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Peach Blossom Spring

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S: Peach Blossom Spring Lana Z Caplan

1: Lana Z Caplan | Peach Blossom Spring

99: Peach Blossom Spring A fisherman sails down a river, lost in thought. After some time, he reaches a part of the river that is lined with a forest of blossoming peach trees. He continues among the fragrant blossoms to the end of the river where he finds a spring. Behind the spring there is a narrow opening. He climbs through the opening and reaches another place, a rich utopia where animals and people live in natural harmony. The villagers there are kind and welcoming. They explain to him that they fled civil unrest three dynasties earlier, and have lived here in peace ever since, self-governing and immortal. The fisherman stays several days. When he leaves, the villagers tell him not to speak about his experience finding them. But the fisherman marks his path anyway, and as soon as he returns he tells the elders. Of course they immediately set out looking for this place. They try and try, but never find the utopia.

100: "Peach Blossom Spring" was written in Chinese by Tao Qian during the T'ai-yuan period of the Ch'in Dynasty, 326-97, a time of great social unrest and political instability. The summary on the previous page is adapted from a translation in Anthology of Chinese Literature, Volume I: From Early Times to the Fourteenth Century, edited by Cyril Birch. (New York: Grove Press, 1965), 167-168.

101: Lana Z Caplan 2013 | The images in this book were created in China during the summer of 2012, while I was an Artist-in-Residence at the Inside Out Art Museum in Beijing.

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  • By: Lana C.
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