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   Homage to Black
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Compositions in Chinese Ink

Homage to Black

Dr Mae-Wan Ho

Chinese ink gives the most intense and luxuriant black colour, as yet unrivalled by ink produced in Japan, India, or anywhere else in the world. Black – the colour containing all colours – has strong emotional associations with sorrow, loss, darkness and the occult, but also carries the irresistible allure of the all-encompassing cosmic night, of finality, surrender, death, and perhaps rebirth.

Black is so powerful that I have been unconsciously avoiding it, or at any rate, not dwelt as deeply into the colour as I should; until a good friend gave me a book of paintings by the recently deceased French-Chinese abstract expressionist painter Zao Wou-Ki (1920-2013). I especially admire his paintings in Chinese ink. That was July 2013.

In February 2014, I finally plucked up courage to contemplate black and all that it entails. After trying out a few brands of Chinese ink, I found the right one, and there was no turning back. I first experimented with small paintings that I had cropped and saved from much larger ones. These were interesting, as they would have been impossible to paint starting with paper in their present sizes. Although satisfactory as paintings, they all lacked something. And Chinese ink seemed to be the answer; but the answer is specific to each composition. Soon, I began to realize the infinite moods and possibilities that come with black. It is the most expressive of colours. It began to take on a life of its own. I worked as though possessed. It was in turn elegiac, lyrical, mysterious, and playful; suggestive, seductive, and elegant. I have fallen under its spell.

These 25 compositions are a selection from the beginning, and more will come later. For I have not yet stopped exploring and experimenting and getting to know black…

Click on the thumbnails for a full size version.

Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS16Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS15Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS3Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS4
Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS17Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS18Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS19Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS20
Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS22Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS12Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS14Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS13
Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS7Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS11Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS10Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS9
Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS5Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS8Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS6Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS24
Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS25Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS26Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS23Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS21
Compositions in Chinese Ink - Homage to black - CCIS2







CCIS16
CCIS16 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £40    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic on paper
Dimensions: 28 x 16.6 cm

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CCIS15
CCIS15 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £40    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic on paper
Dimensions: 24.5 x 18.2 cm

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CCIS3
CCIS3 - Mae-Wan Ho

Original artwork sold

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 21.7 x 21.7 cm

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CCIS4
CCIS4 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £40    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 21.3 x 20.9 cm

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CCIS17
CCIS17 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £40    

2-13-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 29 x 14.7 cm

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CCIS18
CCIS18 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £40    

2-13-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 23.5 x 22.1 cm

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CCIS19
CCIS19 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £40    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 25.5 x 16.8 cm

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CCIS20
CCIS20 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 29.3 x 19.3 cm

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CCIS22
CCIS22 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £40    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink ad acrylic
Dimensions: 30 x 15.5 cm

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CCIS12
CCIS12 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink ad acrylic
Dimensions: 35.3 x 21.2 cm

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CCIS14
CCIS14 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 31.3 x 23.2 cm

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CCIS13
CCIS13 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 32.9 x 24.3 cm

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CCIS7
CCIS7 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2011-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 29.7 x 27.2 cm

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CCIS11
CCIS11 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 28.8 x 22 cm

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CCIS10
CCIS10 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2012-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 28 x 24.2 cm

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CCIS9
CCIS9 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 28.4 x 28.3 cm

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CCIS5
CCIS5 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2012-14. Water, Chinese ink, and acrylic
Dimensions: 37.7 x 27.5 cm

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CCIS8
CCIS8 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2013-14. Water, Chinese ink, and acrylic
Dimensions: 33.8 x 29.1cm

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CCIS6
CCIS6 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £60    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 32.3 x 29.5 cm

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CCIS24
CCIS24 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £20    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 18.2 x 10.4 cm

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CCIS25
CCIS25 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £20    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 21.5 x 18 cm

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CCIS26
CCIS26 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £20    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic
Dimensions: 19.7 x 15 cm

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CCIS23
CCIS23 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £20    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic on paper
Dimensions: 23 x 12.7 cm

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CCIS21
CCIS21 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £20    

2013-14. water, Chinese ink and acrylic on paper
Dimensions: 19.2 x 17.7 cm

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CCIS2
CCIS2 - Mae-Wan Ho
Price: £20    

2013-14. water,Chinese ink and acrylic on paper
Dimensions: 22.6 x 17.3 cm

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There are 2 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
Dr R K S Rathore Comment left 1st July 2014 06:06:09
A wonderful piece of artwork with colors.
David Collier Comment left 6th July 2014 14:02:53
Surrender is necessary both for self-actualisation and Self-Realisation. The latter entails a rebirth: in Hinduism these people are the 'Twice-borne', in the West they are the Mystics of the Abrahamic religions. I do not think 'the' Buddha had this experience, or he would have written with more understanding of it; what he apparently wrote is inconsistent with the experience described by Western mystics that necessarily includes the nirvana experience outside of space-time. Death only applies to the first (physical) body; the spirit body involved in out-of-body travel is to all intents and purposes immortal. Conservation of energy also applies to life-energy, and involves higher harmonics of physical reality; a matter of mental focus. I write from some experience of these matters, not from arid intellectual speculation.

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