19 May 2000

Welcome to the Traditional Art e-bulletin, distributed monthly to scholars, professionals, and those interested in the world of Chinese traditional art. Please e-mail suggestions, news, and announcements to These e-bulletins will be archived at /traditional/news/ for your future reference.






[past and ongoing exhibitions]

[forthcoming exhibitions]

[museum news]


[recent auctions]

[market news]

[forthcoming auctions]






Traditional Chinese Art Magazine

We invite you to visit the most recent issue of the Traditional Magazine, published January 2000, which features Chinese painting. Contributors include Xue Yongnian, Liu Jianlong, Yang Lili, Wu Gan, Li Ling, and Nie Chongzheng.

Contemporary Chinese Art Magazine

Don't forget to check out the latest issue (volume 3, issue 1) of the Contemporary Magazine, which includes the feature article, "Conceptual Art and the China Experience," by Wang Lin, an interview between Zhang Zhaohui and Wu Hung, "The Space "In-between": Curatorial Strategies for Chinese Contemporary Art," by Sue Rowley, a profile of Song Dong and his recent video work, and more.

The Art Newspaper Selects

The Art Newspaper has selected as one of its top five favorite art sites on the web. To see this article and to get a complete listing of art-related websites on the internet, see the lead article titled, "Tangled in the Artistic Web?" at

Print Copies of Publications

If you're too busy to browse, New Art Media Limited (HK) offers paper-bound, printed copies of's web-publications on a paid subscription basis.

We are now pleased to provide an on-line bookstore,, which offers a careful selection of English and Chinese publications on traditional and contemporary art. For a sample of new books available on traditional Chinese art, please see our New Books section below.

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Newly Discovered Qin (221-206 BC) and Han (206 BC - AD 220) Buildings in Liaoning

Following the discovery of a batch of new, unique building facilities at Shibeidi, the Liaoning Cultural Relics Archaeology Institute conducted an excavation from July 1998 to November 1999, focusing on the site's central, large, rammed earth platform. The overall building foundation, the platform foundation, and remnants of a section of a building emerged the clearing process. In the northern section, three components of icehouse-type facilities, oriented north-south, were discovered: a well pit, drainage pipes, and seepage water pit. In June 1999, an excavation was conducted on two of the five sets of cave dwellings discovered in 1998 in Dajinsi Camp. Each set of caves comprised four single-room caves, two abutting the other two, separated by about four meters, with the cave openings facing east. The length of a single cave from east to west measures 5 meters and up. The cave dwellings contain cave chambers, cave beds, fire ovens, cave doors, flues, etc. The cave chambers are roughly horseshoe-shaped and three meters in diameter. There are caozuojian outside all of the cave entrances. Around each set of caves runs a ditch 5-8 meters wide, inside which were piled many discarded half-tube tiles, wide shallow tiles, and tile finials. From these unearthed tiles and the characters of the seals imprinted on them, it can be seen that all are identical to the Qin dynasty building components found at Shibeidi, thus showing the link between the two.

Liaoning Cultural Relics Archaeology Institute, Meinushi Work Station, "New Results from Excavation of Qin (221-206 BC) and Han (206 BC - AD 220) Buildings at Jiangnushi," Zhongguo wenwu bao (16 February 2000), 1.

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Another Shang Dynasty (c.1600-c.1100BC) City Unearthed at Anyang

