Zhao Meng: The Scholar’s Stones

When things fall into place and fit snugly it is at once pleasing and comforting. So too It seems fitting that an instructor at Harvard University would be making “scholar’s rocks” or Gongshi. Zhao Meng’s mastery of clay and glaze leaves nothing to distract from the perfection of surface on his organic, eroded forms which stand with a quite solidarity looking back at us with calm introspection. To say that these are solid would indeed be a tenuous statement in that they are full of holes eroded by an imagined force; yet they stand proud and still with slight anthropomorphic reference. Zhao’s piece titled “The Impression of Water” with its sturdy, intricately carved base and monochrome body epitomizes the control over form and surface possessed by this artist. With nothing to distract from the standing form it is at once a stationary object of meditation and a memory of the dancing, whirling forces that created it. A scholar’s rock indeed Zhao Meng has transformed porcelain and glaze into an object of sublime beauty and invites us to transform ourselves with meditation and study.