Travelers among the Mountains and Streams

Travelers among the Mountains and Streams is widely considered to be an authentic work by Fan Kuan. The dignified mountains dominate this large Northern Song painting, which has the cool, other-worldly, and lofty spirit of Song-era landscapes. A group of travelers moves through the forest at the base of the mountain, and the proportional relationships between the figures and the landscape have deeply influenced Zhang Kechun’s photographs. However, this is just one element in his photography.

Travelling Xi Mountain, Fan Kuan, Song Dynasty

According to The Northern Song and to Travelers among the Mountains and Streams, Through the proportional relationships between the figures and massive spaces, Fan Kuan pursued the representation of humanity’s awe in the face of nature. With the subjective creation of a realm, he molded a spiritual world that had been found in European churches since the Middle Ages—a place for the spirit to reside. Of course, Zhang Kechun’s pictures do not explore spirituality, but he attempts to create another realm, finding absurd images in real landscapes that resonate with the depths of his soul. Therefore, his images reflect the absence of classical spirituality and the presentation of his experiences with “Chinese-ness” and personality.


The Yellow River in the Mountains, Gansu, 2010                                                                   Mount Dai, 2018

Laojun Mountain, 2018

A Rockery in the Middle of a Dry Lake, Shandong, 2011

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