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Magazine Volume 2, Issue 3 (October 2000)
  Table of Contents

A Message from the Publisher

Nixi Cura
Ph.D Candidate
Institute of Fine Arts
New York University

In This Issue

Welcome to the fourth issue of the Traditional Art Magazine, in which we pay tribute to Taoism and the Arts of China, the first comprehensive exhibition on the artistic achievements of Daoism as seen in painting, calligraphy, sculpture, ritual implements, textiles, and rare books. Objects on display hail from collections in over ten countries, thirty-three of these from China. After closing at the Art Institute of Chicago on 7 January 2001, the show will move to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, on display from 21 February to 13 May 2001.

A two-day symposium to discuss the history of Daoist imagery and thought will be held at the Art Institute during the weekend of 2-3 December 2000. The only scheduled speaker from China, Wang Yi'e, will introduce the little-known but unsurpassed collection of Daoist painting and sculpture at the White Cloud Temple in Beijing. Many of these works have been lent to the exhibition, some of which have never been seen by the public, even in China. In this issue, Wang, arguably the only expert on Daoist painting in China, provides an overview of "The Origins of Daoist Art" prior to the establishment of institutional Daoism. In addition, select treasures from the White Cloud Temple are showcased in this issue's Picture Gallery.

In a related article, "An Outline of Daoist Art," Liu Jianlong confronts the question, "What is Daoist art?," arguing for criticality in defining and analyzing subject matter and iconography. Broad and narrow definitions of "Daoist art" rely on a historical and historicized conceptualization of Daoism, its philosophy, and and its practice.

To round out this issue on Daoist art, we offer a translated excerpt, "How Do We Come to Terms with Folk Religions from Feudal Times?" from a seminal work in the field of religious studies, History of Folk Religion in China (Shanghai People's Press, 1992), by Ma Xisha and Han Bingfang. The authors consider Daoism and its variegated forms as reflections of and vehicles for dissatisfaction with feudal hierarchies.

The Reference/Materials section of this issue includes the third installment of Zhao Li's Central Academy of Fine Arts thesis, Zhang Xin and the Jingjiang School. We welcome readers' suggestions for the next thesis to be serialized on these pages. Please consult the list of Central Academy theses, published in the July 2000 issue.

Finally, our staff has compiled a reference list of Museums, Galleries, and Booksellers relating to Chinese art. A link to this continuously updated page will appear in all future issues and the monthly e-bulletin. Please contact if you wish to have your institution, gallery, or bookseller listed.

Features in Past and Future Issues

Comment boxes: Kudos to the readers who took advantage of the comment boxes located at the bottom of each page to submit insightful comments. A selection of these were posted on the site with the authors' responses. Both readers and authors benefited from the questions raised, and hope for even greater interactivity in this and future issues.

Guest editors: Scholars from China and abroad are invited to submit entire issues focusing on a specific theme. hopes to publish two of its four issues per year along these lines. Guest editors will receive an honorarium and/or "seminar grant" to complete the issue. Prospective applicants should involve Chinese scholars in the project, with possible tie-ins with academic conferences in China. Write to for further details.

New format: is in the process of reconfiguring its site map to merge the Traditional and Contemporary components of the current configuration, with content from the two e-bulletins incorporated in the new unitary home page. We are also tinkering with changes in nomenclature, from "traditional" to "pre-modern," and from "contemporary" to "modern/contemporary." As always, your suggestions for this and other features are most welcome.

Many thanks for your continued readership!

Readers are invited to submit comments.





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Nixi Cura

"The Origins of Daoist Art"
by Wang Yi'e

"An Outline of Daoist Art"
by Liu Jianlong

"How Do We Come to Terms with Folk Religions in Feudal Times?"
by Ma Xisha and Han Bingfang

Review of Taoism and the Arts of China: "Daoist Art in the Making"
by Lennert Gesterkamp

Picture Gallery: White Cloud Temple (Baiyun Guan), Beijing

Han Dynasty Daoist Scriptures Found in Ancient Well

Museums, Galleries, Booksellers

Zhang Yin and the Jingjiang School, Part 3/5

31 Jan 2001 e-bulletin




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back issues
Volume 1, Issue 1
(October 1999)
Volume 2, Issue 1
(January 2000)
Volume 2, Issue 2
(July 2000)

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