''Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains'' is not only the greatest surviving masterpiece by Huang Gongwang (1269-1354), one of the Four Yuan Masters, it is also a work renowned in the history of Chinese painting. The style of this handscroll traces back to Dong Yuan and Juran of the Five Dynasties and more recently to Huang's contemporary, Zhao Mengfu. It reflects the development of infusing calligraphic techniques into painting and the spirit of literati art with an emphasis on expressing ideas and freehand brushwork to create a new realm of monochrome ink painting. It also came to influence landscape painting of the Ming and Qing dynasties, having crucial value for drawing from the past and inspiring future generations in the tradition of Chinese literati painting.
''Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains'' was completed in the equivalent of 1350, when Huang Gongwang was 82 years old by Chinese reckoning. Passing down through the generations to the early Qing dynasty, in 1650 it was in the Yunqi Hall collection of Wu Hongyu (Wenqing). On his deathbed Wu consigned this painting to the flames, but fortunately a family member saved it. The scroll nevertheless suffered damage and was separated into two sections. The first part, known as ''The Remaining Mountain,'' is 51.4 centimeters long and now an important work in the Zhejiang Provincial Museum collection. The latter section, composed of six joined pieces of paper and measuring 636.9 centimeters long, entered the Qing imperial collection in 1746 and ranks as a national treasure of the National Palace Museum. For more than 360 years, these two sections of the original scroll have never been displayed together. For this special exhibition, the Zhejiang Provincial Museum agreed to lend ''The Remaining Mountain'' to Taiwan so that these two treasures could be brought together for display. Through this recreation of the original appearance of ''Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains,'' audiences can reach a fuller understanding of this important masterpiece in Chinese art.
Huang Gongwang (style name Zijiu, sobriquet Dachi) was born in 1269 during the late Southern Song in Changshu, Jiangsu. Of humble origins, he struggled to achieve an education, extensively studying traditional subjects to complement his numerous talents. In his youth he came to serve as a clerk handling documents in the Jiang-Zhe Branch Secretariat and by his middle years was even recommended for service in the capital. However, he became implicated in a case and was sentenced to prison. After serving time, he abandoned further thought of attaining official rank and returned to home, becoming a Taoist by profession and also developing his art of painting. At that time he often traveled around Suzhou, Hangzhou, Songjiang, and Fuchun, taking in sights from his travels and transforming them into landscapes of the mind, with paintings such as ''Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains'' having a major impact on later generations. Huang Gongwang died around 1354 and was buried in his hometown, having reached the Chinese age of 86.
This special exhibition is divided into two rotations. The highlight of the first rotation is the simultaneous display of ''The Remaining Mountain'' and ''The Wuyong Version'' of ''Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.'' It also features other works divided into the following sections: ''Huang Gongwang's Treasures of Painting and Calligraphy,'' ''Copies and Imitations of 'Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains,''' and ''Huang Gongwang's Heritage and Associations.'' The second rotation is divided into the sections ''Huang Gongwang's Influence in the Ming and Qing Dynasties'' and ''Huang Gongwang's Attributed Works.'' To complete the exhibit, works from the Palace Museum in Beijing, National Museum of China, Shanghai Museum, Nanjing Museum, Yunnan Provincial Museum, and a private collector in Taipei have been borrowed. These loans include other surviving examples of Huang Gongwang's painting and calligraphy as well as copies of ''Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.'' Presented together in this exhibit, they offer a complete overview of Huang Gongwang's art and his influence, providing audiences with a deeper appreciation for the spirit of literati painting as inspired by Huang Gongwang and his ''Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains.''