio is currently directing
its energies toward the popular music
"We're now doing some cross-over
material pop, R&B, and jazz carts,"
said drummer Curtis Harmon. "We're
now trying a little bit more in regards
to our versatility."
Native Philadelphians, the group has
been playing together since junior high
school. "We got together for a talent
show and placed third," Harmon said.
Harmon's father, Danny, a jazz musi
cian himself, then got the guys started.
The Danny Harmon Quartet was then
playing club dates and hotel circuits.
During intermissions, Curtis Harmon
and friends Cedric Napoleon, a bass
player, and James Lloyd, a keyboardist,
all of whom were not quite 14-years old,
would play a set.
Soon after gaining quality perform
ing experience under the wing of Danny
Harmon, the young group established
its own credibility and began landing
a variety of performances and jobs.
They were hired as house musicians for
the KYW-TV Philadelphia lights series,
a nightly editorial-type production, and
there they met Grover Washington Jrf,
who was appearing as a guest on the
Impressed with the boys' youthful
story is a Dream coune true
exuberance, Washington produced
three albums for them: their, debut,
1981's Pieces of a Dream, We Are One,
and Imagine This. The group is cur
rently cutting their fourth LP, which
will be released soon.
A diverse pool of artists has influ
enced the young group's sound. "The
major influential force in my sound is
Oscar Peterson,". Lloyd said. He said
in addition to the legendary jazz pianist
Peterson, current artists Herbie Han
cock, studio drummer Steve Gadd and
jazz pianist Chick Corea have contrib
uted to the later develorwtc p;,re's
The jazz group Pieces of a Dream
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Daily Tar HeelFriday. March 22. 19855
the play inspires all people. She said the end of the play
made viewers feel as if they had gone through the same
struggles as the women, struggles that might make the
average person consider suicide.
"Though the average person does not go through the
same situations that Shange depicts in this play, it serves
as a reference to everyday life for everybody," Anderson
said. "1 feel that (the play) is one that anyone could relate
Directing this play for a Lab production presented
Anderson with many problems. Anderson said it was
difficult to find a theme to unite the diverse characters
and monologues in the absence of a clear storyline in
the text. Moreover, coordinating rehearsals for a cast of
1 2 posed many conflicts.
Another unique feature of this production is that most
of the cast members are not dramatic art majors, a
situation arising from the need for an all-black cast.
"There are few black drama majors so we didnt have
an abundant source in the department," Anderson said.
"Auditions were open to everyone and we received a lot
Anderson said it was a challenge to get this play ready.
Still, she said, since it was a student production, there
was a certain pride in doing it and the cast made the
effort needed to put it all together.
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When
the Rainbow Is Enuf will be performed in the UNC Lab
Theatre at 8 p.m. Sunday and at 4 and 8 p.m. Monday.
The group's youth Napoleon and
Harmon are 22 and Lloyd is 20 has
created quite a sensation. Their first
three albums were released within the
incredibly short time span of three
years; incredibly short when considering
the amount of time involved in produc
ing an LP.
They're young. They're hot. And
they're here Saturday night.
Pieces of a Dream will perform
Saturday at 9 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
Call 962-1449 for ticket information.
will perform this weekend ct UIIC