From October to December 1999, on the north bank of the Anyang river in the northwest suburbs of Anyang, Hebei province, the Anyang work team of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Archaeological Research Institute dug up a large-scale Shang dynasty city and simultaneously conducted a partial dissection of the site. This new site lies on the northeast edge of the famed Yinxu, adjacent to and just slighly overlapping with the original Yinxu protection range. The whole site has until now been deeply buried beneath the earth's surface at 2.5 meters and below. The plane is approximately square, and its orientation is north slanting east by 13 degrees. The city wall is of rammed earth construction. A cross-section of the foundation's grooves assumed the shape of the bottom of a pot, approximately 10 meters in width. According to the investigation, the length of the four-sided city wall is over 2000 meters, and its total enclosed area exceeds 4,000,000 square meters. After a comprehensive analysis of every aspect, the city essentially dates from beforeYinxu Dasikong village to after the Zhengzhou Erligang Shang civilization. This discovery is an important breakthrough for archaeological research on the Shang dynasty. From the point of view of research on this region, its discovery is helpful in understanding the historical and cultural background of Yinxu, the Shang dynasty's last capital on the Anyang riverbank, as well as evolving patterns of ancient settlement in the Anyang river valley. The discovery of this Shang city also provides key information for improving the chronological framework of Shang dynasty archaeology and culture, and will influence the Shang element of the Xia-Shang-Zhou periodization project.

Liu Zhongfu, "Discovery of a Large-Scale Shang City on the Fringes of the Anyang Yinxu Protected Area," Zhongguo wenwu bao (20 February 2000), 1.

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New Archaeological Discoveries at the Hutian Kilns, Jingdezhen

From September to October 1999, the Jiangxi Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute, in conjunction with the Jingdezhen Ceramics History Museum, resumed a salvaging excavation at the Jingdezhen Hutian kilns. The excavation lies along the service and main roads stretching from the southern foothills of Pipa Mountain to the north side of Beiwang Stone Walls. The exposed area covered 300 square meters, containing ten Song dynasty ashpits. Unearthed were all kinds of kiln tools and porcelain remnants amounting to 5712 items, among which intact and restorable objects reach a hundred. The finds included blue-and-white, blue, black, white, and blue floral porcelain ranging in date from the Five Dynasties (907-960) to the Wanli reign (1573-1620) of the Ming dynasty. This specific excavation focused on middle to late Northern Song dynasty remains, among which were unearthed numerous blue-and-white porcelain pieces of high high quality, rich in variety, and consisting of every kind of daily utensils as well as hand-sculpted pillows, weiqi board games, chess sets, beads, animal and human figures. Bowls and plates constituted the majority of the finds. This excavation yielded a rich harvest of Hutian blue-white glazed utensil types. Among these, only the round-necked bottle with a protruding midsection and decorated with a combination of carved and pasted flowers has not been seen before. In addition, shards bearing inscripitions such as "qing xiang mei jiu (clear fragrance and good wine)," inscriptions were among the important discoveries in this excavation.

Zhang Wenjiang and Yu Jiang'an, "New Archaeological Discovery at the Hutian Kilns, Jingdezhen," Zhongguo wenwu bao (20 February 2000).

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Chu Palace Foundations Found at Dragon Bay, Qianjiang

From late October 1999 to mid-January 2000, archaeological staff conducted an exploratory dig at the Dragon Bay (Longwan) site, Qianjiang City, Hubei. The area explored covered 3,240,000 square meters. The Dragon Bay site is located about 30 km southwest of Qianjiang City. Approximately 55 km to the northwest of Qianjiang lies the southern walls of Ying, capital of the Chu state (?-223). The site area measures 5,200,000 square meters. The foundations can be divided into four large groups, from east to west: (1) the remains of the Fangyingtai (Palace of the Terrace for Releasing Falcons; (2) the rammed earth raised foundation of a roof tile factory; (3) the rammed earth raised foundation of the Dagutai (Drum-Playing Terrace); and (4) the rammed earth platform of a queen's tomb. Three main factors characterize the group of foundations at Dragon Bay Chu palace site. First, it is large in scale; already, 19 rammed earth platform foundations are scattered within a 4 square km range, and the total area exceeds 200,000 square meters. Second, building specifications are grand. The Spring and Autumn period (770-476BC) is the first three-storey platform palace foundation among all Eastern Zhou period (770-256BC) sites discovered. The road composed of shells, the integrated mortise-and-tenon structure and large pillar holes, the rammed earth platform, the arrangement of roof beams within the platform, as well as comprehensive underground sewer pipes, are all rarely seen elsewhere in China. Third, the architectural style is unique, a breakthrough from the traditional style of ancient buildings. Instead of being aligned on a north-south central axis with east-west symmetry, and having the main hall in the front and private rooms in the back, etc., there appears an intentionally random mix of east and west, high and low. Buildings loom high in the north and lie low in the south, with the shell road and its covered walkway encircling the structures. A winding corridor interlocks with palatial gardens, taking on the appearance of an imperial vacation home setting. This discovery provides a new breakthrough point for the research of Chu civilization.

