Hi I’m Kris And I’m Rachel Coming to you from the Spencer Museum of Art Today, Rachel, I want to show you a hanging scroll by Chinese artist Chen Xiao Mei Great [Rachel:] So I notice that the painting is actually mounted on this backing what is a hanging scroll? Well a hanging scroll you can see that it’s actually it’s painted on paper with ink and pigment and then it’s mounted on this and then the border is actually a silk brocade the title is “Cultivating Longevity in a Mountain Pavilion” [Rachel:] What about this painting is cultivating longevity? [Kris:] Well there’s many symbols of longevity such as the pine trees which are always green during the winter [Rachel:] And I also notice these flowering trees here among the pines that remind me of the plum blossoms we saw before [Kris:] Right, and as you’ll remember the plum blossom is a symbol of a virtuous person you’ll notice the mists that help to give it depth [Rachel:] So I can see these mountains that recede into the mist and the way that this path comes down from the pavilion gives it what we might call an atmospheric effect [Kris:] Exactly So Chen Xiao Mei was very interested in updating Chinese painting traditions [Rachel:] And how did he do that? [Kris:] It still represents characteristics of a traditional Chinese painting with a large central peak and then you have a built structure with a human wandering through it and this represents the harmonious relationship between humans and nature And why did Chen Xiao Mei paint this painting for this man’s 60th birthday? [Kris:] It was painted in 1940 and at that time China was in full-scale war with Japan at the beginning of World War II in Asia and so it was a kind of actual retreat that he went into the mountains to live to get away from the kind of chaos and turmoil that was surrounding him at the time and the inscription really helps us to understand that better [Narration:] The clouds and mist are good for longevity the rays of sunlight are splendid at twilight The drifting water blocks the boat on the Shan river where there is a famous mountain there’s a peach blossom spring in the painting an ocean of spring in the mountain a scene of paradise on the peak and in the valley gathered together the young and the wise all unaware that blossoms and birdsong are prevailing over the Chan temple on Mimo cliff