Ink on Cloud-dragon paper
67 x 57 cm
Hong Kong, January 2014
With three seals of the artist: 攜杖老人 Xiezhang laoren (‘The old man who carries the staff’), 水松石山房 Shuisongshi shanfang (‘TheWater, Pine and Stone Retreat’) and 養石閒人 Yangshi xianren (‘An idler who cherishes stones’)
It is said among the brethren of the strange that if you spend enough time with a stone, staff, or sceptre a strange metamorphosis begins to take place. In a gradual process of exchange the personalities of object and partner begin to unify. Strange transmogrification is to be expected in the realm beyond the Stage of Time, access to which requires, as a prerequisite, a transformation of self, and are manifest in different ways; among the most visible of which is a tendency for object and partner increasingly to resemble each other. Often a strange object will ‘find’ its correct owner to begin with because of a natural affinity which may include some similar physical trait which then becomes gradually more apparent, but I have seen other examples where a staff or sceptre came to resemble its partner gradually over a period of time. Whether the object or individual was the more transformed is often difficult to determine.
Inscribed by the Master of the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat, grasping essence at the Garden at the Edge of the Universe, 2015.