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PATHWAY STUDIO / Seals & Signatures
xiao jing zhai ( little footpath studio )
小 径 斋 (simplified Chinese)
小 徑 齋 (traditional Chinese)
Alternate: 小 徑 齋 (little footpath studio)
carved at the Xi Ling Society, Hangzhou.
PATHWAY STUDIO. This seal, bearing the characters Little Footpath Studio, was carved by Wang Dong Ling in 1989. Wang carved it in an old style that he considered appropriate for the studio with an electric brain. Most of my work has been signed "Roman" followed by the year of execution ('62,'68, '72, etc.). In some instances, after 1985, I included the seal with my name. The studio seal appears frequently after 1989. My major projects and a few other works include my wife's seal as she has assisted me and collaborated in developing ideas and procedures. . Many works are signed "Roman 'yy" without a seal. The use or non-use of seal has been arbitrary. The most frequently used studio seal is the first one shown above.
Wang Dong Ling, who carved the chop & inscribed it provided the translation shown above. click for higher quality image.
Left: translation of inscription / Middle: inscription on one side / right: chop with inscription side up and sample seal.
NAME SEALS FOR MY NAME: ROMAN VEROSTKO
kē róng-mèng, 柯 荣 孟 (simplified Chinese) 柯榮孟 (traditional)
Name given to me by the teacher who oriented me to Chinese language & culture in 1981. "ke", 柯, has a root related to tree or growth similar to the root for Verostko in Slovak, vyrást' (grow, growth). "róng mèng" in its pronunciation alludes to "Roman". Róng identifies with a strong and glorious one while "Mèng" ( 孟 ) refers to the Chinese philosopher Mencius, Mèng zĭ, 孟子, 372-289 BCE, the follower of Confucius. The Pinyin for Mencius is Meng Zi (Meng Tzu in Wade Giles).
This seal was carved by the Shufa Master, Lu Jiang, at the Xi Ling Society when I taught at the Art Academy in Hangzhou in 1985.©
kē róng mèng, 柯 荣 孟
Carved by a Chinese teacher who followed my course in China. ©
kē róng mèng, 柯 荣 孟
This seal was carved in Beijing in 1981 during my first trip to China. ©
NAME SEAL FOR ALICE WAGSTAFF (VEROSTKO)
wèi ài lì 魏爱丽 (simplified) 魏愛麗 (traditional))
Alice Wagstaff, wife & Studio Director (deceased, 2009) . Skilled in watercolor and also skilled as a silversmith Alice occasionally assisted in the pen plotting process. Her seal was carved in 1985 at the Academy in Hangzhou. Alice was in residence there with me.
"wèi" (as in Wei dynasty) for Wagstaff; "ài lì" , for Alice meaning the "most beautiful one" (she was indeed "the most beautiful" in every way) ©.
Pathway Studio Seals Copyright 2005, all rights reserved, RJV
Wang Dong Ling, a Chinese master calligrapher, brushes the Chinese characters for "way", "laws", "beginning", and "yes" : 道 法 自 然. Underlying meanings lead us to ponder how the Way or path of life is found in the course of Nature. Wang followed my course in 20th Century Art at the China Academy in 1985 (Hangzhou, PRC). In turn, as a shufa master, Wang introduced me to Chinese brush traditions that influenced the software I then developed for using a brush with pen plotters. Later, as a visiting artist in the U.S., Wang lived in our home and became fascinated with the brush strokes executed by the plotter. This seal, often used in signing work, was carved in an old style that Wang considered appropriate for the studio with an "electric brain"*. Wang returned to teaching at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou following his residence in Minneapolis.
Several original works were executed interactively between myself and Wang Dong Ling. I created algorithmic pen plots and Wang responded with calligraphic characters in a rhythmic free style. The untitled work below, executed around 1990, shows the interplay between algorithm and hand.
* a computer in Chinese is called an "electric brain": 电脑
Untitled, c.1990, Pen plot and Calligraphy
Roman & Wang Dong Ling. ©
Wang also wrote out the characters more formally by
hand for easier translation..
Translation of Wang's characters: "Those who follow the way of Yin and Yang are righteous; those who accomplish it carry its nature within themselves. Those who are benevolent see its benevolence; those who have knowledge within themselves perceive its knowledge." Quoted from the ancient Chinese "Book of Change".
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