Wen Zhengming’s Wintry Trees: Mourning and reciprocity from HENI Talks on Vimeo.
Wintry Trees is a hanging scroll produced by Wen Zhengming at a time of personal loss. Craig Clunas explains some of its classic features and explores the work’s unusual inscription which raises as many questions as it answers.
The ‘art market’ of Ming dynasty China was very different from the one we know today. Was Wen Zhengming’s mysterious visitor offering sincere condolences or was his gift-giving merely an attempt to exploit a culture of reciprocity?