The exhibition features works of art depicting tales from Chinese history and literature. The title is taken from a tale in the literary work entitled The Journey to the West. Two hermit scholars, one making a living in the mountains as a woodcutter, and the other as a navigator and fisherman, engage in a musical completion on the zither (qin). The music played on their dueling zithers extolled the beauty found in their solitary lives among clear waters and blue hills. This tale is based on a much earlier story of the famous zither player Yu Boya, which is depicted on one of the works in the exhibition. Boya is credited with writing two supremely famous Chinese melodies: High Mountains and Flowing Water.
Organized by Laurie Barnes, Elizabeth B. McGraw Curator of Chinese Art, Norton Museum of Art