Wang Wusheng

Wang Wusheng

Wang Wusheng was born in the city of Wuhu in China's Anhui Province and graduated from Anhui University's School of Physics. Beginning in 1973, Wusheng worked as a photographer for a news magazine in Anhui Province. He studied at the Art Institute of Nihon University in Japan beginning in 1983 and studied for three years at the Tokyo Arts University. Wusheng currently works as a fine art photographer in Tokyo.

For more than three decades, Wang Wusheng has been captivated by the beauty of Mount Huangshan, also called Yellow Mountain. Located in the southern part of the Anhui province in northern China, Mount Huangshan has often been described as the world's most beautiful and enchanting mountain. Over many centuries, this mountain, with its seventy-two peaks, has been the subject of Chinese landscape painters, whose singular works are so haunting make it appear impossible for these mountains to exist in nature. Inspired by the legacy of these paintings, Wusheng has sought to portray Mount Huangshan in his own way, expressing his "inner worlds" through this scenic wonder.

Wusheng captures mist-shrouded granite peaks emerging from an ever-changing veil of clouds, sculptural craggy rocks on lofty cliffs and weathered, oddly shaped pine trees. He records the appearance of Mount Huangshan in all seasons and at various times of day. As one critic says, "[Wusheng's] pictures are gorgeous, but their beauty does not come directly from the natural scenery. Rather, the mountain's natural wonders have been transformed into artistic spectacles through the artist's commitment to the medium of black-and-white photography, his insistent pursuit of dynamic movement and metamorphic images, and his deep emotional engagement with his subject. His mountain peaks are often densely dark-a kind of velvet darkness that seems full of color.

Celestial Realm

The Yellow Mountains of China

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A lavishly produced volume featuring stunning duotone images of China’s fabled Yellow Mountains by the celebrated photographer Wang Wusheng.

 For more than three decades, Wang Wusheng has been captivated by the beauty of Mount Huangshan, also known as the Yellow Mountains. Located in the southern part of the Anhui province in northern China, Mount Huangshan has often been described as the world’s most beautiful and enchanting mountain. Over the centuries this mountain with its seventy-two peaks has been the subject of Chinese landscape painters, whose singular works are so haunting it seems impossible that these mountains exist in nature.

Inspired by the legacy of these paintings, Wang Wusheng has sought to portray this scenic wonder. As shown in the collection of ninety photographs in this extraordinary volume, here are mist-shrouded, granite peaks emerging from an ever-changing veil of clouds, sculptural craggy rocks on lofty cliffs, and weathered, oddly-shaped pine trees, depicted in all seasons and at various times of day. Wang Wusheng’s images are so exceptional that they look like paintings.

Accompanying the photographs are two fascinating essays about the art history and natural history of the Yellow Mountains. Art historian Wu Hung provides an eloquent, comprehensive survey of the region’s artistic, literary, and photographic tradition, relating how Wang Wusheng’s work is an important part of this notable legacy.

In a second essay, Damian Harper presents an authoritative account of the geology, geography, and natural history of this legendary place.

In addition, there is an introduction by the Japanese critic Seigo Matsuoka, who contributes an insightful appraisal of Wang Wusheng’s work.

CONTRIBUTORS

Born in the province of Anhui, Wang Wusheng has been photographing the Yellow Mountains since 1974. He has contributed his work to books published in China, Japan, and Austria, and his photographs have been in collected and widely exhibited by museums and galleries, including the Museum of Chinese Art in Peking. He lives in Tokyo.

Wu Hung was educated in China and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University, where he was a professor. He is now a professor of Chinese art history at the University of Chicago and the director of the Center for the Art of East Asia. His books, including Three Thousand Years of Chinese Painting, have received a number of important awards.

Damian Harper lives in Shanghai and is the author of numerous books, among them National Geographic Traveler’s China.

Seigo Matsuoka, who lives in Tokyo, teaches at Tezukama University. He was the editor- in-chief of YU magazine and has written many books and articles.

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