Yellow Mountain, A Landscape in Brush and Ink follows the travel accounts of the 1600's scholar Qian Qianyi and seeks to transport readers out of their place and into the scenery of Yellow Mountain. The Yellow Mountain, also known as Huangshan, is often described as the “loveliest mountain in China” and has attracted numerous artists and writers travelers through hundreds of years with its ethereal essence and breathtaking beauty. The goal of this book is to create a contemplative experience that lets you reflect on yourself, not just as an individual in the present but as a part of a greater history and landscape.
Promotional poster below.
The text’s footnotes and french fold are a reference to older Chinese books of the past – the french fold used to add strength to thinner rice paper and the footnotes compare to an older annotation style that also incorporated the embedded circles. The footnotes interrupt the flow of the reading, aiming to create an experience of meandering and discovery. Images in this book are revealed in small windows, which get larger as you get further along in the journey and get a better picture of the mountain itself.
The poetry consists of mostly well-known classics, curated with the assistance of my mom, Xu Xiaomei. Each poem is hand printed on rice paper with the rough translation, under a layer of rice paper to physically reflect the extent to which translating Chinese poetry obscures its beauty and context.
This project came about from a deeply personal interest. While my family is from Anhui province where Yellow Mountain is located, I have not personally been. It's interesting how one place can invoke so many different renderings of itself – the plethora of works around the Yellow Mountain has really helped me piece together a faceted collective experience around it.