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“Replying to the SubPrefect Zhang”

Posted on • Words by • Art by

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Collaborators’ Q&A

What did you think an artist would pick up on from this poem?
Translator Dawn McGuire: I was completely open to any visual interpretation—but I imagined an artist picking up on the amused serenity of the poet in some way.

What inspires you in this poem?
Artist Yuko Adachi: Tone, emotions and mood in the poem, which stimulated my choice of materials and color choices.

Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see the poem differently?
Translator Dawn McGuire: Yuko Adachi foregrounded the fisherman, which was a surprise, and very charming. It made me hear the song as an element of the poem that lingered on after the reading—nice!

When you began this piece, was it color, shape, or some other aspect that you followed?
Artist Yuko Adachi: I did not want to overshadow the beauty of poem with my image I create, so I try to stay imaginative just like the poem without too much complication yet follow its depth of expression in simplicity.

What surprised you about this piece, once you saw the artwork and poem together?
Artist Yuko Adachi: They were like a match made in heaven.

What surprised you about this collaborative piece?
Translator Dawn McGuire: Everything! I had no idea what to expect. The reference to Asian landscape paintings of the Tang is very neat, especially sing Wang Wei was also a painter, and founded the Southern school. He revolutionized landscape painting by using brush-pen work much more freely, using ink wash, to put spontaneity into the work. I am attaching part of a rare work of Wang Wei’s that survives—interestingly, called “Along the Riverbank.” It’s at the Met in NYC.

If you had to represent the Broadsided collaboration of “Replying to SubPrefect Zhang” with one word, what would it be?
Artist Yuko Adachi: Conscious orgasmic moment.

Read any good books lately?
Artist Yuko Adachi: I am reading No Way Home by Carlos Acosta. So captivating and vivid. I am enjoying every page in the book.

Seen any good art lately?
Artist Yuko Adachi: It always turns out to be my own work that I just finished working on! Otherwise why bother being an artist if I can not satisfy my incessant hunger for good art?

Anything else?
Artist Yuko Adachi: I am such a visual being that when the poem was not printed in the right place on my work at the initial draft, it crushed me at first but now that it is all belonging to where they should be, I can not be happier. The combination of words and images are always so powerful when they are balanced.

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