Thursday, September 29, 2016

The China Institute: Art in a Time of Chaos

At China Institute's new headquarters downtown: Art in a Time of Chaos, Masterworks from Six Dynasties China, 3rd - 6th Centuries. China Institute Link
What a gorgeous show! Above, Celadon Earthenware, Three Kingdoms Period (272)
Funerary Pedestal
Rubbing of the Ming Tanxi Epitaph (Southern Dynasties tomb dated 474)
Detail, for full image, scroll down
Left panel of reproduced scroll for Orchid Pavilion poetry readings, during which officials gathered,

Drinks were passed and if passed the drink, one had to compose a poem...or drink.
Rubbing for the Eulogy of Burial of a Crane, detail (for full image scroll down)

Rubbing of mold-impressed brick Hu xiao Shan Qiu, from Eastern Jin Tomb, Fourth Year of Yonghe (347)

The technique developed over the next 100 years,...

Museum Director Willow Weilan Hai discussing the printing technique in front of a misaligned print of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove (details at end of post)

Images of Tao Yuanming, who wrote,
"Gathering chrysanthemums
'Neath the eastern paling of bamboo -
In langourousness I gaze
at the southern heights in the distance."
(Trans. Ben Wang)

Tao was considered the pioneer of Chinese recluse poetry, particularly Field and Garden poetry (tianyuanshi). I am excited to find out this is a category! David Hinton, esteemed translator, likens the genre to a suburban sort of Shanshui (mountain/water) than its own category. Wikipedia Link
Buddha standing on a lotus petal, surrounded by bodhisattvas.  Nanjing, inscribed 8/23 first year of Datong, made by Chao in offering
Rubbing of the Ming Tanxi Epitaph (full view, detail above)
474, standard script
Rubbing of the Eulogy for the Burial of a Crane, 420-589
The crane was a pet of a devoted monk. The stone on which the script was carved was for a long time submerged in the Yangtze River. 
From the Admonitions Scroll: a how to on behavior for ladies.

Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, a vision of Chinese utopia. Brick rubbings in a style attributed to Gu Kaizhi.


Order, then disarray - inspiring either way.

Misaligned, impressed-brick mural depicting the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, found in a couple's tomb. From Southern Dynasty period (420-589)

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