Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

Han Xizai is one of the few talented scholars, with outstanding literati and many talents in the fifth generation, and he has made friends with talents, forming his unique cultural circle, life circle, and unique artistic atmosphere. This is exactly what is depicted in the "Han Xizai Night Banquet Map".

"Night Banquet Chart" is a famous site of the Southern Tang Dynasty recorded in the "Xuanhe Picture Score", and the depth of its content meaning penetrates and exudes in the volume, and the artistic composition, characters and musical themes are all in a wonderful state, which is hidden and difficult to discern in the long years. So how do we read the Night Banquet? Or how did the painter Gu Hongzhong construct "Night Banquet Picture"?

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

"Han Xizai Night Banquet Map" (partial)

The flowing space of "Han Xizai Night Banquet Map"

From right to left, there are five Han Xizai, which can be divided into five sections, in which the opening and closing of the screen are used as a separation and suggestion. From the beginning of the book to the end of the volume, there is no doubt about it.

Thus, in this order, there are five paragraphs: (1) the opening of the lute, (2) the dance of karmic drums, (3) the rest of the hands, (4) the aftermath of the flute, and (5) the retention of the persuader. The sixth volume of Gu Fu's "Spectacular Life" is also divided into these five paragraphs, but the titles are: (1) "Night Banquet" (2) "Dancing □" (3) "Mu Shou" (4) "Qingfu" (5) "Adulterous Girl". But the title of the fifth paragraph is the most boring, and the meaning of the last paragraph is not clear. "Daguanlu" is more of a "secret drama", which is really absurd.

The problem is that if you look at it this way, there is something that does not make sense and cannot be seen. For example, in the first paragraph, Han Xizai wears black clothes and listens to pipa music, in the second paragraph, he wears yellow clothes and rolls his sleeves and plays drums, and in the third paragraph, he wears black clothes and sits on the bed to wash his hands, and in the fourth paragraph, why is he wearing white clothes again, sweating and showing his chest and sitting on the chair shaking fan? Why does the fifth paragraph wear yellow clothes and drumsticks and raise their hands to the guests? What is the meaning of this, it is unclear (Gu Fu actually used the purpose of "adulterous woman", which has been distinguished above. From the perspective of the characters who appeared, there are seven men and five women in the first paragraph, six men and two women in the second paragraph, one man and seven women in the third paragraph, three men and nine women in the fourth paragraph, and three men and three women in the fifth paragraph. Why is there a sudden increase in the number of people, especially the disparity between men and women? How do you say this?

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

The Han Xizai Night Banquet is usually divided into five spaces.

In 1984, Mr. Wu Lifu discussed with the author the editorial board of the Dictionary of Appreciation of Chinese Famous Paintings, and at that time he thought that the "Night Banquet Picture" was not connected or complete. However, there are no traces of cutting in the volume. Mr. Xu Bangda also seems to see the meaning of incoherence, saying that "some paintings are still complete, but also slightly damaged", and said that "it seems to be connected and not connected, and it seems to be broken and not broken, which is in the same vein as the composition method of Gu Kai's painting "Luoshen Futu" in ancient books. In fact, Gu Kaizhi's painting "Luoshen Futu" volume is painted according to the order of the Fuwen of Cao Zijian's "Luoshen Futu", and is inscribed with Fuwen, in which there is no problem of order, just rounding up the painting. The Night Banquet is different, the scroll is not drawn in some "textual" order, nor is it cropped or damaged. What's the problem?

It turns out that we did not understand the wonderful flowing space in the "Night Banquet Diagram" volume, the flexible structure of the ages. It was not until the late 1990s that the author really paid attention to and discovered this, and wrote two articles, "A New Spatial Solution of the "Han Xizai Night Banquet Map" and "The "Han Xizai Night Banquet Map" is not a copy of the Song Dynasty" to re-understand and examine.

The volume of "Night Banquet Picture" is not read in the order in which the scroll is unfolded, but the five paragraphs before and after should be read repeatedly by jumping right and left according to the "front and back, back and back", which is the right and left cut into the interval to see, and the end is in the middle of the painting, just like the montage technique of swaying and cutting connections in modern movies. It's amazing, the fifth generation of Gu Hongzhong has written this method. In fact, Gu Hongzhong has made a clear and unmistakable hint in the scroll, and we still follow the scroll according to inertia. Wrong! It should be followed according to the different colors of the clothes worn by the five Han Xizai.

