0 Discovering China   Chinese Gardens Celebrated in ArtFor centuries, the traditional Chinese garden has been an idyllic paradise and a source of creative inspiration for scholars and artists.

In traditional Chinese culture, the garden is a place to discover one self. The garden serves as a place for self-cultivation, solitary contemplation, as well as for social or literary gatherings.

For the first time, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art displays its entire permanent collection of artwork celebrating these recurring themes in Chinese gardens.

[Mike Hearn, Met Museum Asian Art Department Head]:
“It introduces one thousand years of Chinese painting history, all focused on the theme of Chinese gardens, and how gardens have been an inspiration for artists throughout the centuries.”

“Chinese Gardens—Pavilions, Studios, Retreats” features over 60 paintings—together with ceramics, carved bamboo, lacquer ware, metalwork, textiles, and photographs.

Met Museum Asian Art Department Head and curator of the exhibition, Mike Hearn talks about the key themes and elements in Chinese gardens.

[Mike Hearn, Met Museum Asian Art Department Head]:
“They initially were built to attract immortals. Immortals are another theme that percolates throughout garden history, as well as pavilions, which are always the focal point in gardens. Either you built a pavilion at a beautiful spot for the view or it became itself part of the view.”

One of the highlights of the exhibition is “The Palace of Nine Perfections” by a 17th century artist. The splendor of the traditional Chinese garden is set in 12 hanging scrolls, presenting an imaginary landscape of a seventh-century palace.

[Mike Hearn, Met Museum Asian Art Department Head]:
“In 1689, the city of Yangzhou welcomed the Kangxi emperor on his second Southern Inspection Tour…this painting actually is a representation of how well the Yangzhou society entertained the emperor on his arrival.”

The imperial garden is a source of inspiration of imaginary creations of what an immortal’s dwelling place would look like.

[Mike Hearn, Met Museum Asian Art Department Head]:
“These gardens were often meant to evoke paradises. So this wonderful 18-foot wide panoramic of a Tang Dynasty garden was so vast that the emperor had to ride on horseback between different pavilions.”

Hearn talks about retreat—a recurring theme in Chinese garden art.

[Mike Hearn, Met Museum Asian Art Department Head]:
“Reclusion, withdrawal from politics and the dusty world of commerce is a major theme. So we have a number of images that talk about, illustrates the idea of withdrawal into the landscapes, escaping either changing dynasties or commercial pressures.”

He elaborates this theme with the bottle imagery.

[Mike Hearn, Met Museum Asian Art Department Head]:
“The bottle was a metaphor for a world you could escape into. You can make yourself small, go into a bottle, or go into a gourd, and find another universe there.”

The Chinese character for bottle looks like a Han Dynasty bottle with a lid on it. Hearn explains how this becomes a way to find immortal happiness for the Taoist painter whose nickname was square bottle.

Every art piece tells a story—like the “Palace Banquet.” This is a hanging scroll in ink and color on silk, dating back to the late 10th–11th century.

The painting depicts a narrative sequence of the rendezvous between Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty and his imperial consort Yang Guifei.

[Mike Hearn, Met Museum Asian Art Department Head]:
“The sad ending of the story is that so infatuated was the emperor with Yang Guifei that he neglected the affairs of the state. And An Lushan rebelled, forcing the emperor to flee. The palace guard refused to take the emperor to safety unless they put Yang Guifei to death.”

Hearn explains the message behind the story in the painting.

[Mike Hearn, Met Museum Asian Art Department Head]:
“It reminds you to not be distracted, too distracted by what surrounds you or the state will come to harm and ultimately the dynasty may fall.”

Another recurring theme focuses on how gardens serve a venue for literary gatherings. This is best illustrated in the “Gathering at the Orchid Pavilion”—a hand scroll in ink and color on paper.

It tells the story of the well-known calligrapher Wang Xizhi and his friends meeting at the Orchid Pavilion to hold a poetry competition. Cups of wine float downstream, as poets composed their verses by the meandering river.

[Mike Hearn, Met Museum Asian Art Department Head]:
“The legend of this extraordinary outdoor gathering was a inspiration for later garden designers who often love to create these winding waterways.”

Till January 6th, 2013, Chinese Art lovers will be able to feast their eyes on this collection of “Chinese Gardens—Pavilions, Studios, Retreats” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

By Margaret Trey, PhD

Duration : 0:5:39

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0 Shanghais Jews: Art, Architecture and SurvivalFeatured is the program Shanghai’s Jews: Art, Architecture and Survival which took place March 4, 2010. In it, Nancy Berliner explores the transformation of Shanghai into a multi-cultural, international city, from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. Three waves of Jewish immigrants from the Middle East, Russia and Germany discovered in this port city both a hospitable refuge from persecution, and an opportunity to create a new community.

