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At-Home Art Activity: Making Your Own Chinese Scroll July 16, 2020

By The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Tags: art, mfah, 18thc, home, create, asian, scroll, chinese, family-activities

Bian Shoumin - Wild Geese Descending on a Sandbank

Bian Shoumin, Wild Geese Descending on a Sandbank, 1730, hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Alice Pratt Brown Museum Fund.

Create your own ink-like scroll, with inspiration from an 18th-century Chinese scroll by Bian Shoumin.

Immerse yourself in the art of Chinese scroll painting with this family-friendly activity inspired by Wild Geese Descending on a Sandbank from the MFAH collection of Asian art. To get started on this at-home art project, download the how-to guide and follow along in the video below with Elizabeth Roath Garcia, the Museum’s studio and gallery programs manager.

Nature, Poetry & Art
The artist who created this beautiful 18th-century scroll, Bian Shoumin, was a painter, poet, and calligrapher. Profoundly influenced by nature, he built his home in China’s Jiangxi province, near Lake Zhu, specifically so he could closely observe ducks, geese, and other birds on the lake. Wild Geese Descending on a Sandbank exhibits the artist’s naturalistic style and affinity for painting waterfowl. It also incorporates his poetry, in the inscription at the upper left:

Just now wild geese came into the sky,
As I waved my brush before the master of the qin [zither];
Autumn sounds meld with autumn thoughts
As I stand beside I know not who.

Download the activity guide

Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from the Jerold B. Katz Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; H-E-B; MD Anderson Cancer Center; Sharon G. Dies; Sterling-Turner Foundation; Houston Junior Woman’s Club; Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; Samuel H. Kress Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Susan Vaughan Foundation; and additional generous donors.