In the first paragraph, Han Xizai wore a black tunic and sat quietly on the bed listening to Li Jiaming's sister play the pipa. There are seven men and five women in this paragraph. The person in red clothes is Huangyuan Lang Yu, the person sitting on the back next to the bed is Shu Ya, the person holding the truth with his hands together opposite him is Chen Yong (or Chen Zhiyao, Chen Zhiyong), the person who plays the pipa is Li Jiaming's sister, the person who sits next to him is his brother Li Jiaming, the petite Qingyi person on his side is Wang Wushan, the person leaning on the door behind him is Ziwei Zhu Mill, the person who is half-exposed by the door behind him or Zhu Mill's female companion, the person who holds the pipe and stands upright is Han Xizai's sister, and the person who stands next to Han Xizai is his concubine. This first paragraph is the home of the "Night Banquet", and it is very popular.

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

The first paragraph of "Han Xizai's Night Banquet Map"

Then, in the fifth section of the scroll, Han Hee-jae changes into a yellow shirt, holds a drumstick, listens to the pipa (neon clothes and plume song), and rises to prepare to beat the drums himself. But Li Jiaming's sister wanted to retire, Li Jiaming sat on the chair, Han Xizai and the maid came to comfort her, and Han Xizai's other student also supported a female companion (that is, the first one leaned against the door half-exposed wearing a big red sprinkler dress, or Chen Zhiyao), this is a scene of retaining and persuading guests, there are only three men and three women, and everyone else is waiting in the hall.

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

The fifth paragraph of "Han Xizai's Night Banquet Map"

But back to the second section of the scroll, Han Xizai wears a yellow shirt and beats a big red half-human tall karmic drum, and Wang Wushan dances the six-man dance. The male guests present still had Lang Yue, Ziwei Zhu Mill, and Shu Ya, and there were more monk Deming, and sure enough, Li Jiaming and his sister, Dr. Tai Chang Chen Zhiyao and his maid who came with him had already withdrawn. There were only five men and two women in this one. Han Xizai's clothes were the same, and he unobtrusively connected the front and back pictures into one trend.

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

The second paragraph of "Han Xizai's Night Banquet Map"

Then jump to the fourth paragraph of the scroll, Han Xizai is already hot and sweaty because of beating the karmic drum, so he takes off his yellow shirt, only wears underwear and white shirt, bare his chest, sits cross-legged and shakes the fan, Wang Wushan shakes the fan, the concubines and maids stand with each other, the five-member small band is playing the flute, only the proud protégé Shuya is sitting, clapping. At this time, all the guests had dispersed, and in the inner room, the "night party" was already in the aftermath. At this time, there were only three men (the male one was the waiter in front of the screen, or the housekeeper inside, none of whom were present in the previous section), and there were nine women.

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

The fourth paragraph of "Han Xizai's Night Banquet Map"

The end of the whole volume is actually the third paragraph in the middle of the painting. In this inner room, there is only one Han Xizai, and there are seven women (including the Qing piper, the pipa collector, and the tea servant). After taking a nap, Han Xizai put on a black coat (echoing the first paragraph), sat on the bed and took a hand, Wang Wushan held the box, and the four maids sat together. The "night banquet" has ended, and a high candlestick is placed in front of the bed, pointing out the word "night" for the "night banquet". This is also Han Xizai's most private space, which outsiders cannot pry. It is also the most secret scene between the "lamps and candles" that Lord Li wants to see. I don't know how the painter Gu Hong spied on? Obviously, Gu Hong is not an ordinary person, and his familiarity with night banquets and music is beyond imagination.

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

The third paragraph of "Han Xizai's Night Banquet Map"

According to the change of color written by Han Xizai, to quickly connect the inner space paragraphs, the process of the whole volume is suddenly enlightened, which is really a wonderful idea. In this way, the music progresses layer by layer, the male guests gradually decrease, the space goes from the outside to the inside, from the living room to the inner room, and finally only Han Xizai is alone, returning to silence.

Therefore, the spatial process of the "Night Banquet Map" is not to be seen along the scroll: one, two, three, four, five (paragraph), but should be seen in a swaying style of jumping right and left: one-five-two-four-three.

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

"Han Xizai Night Banquet Map" is viewed in the order of one-five-two-four-three.

This spatial structure method actually has a long origin, the author once cited the Dunhuang mural, Northern Wei's "Deer King Bunsheng" as an example, also jumping left and right, and the final ending (climax) is in the middle. The Deer King is the predecessor of Buddha, and the story is about good and evil retribution. On the left side of the scroll (1) The Deer King (white deer with plum blossoms) passes by the Ganges River and rescues the person who has fallen into the water. (2) Before drowning, go to the right of the painting and tell the king who is tracking down the whereabouts of the deer king. (3) To the left of the painting, the king drives in pursuit of the deer king. (4) In the middle of the scroll, the deer king tells the king the story of rescuing the drowning man. (5) Finally, the drowning man knelt to the deer king and begged for mercy, but he was covered with sores, and the plum white deer became the deer king. The structure of the painting sways from side to side, which is very beautiful. The spatial structure of "Night Banquet Map" is more simple, more pure, more seamless, and natural.