Jingzhou Museum, "Important Results at an Exploratory Dig at Dragon Bay, Qianjiang," Zhongguo wenwu bao (23 February 2000), 1.

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Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) Daming Temple Stele Unearthed at Zhicheng

At the beginning of this year, while installing sewage pipes at the Henan Jiyuan No. 1 Middle School, a stele was discovered 0.2 meters underground. The stele dates from the 27th year of the Jin (1187) and chronicles records the land holdings of the Daming Temple, situated southeast of Zhicheng Township, 6 km south of Jiyuan City. It is said that an early incarnation of the stele was in the "Xiuxiangyuan (Repairing Fragrance Bureau)," in charge of ancestral rites during the rule of the Marquis of Ji (Han period, 202 BC - AD 220). In the Song dynasty it became a monastery, and was later established as the "Daming Temple" in the thirteen year of the Yuan dynasty (1276). The mountain gate, Buddhist images, and over 40 pieces of old architecture are preserved at the present temple site by the provincial cultural relics protection unit. The stele, already broken into two sections, is carved from black stone and measures 130 cm high 52 cm wide. Four hornless dragons are carved into the stele's rounded top; in the precise center of the top is chiseled a pointed-arch niche in fairly high relief, in which there is a Buddha figure. On the upper part of the stele are seven characters of horizontal text: "Daming chan yuan heng chan ming (Land Holdings of the Daming Zen Temple)." In total, there are eight rows of text, with a full row containing 22 characters, and a total count of 119 characters, all in regular script. Aside from four words missing from the middle of a crack and faded, illegible words, the characters are clear, the calligraphy is vigorous but graceful, strong, elegant, and tidy. The discovery of this stele provides material evidence for research into the history, culture, and the scope of Daming temple and its grounds.

Qin Shengli, "A Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) Daming Temple Stele Unearthed at Zhicheng," Zhongguo wenwu bao (23 February 2000), 1.

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Discovery of Warring States (475-221 BC) Pottery Kiln Site at Jiaozuo

Early this year, the Jiaozuo City Cultural Relics Work Team in Henan conducted an excavation at a site located north of Gushanyang. The area of this excavation covered 208 sq. meters, and the layers of civilization from top to bottom in successive order are as follows: land cultivation, Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, Han dynasty (202 BC - AD 220), and Warring States (475-221 BC). At the Warring States level was discovered a fairly dilapidated pottery kiln site, with remains of only the lower portion of the burnt earth, roughly one square meter. The unearthed pottery pieces are all clay, with a large amount of grey pottery and very little red pottery. Among the daily utensils such as jars, urns, were found several stem cups and stemmed dishes, including one stamped with square-shaped white text, "yaotao," which is most likely the name of the workplace where the pottery was manufactured. In addition, there were two stemmed dishes on the outside of which are stamps of shapes resembling animals. Other than this, building components such as tubular and flat tiles have been dug up. Inferring from the relationship between the ground level and the characteristics of the unearthed materials, the time period of the pottery kiln site accords with the early Warring States period. This discovery can move the time of the construction of Gushanyang earlier by 200 years and adds new material data for research into the development of the Warring States handicraft industry and into northern Henan's Warring States civilization.