Nancy Berliner is curator of Chinese art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and has curated exhibits of Chinese Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Yale University Art Gallery, among others. She has lectured at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, the Asia Society of Houston, and the China Institute. She has written for the New York Times, Asian Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Asian Art, and American Craft magazines, and is the author of “Yin Yu Tang: The Architecture and Daily Life of a Chinese House”, “Beyond the Screen: Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Century”, and “Chinese Folk Art”.

Co-sponsored by the Asian Art Museum, which is presenting the exhibition Shanghai, through September 15. Also presented in collaboration with the Holocaust Center of Northern California and the American Jewish Committees San Francisco office.

Duration : 0:55:5

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Chinese Sarcophagus Exhibit at the Clark

On June 21, 2012, in Chinese Art, by admin

0 Chinese Sarcophagus Exhibit at the ClarkThe Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., is hosting three exhibits linked to founder Sterling Clark’s explorations in China. In “Unearthed: Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Northern China,” a 10-stone sarcophagus discovered in 2004 makes its debut outside of China. See iBerkshires.com for more.

Duration : 0:1:21

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0 White Rabbit   Contemporary Chinese Art Collection   Samstag Museum of Art, UniSA15 July – 30 September 2011. Original music by Zhaohong Liang from the School of Chinese Music and Arts. Used by permission.

Sydney’s amazing White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection is dedicated to works of art created after 2000, and is one of the most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art in the world.

In 2011, the Year of the Rabbit, the Samstag Museum is delighted to present a major exhibition of selected works from the White Rabbit Collection, for the Adelaide Festival Centre’s 2011 OzAsia Festival.

The White Rabbit exhibition provides an exciting window to the diversity and power of contemporary art practice in China, showcasing works in very different media — painting, sculpture, animation, new media and installation — by artists Yan Baishen, Sun Furong, Bu Hua, Shi Jindian, Wu Junyong, Huang Keyi /Chen Zhuo, Shen Liang, Zhou Xiaohu, Cang Xin, Bai Yiluo, Dong Yuan and Wang Zhiyuan.

Duration : 0:3:58

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0 China: West Meets East at The Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is home to the finest collection of Chinese masterpieces of any museum outside of China. Produced for Public Television by Great Museums TV.

Duration : 0:56:43

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0 The Emperors Eye: Art and Power in Imperial ChinaDVD Available and Download to Own at: http://www.longtailnet.com/4073

“Interweaving the history and culture of the time, this fine documentary presents traditional Chinese Art for those who cannot visit in person.” — Booklist

“Recommended highly for high school, college and university levels as well as for public library and community audiences.” – Sightlines

This spectacular film brings to light the priceless treasures of China’s Imperial art collection, relating them to the political climate of their time. It is an unforgettable glimpse into another culture and another age.

Miraculously, the treasures survived the turbulence of war and revolution. When the Japanese invaded China in the 1930′s, the precious works of art were spirited out of the Forbidden City (so richly evoked in The Last Emperor). For years the collection was hidden all over China in caves, temples and school houses. Worth untold millions, it became the symbol of China’s cultural survival.

The Emperor’s Eye is also the tale of a passionate collector, Emperor Chien Lung, whose quest to create the greatest art collection in the world was actually a bid for his own immortality. Filmed with the cooperation of the Taipei National Palace Museum, the documentary shows the precious artworks – jade dragons, landscape painting, delicate porcelains, ancient bronze urns – that so few Westerners are privileged to see.

As the definitive film on traditional Chinese art and culture, The Emperor’s Eye will satisfy the curiosity of a wide spectrum of viewers-from experts in Asian Studies to armchair travelers and art lovers.

Executive Producer: Alvin H. Perlmutter
Producer/Director: Lisa Hsia
NTSC 4:3 – 57-minutes
© 1989 & 2011 Alvin H. Perlmutter, Inc.

CINE, Gold Eagle, 1990
Golden Apple, National Educational Film Festival, 1990

Duration : 0:56:42

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Inside the Chinese Contemporary Art Scene

On August 25, 2011, in Chinese Art, by admin

0 Inside the Chinese Contemporary Art SceneThe hottest artists and multimedia art.See Zhang Huan, Xu Bing, Yang Fudong and more, presented by Asia Society’s Melissa Chiu, interviewed by BigThink.com – where you can find a variety of expert interviews.

Duration : 0:5:2

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Chinese Art Selling at Record Prices

On July 1, 2011, in Chinese Art, by admin

0 Chinese Art Selling at Record PricesChinese Contemporary art is hot. Recent international auctions have far exceeded expectations with one painting recently setting a new record for a contemporary Chinese artist. Among today’s most prominent Chinese Artists is Yue Minjun, whose signature laughing self-portrait has earned accolades from critics around the world. For producer Joseph Mok, Elaine Lu has more

Duration : 0:3:5

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