“Trees of Takao”. Poetry and Woodcuts by Su-Li Hung

In addition to our current retrospective of Su-Li Hung and Richard Sloat’s woodcuts, the gallery is currently offering several of Su-Li’s books for sale. A printmaker and poet, Su-Li has published over 30 articles and books, and we are happy to be able to present three of them at the gallery: “Meeting the Marvelous Phoenix”, “Little Lily’s Birth Journey”, and  “Trees of Takao”.

“Trees of Takao”. Poetry and Woodcuts by Su-Li Hung. 2010.

This book published in Taipei, Taiwan includes 55-color illustrations of Hung’s woodcuts, 66 poems in Chinese with 11 translated into English. Takao, which means bamboo fence, is the aboriginal name of Hung’s birthplace. Takao was changed to Kaohsiung during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, between the years of 1895-1945. Even after living in New York City for many years, the harbor city of Takao remains a wellspring of creative energy for the artist. Excerpt from “Trees of Takao” below:


Farewell to the Sea
By Su-Li Hung, 1970. English translation by Tommy McClellan.

Siren beauty here burst forth in riotous color
the unruly song of les femme de la mer
is barely heard, and dies away
shivering dawn

The great winds and broad swell of the ocean
bring choice titbit-tattle from the far shore
while each sand dune
is another lover’s home

As I climb to the crest, I know longer believe the myths
of this shore and that shore
or that the way I wash my hair today
determines the cleanliness of my body tomorrow

Every wave says,
“This is as far as I can take you”
Nonchalant I look around and reply
“This will do.”



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