Composed in striking contrast, Lim Tze Peng’s virtuosity as both calligraphist and contemporary artist shines through in this ink tribute to Tang Dynasty poet Jia Dao’s poem《寻隐者不遇》. The calligraphy itself is typical of Lim Tze Peng’s breakthrough abstract style with characters often overlapping each other in an effort to capture expression over literal meaning. The vigour is his strokes is also palpable, emphasized by his choice of a distinctly oriental red against black. The vividness of his colour seems to pay tribute to the poem it frames, which is known for capturing scenic beauty with exceptional eloquence . Those familiar with Lim Tze Peng’s work, his choice to include both a coloured background and foreground is an interesting deviation from traditional calligraphy, and a sign of his artistic experimentation with contemporary and expressionist avenues. The piece marks one of only a few in the artist’s oeuvre where colour is included to add dimension to the work, with the contrasting colours working together to highlight the characters but still present the work as a working visual whole – making it a true blend of traditional calligraphy and contemporary expression. This short piece was abstracted from Tang Dynasty Poet, Jia Dao’s《寻隐者不遇》. The poet cleverly contained the characters, plot, scenery with detail and vivid content in just twenty characters. The poem reads: 松下问童子 、言师采药去。只在此山中 、云深不知处- 寻隐者不遇 / 孙革访羊尊师诗 唐 · 贾岛
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