The spatial flow and spatial consciousness of Chinese painting, this flowing space, is the inheritance of the Jin and Tang Dynasties, and may be the last gorgeous slanting in the fifth generation of Gu Hong, the end of the song and the widow. Since then, especially in the Southern Song Dynasty, there has been no such wonderful presentation. The background of the Five Dynasties scrolls still has the back of the prosperity of mural paintings since the Jin and Tang Dynasties, "oblique veins and waters", which have not been seen again since then.

As for why Gu Hongzhong used such a fluid space to construct the "Night Banquet Map"? Obviously, if the internal changes of the character scene are depicted paragraph by paragraph, the third paragraph in the current volume should be shifted to the end of the volume, then a high candlestick should appear at the end of the scroll, and the light of the candle is too far back, and it is not appropriate to place it in the middle of the other end. But to combine the sections with such a swaying back and forth, the ending paragraph is exactly in the middle of the painting, it is when the "night banquet" is scattered and the lights are shining, the lights have already illuminated the theme of the "night banquet" in the whole volume, and it changes and tastes, which is really ingenious and unexpected.

The musical theme of "Han Hee-jae's Night Banquet"

"Night Banquet Picture", the so-called "night banquet", is actually a musical festival, and the catering is not depicted, the focus is on music. Although there are fruit plates and cups and pots in front of the guests in front of the small case, it is just a simple tea and fruit snack, there are tomatoes on the plate, and it seems that the autumn season is not wine, but should be based on tea, which looks a little simple. Moreover, Han Xizai did not like wine, "in fact, Xizai could not drink in his life" (Ma Ling's "Book of Southern Tang"), which is clear in the picture. The long scroll is divided into five sections, three of which deal with musical scenes, the order is: (1) the opening of the book guests gather to listen to Li Jiaming's sister play the pipa (i.e. "huqin"); (2) Han Xizai changed his sleeves and personally hit the karmic drum, and Wang Wushan danced the six chords; (3) Han Xizai rested after beating the drum, the female music group cleared the pipe, Shuya clapped the peace, at this time it was the aftermath of the "night banquet", and the guests had dispersed. Is there an intrinsic connection between the three pieces of music, the lute, the karmic drum and the pipe? What is the theme of its music? This issue has not been specifically discussed, but the author suspects that there must be a main theme. The silence on the paper, the sound of music in the silence, is a thought-provoking sound.

