An Ho: Jia Yingchun

JiaYingchunJia Yingchun
An Ho
1993
Watercolor on silk mounted on rice paper using traditional Chinese technique
54″ x 88″

Daughter of one of Dream of the Red Chamber hero Baoyu’s paternal uncles, Yingchun (Welcome Spring) is the second of the quartet of “Springs.” She has little except her family name to distinguish or recommend her. Born of a concubine, she represents a sharp contrast to Jia Tanchun who is also the daughter of a concubine Neither a poet nor a house manager, Yingchun’s lack of distinction has led others to nickname her Blockhead the Second. Indeed she is so week in character that some servants freely take advantage of her. And instead of taking care of her maids as a mistress should do, she is so incapable of defending herself that her maids have to come to her rescue during the search of Prospect Garden. In the sequel, she dies young at the hands of an abusive husband.

JiaYingchun-CutawayARTIST’S COMMENTARY

Weak and ordinary. Hiding behind a fan shows her timidness. The wolf on her fan shows her tragic marriage fate. She has the most common design of all to accentuate her plainness and lower level of importance in the family.