Song of Eternal Sorrow

Hidden from the world,
with grace favoured by heaven,
is a fresh beauty from the Yang family

Yang Kuei-fei in Bai Chi-yi’s Song of Eternal Sorrow,as depicted by Shanghai artist Yao Yuxin. This is the first of 10 scroll paintings showing various scenes from the narrative poem, exhibited and sold in Singapore in 1996 to raise funds for a secondary school.

The three-line Chinese text excerpt reads from the right, in traditional top-down fashion:

Yang family has a girl, just grown up
Living in seclusion, not known by anyone
But with a heavenly beauty difficult to conceal

Next painting: Miss Yang fresh from her bath

Other paintings by Mr Yao: Hauling bananas to market
Sari beauty  |  Guanyin Bodhisattva


Painting of Yang Kuei-fei by Yao Yuxin, 1996