September 12, 2006

Admin/ Mail Call

In today's mailcall, it seems Google is connecting a lot of people all over the world. This time, I got a request from someone doing some research:

Hi Dennis,

I came across your blog doing a search for *anything* relating to the
Dreams of Yellow Mountain exhibit at the Met a few years ago. I have
been trying, vainly, for years to discover the name [though preferably
an image] of one of the works in that exhibit. The Met has been
notoriously unhelpful. I was hoping perhaps you could help.
Is the NYT write up of the exhibit and the work I'm looking for is in
these paragraphs [finally I know the artist, Zhang Feng, but not the
One of these personalities, the poet-painter Zhang Feng, opens the show
with a group of pictures that charts changes and continuities within a
career. An album of landscapes, dated 1644, offers tight, fleet riffs in
the manner of Ni Zan, a ''leftover subject'' of an earlier dynasty,
along with the image of a sunset, a motif found in other Nanjing-related
painting and perhaps of Western derivation.

A hanging scroll done nearly 20 years later -- its brushwork loose,
parched and spare -- has the image of a scholar standing on a natural
stone bridge stretching over an abyss. The bridge was on Mount Tiantai,
a Buddhist site, and the legend was that whoever passed over it would
enter paradise. But the way across was perilously slippery, and the
scholar in the scroll, venturing toward center, seems frozen in
indecision, a condition familiar to artists and intellectuals torn
between Ming loyalties and the increasing attractions of life under the
culture-hungry Qing. "

As I recall it was the back wall of the exhibit and was an approximately
20-25ft scroll.

Thank you for your time.

Jason Beals

Hello Jason:

I'm sorry but I can't find any more images from that visit so long ago and my memory is too creative to be trusted to factually reconstruct what I saw. I wish that I knew more about "Dreams of Yellow Mountain" to help you here, but alas!

I would be interested in learning more of what you are cooking up there. What caught my attention was a world in which paintings were painted and subsequent visits from poets and artists would result in poetry inscribed in the colophon as a collaboration and commemoration of the encounter.I like to say that there are many art worlds and the inner nature of that particular art world so long go is fascinating to me.

All the best to you,



Here is an email from someone who is doing a different kind of research:

Hi Dennis,
I?m watching your page since abouth 1 year every day. I am a fan from Paca la Ciclona.
Your painting from 6th, september looks like frozen blood.
I saw you in july at codolar,but did not know what to say.You never wrote anything more abouth Paca. why?
One stuped question: can you live from your paintings?
I?m german and was married to a californien guy 20years ago, who loved the alcohol more than anythjing else(including me).
Are you at 16th septiembre still in Tossa (because you exebition in Barcelona)?
Is it possible to meet you?
Sorry , the questions are verry direct, but this the way I am.
I?m getting ready for a operation in octiobre and feel like have some things get in order before,include a talk with you.
So long,
I've had a quiet spell recently, little was blogged or letters replied. She wrote again today:
Hallo Dennis,
sorry, please forget the last mail from me.It was not the best time to write a mail to you.The only reason, I?m reading your page, is that I am searching in internet for informations abouth Tossa and its people.Since 8 years I am going to Tossa 2 ore 3 times a year. I am also no fan of Paca ,I am a friend of her since many years.
Cause you are often in CA I had the idea to ask you if you see a possibility to find out ,if my ex-husband and his mother are still alive or not.There is no special reason,-I am just kind of curious.
The last painting from you -,is just great!
I am no fan from you, I just like the way you make fotos from Tossa.--And the Foto fom Paca and you! Because all this other fotos from Tossa are kind of boring to me.
I keep taking fotos from La Paca every time I?m there.And I am not very happy abouth her health the last 2 years.When she comes to the point, that she needs help, I?ll try to help. But thanks good she made it this year (with oxigen,but she is still able to get on the stage.I don?t really want to meet you,-just want to say "Hallo" to you, when I see you somewhere there next week.
Hello Regina:
Thanks for the kind words and thanks for reading the blog!

I am certainly a fan of La Paca too, but perhaps I am not as fervent as you. My movements this summer have been constrained by my studio schedule and the interleafed social events haven't taken me to the famed Club Flamenco in which La Paca sings. Although, there is a sense of a fading glory to the place, made more vivid by the sight of one of the feature singers breathing from pxygen bottles between performances. New blood for Flamenco dancing seems to have been suppressed by a resurgent Catalan consciousness, Flamenco being a central cultural phenomenom in the more southern parts of Spain.

Uh, I don't think it's a good idea for me to help you find your ex-husband. Good luck with that.

If we cross paths in Tossa, certainly it will be nice to say hello... but it is probably best to keep a meeting incidental. My weblog ultimately has a professional address and the personal life shown therein is that which has connections to the art being made.

All the best to you!



An old Navy buddy writes in:

hey hollywood,

will you be posting a pic of the 9/7/06 painting on your blog. i want to see what the whole painting looks like.

p.s. wish i could be there swilling beers and talkin' smack!



I'll take some more pics soon. There's a few that I've dropped along the way.

I'm sure we will be swilling and smack talking someday soon!

On a smack-free topic: were you on board the Truxtun when we picked up the Vietnamese boat people in the South China Sea? I wanted to refresh my memory of that time. I remember at least two ocassions, one of them where one of the passengers had passed away and the body was tied to the roof the boat. I didn't understand the political context at the time, the gravity of the situation, the historical ramifications of it all. One question for my fellow sailors: ...did you?


Posted by Dennis at September 12, 2006 7:52 AM

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