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

Lee Ka Ming's sister plays the lute

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

Han Xizai changed his sleeves and personally hit the karmic drum

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

A group of female musicians cleared the pipe

The guests who participated in Han Xizai's night banquet included scribes such as Zhuangyuan and Ziwei, Li Jiaming, who was the head of the club in the palace of the middle lord Li Jing, and disciples who were exquisite in music such as Shu Yashi, Dr. Chen Yong of Taichang, and many maids of tricks, among which Wang Wushan was the most prominent. It can be said that the club team second only to the Southern Tang Inner Court can be known for its musical achievements. What is revealed in the painting is actually a suite of neon clothes and six units. This can be seen from the lute, karmic drum and dance posture, which are intrinsically related. Lee Ka Ming was once the leader of the club, and his sister played the lute, although it is not known what his sister has to do with the teaching workshop, but it is natural to be guided by Lee Ka Ming. In particular, Dr. Chen Yong of Tai Chang, "the best with Han Xizai" and "concubines to hundreds, playing the sound of neon clothes and feathers". At that time, when Emperor Li was under the throne, Empress Da Zhou was proficient in pipa, and the emperor of Xiaozi returned to the royal palace at the age of nineteen (954). "History of the Book, Good Rhythm, You Gong Pipa. Emperor Yuanzong appreciated his art and took the imperial pipa, which was given by those who burned the trough. "The Later Lord ascended the throne (961) and was crowned empress of the kingdom. When Li was in charge, neon clothes and plume songs were prevalent. "When Tang is in its prime, neon clothes and feathers are the most dramatic. The teacher was absent from duty, and his voice was extinguished. After the lord got his score alone, the musician Cao Sheng was also good at the pipa, and he got his voice according to the score, but not perfectly. However, after the Great Zhou Dynasty, "it became easy to be false, quite promiscuous, and the new sound was more audible" (Ma Ling, Book 6 of the Book of Southern Tang). Therefore, it was very popular at that time, and Li Yu's words also had the description of "the phoenix blows off the water and clouds, and the neon song is all over the place" ("Yulou Chun"), in fact, it is also the era of "Night Banquet Picture", so the pipa (there are two) in the painting cannot but involve this song. What's more, in the famous Bai Juyi's "Pipa Xing", his musical beauty is particularly described, "at the beginning it was the sixth unit after neon clothes". Originally, the neon dress feather song was made by Emperor Xuanzong of Tang ("Neon dress feather song, it was made by Emperor Xuanzong climbed the Sanxiang Yiwang Nu Jiyama"). It is also said that Emperor Xuanzong played the moon in the middle of Tianbao's junior high school and went to the Moon Palace, and saw "hundreds of fairies, plain practice wide clothes, dancing clothes and wide courts", because he asked about his song, he knew that it was "neon clothes and feathers", and returned to the official to compose this song according to the tone. Yang Guifei also liked this song, and Emperor Xuanzong was even better at playing karmic drums and immersed in drum music. Bai Juyi's "Long Hate Song" is two chants. "Yuyang Shrew came agitatedly, and broke through the neon clothes and plume song", Anshi Rebellion, Emperor Xuanzong fled into Sichuan, and the noble concubine died. "The wind blows the fairy robe fluttering, like a neon dress and feather dance", and the dream soul is also like its dance. The neon dress feather song, or non-auspicious sign, was lost after arriving in Xuanzong. However, Li Houzhu got his own score, and after the music work and the Great Zhou, the score became easy, and it became popular, and "the new sound is clear and the more audible". Li Jiaming and his sister both play the pipa and will not be involved in it. In particular, Han Xizai is also good at playing karmic drums and is on good terms with Emperor Xuanzong. The karmic drum rises, and Wang Wushan dances six with the festival. Therefore, the "Night Banquet Picture" corresponds to the music and dance plot of "the first six after neon clothes". The six units were originally the lute tuned "green waist", but they were actually "zi essential".[26] From the "Night Banquet Picture", the guests and hosts are plunged into a contemplative expression, this song and dance are not without rise and fall sentimentality, but also in line with the atmosphere of current events and the rise and fall of the country. The Southern Tang repeated the old story of Emperor Xuanzong, and because of the song of neon clothes, it went into decline. "Xu Xuan, a person from Zhongshushe, heard the neon clothes and said: 'The end of the French song is slow, and this voice is too urgent, He Ye?' According to the "New Book of Tang Lile Zhi": "All songs will eventually die, but the "Neon Clothes Plume Song" will end, and the introduction will be slow." "Cao Shengyue: Its essence is slow, and there are people in the palace who are easy to use, but it is not Ji Zhengye." (Ma Ling's Book of Southern Tang) means that the Great Zhou changed the song and changed the rhythm, and within a few years, the Great Zhou died of illness. The musical theme of "Night Banquet Picture" revolves around the neon dress plume song in the author's opinion, and it is in-depth. It is worth noting that there should be more room for discussion in the meantime.

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

Wang Wushan Mai 6

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

Shuya clapped

The musical theme of "Night Banquet Picture", although the pipa is whispering, the karmic drum is chirping, and a flute is playing, but the characters in the painting never have a smile. Between the lamps and candles, it is not cheerful, indulgent, not absurd, ridiculous, but immersed in an atmosphere of the worry of losing the country, is the kind of situation that cannot laugh, covered with a faint layer of sorrow and contemplation, contrasting with the sound of music, turning deep and buttoned into the background. The Southern Tang Dynasty would be unified by the Northern Song Dynasty, a trend that had created a dilemma among literati such as Han Xizai who had political vision or outstanding talent. Lamp and candle song tube, can only talk about this long night. This layer is also the place where the painter is extremely deeply mournful, and it is necessary to savor it.

Music and spatial composition in "Han Xizai's Night Banquet"

Ding Xiyuan's book "Aesthetics and Appraisal of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy and Painting", published by Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House

Note: This article is excerpted from "The Aesthetics and Appraisal of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy and Painting", the author Ding Xiyuan is an art historian and calligraphy and painting appraiser, focusing on the study of Chinese painting and calligraphy. His publications include "Research on the Valley of the Void" (1987), "Ren Bo Nian's Annals, Papers, Treasures, and Works" (1989), "Late Listening Poetry Manuscript" (1994, 2010), "Red Chamber Miaoyu" (2016), etc.