Feng Binglou and Suo Quanxing, "Discovery of Warring States (475-221 BC) Pottery Kiln Site at Jiaozuo," Zhongguo wenwu bao (23 February 2000), 1.

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Discovery in Inner Mongolia of Spring & Autumn Period (722-482 BC) Di People Graves

From July to August 1999, an archaeological team conducted an excavation to salvage Di graves damaged by floods in the town of Xindiaozi, Helinge'er County, Hehaote, recovering in total 56 graves and hundreds of gold, copper, stone, ceramic, shell, and jade articles. This excavation yielded significant material for the study of the Spring and Autumn Period (722-482 BC), nomadic, northern Di people's society and social life. The Di people were buried without coffins, with a large number of domestic animals, and with numerous decorative items, including copper earrings, bone rings, shell rings, agate necklaces and gold neckrings. The men were generally entombed with weapons, while the women were entombed with pottery and bone needles. The cemetery is divided into two small upper and lower sections, in which graves were placed in north-south alignment, 3 - 8 meters apart. The graves are vertical pits, 0.6 - 1.7 m wide and 1.4 - 2.2 m deep.

Wang Dafang, Cao Jianen, "Discovery in Inner Mongolia of Spring & Autumn Period Di People Graves," Zhongguo wenwu bao, (5 March 2000), 1.

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Song Dynasty (960-1279) Kiln Complex Discovered in Dujiangyan, Sichuan

A group of kilns containing Song dynasty (960-1279) pottery -- said to be the largest and best-preserved site in Sichuan -- has been unearthed in Dujiangyan City, Jinfeng village. A total of eight kilns were discovered, surrounded by many remains of workshops and other structures. A large quantity of ceramics were also discovered, indicating that at the time the site was a major center of pottery production.

Zhongguo wenwu bao (30 January 2000), 3.

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Tomb of Zhu Yuanzhang, the First Ming Emperor

From March 1999 to February 2000, the Nanjing Cultural Relics Institute opened Xiaoling and Dongling tomb complexes in order to investigate the original layouts of and the condition of surviving cultural relics. Xiaoling is the mausoleum of Zhu Yuanzhang (r. 1368-1398), the first emperor of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). After the Qing dynasty, except for vestiges of the encircling wall and of some Ming buildings, pavilions and the entrance gate, most of the surface architecture was destroyed by wartime conflagrations. This archaeological study was conducted primarily in the east side of Xiaoling. The exploration revealed the remains of several structures, such as a side hall, imperial kitchen, slaughterhouse, ovens for burning silk, etc., and objects such as a sparrow pond. In addition, archaeologists also explored and confirmed the Dongling tomb site, over 60 meters east of Xiaoling. Having undergone 600 years of damage and natural erosion, Dongling, the tomb of Zhu Yuanzhang's eldest son, is in ruins. The overall layout is similar to that of Xiaoling, but on a smaller scale, with fairly unique features. The mausoleum is oriented north-south and has a four-sided brick wall 1.2 meters wide. The first courtyard encountered measures 50 meters from east to west. Two sides of the wall curve inward toward the front gate of the tomb gardens, so the layout assumes the shape of a tortoise shell, the only such form seen in an imperial tomb. Aside from this, a large quantity of colored glazed building materials and Ming dynasty blue-and-white ceramic fragments, pottery remnants, ancient coins, etc., were also unearthed. These discoveries are of great value in studying the characteristics of the layout and architectural style of early Ming imperial tombs, and to the recuperation of the historical context of Xiaoling.

He Yun'ao, Shao Lei, and Wang Qianhua, "Many Discoveries at Ming Dynasty Xiaoling and Dongling Tombs, Nanjing," Zhongguo wenwu bao (27 February 2000), 1.

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Neolithic Excavation at Beiyangping, Henan

A salvage excavation and sorting out of data lasting over 50 days was conducted jointly by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Archaeology Institute, the Henan Province Cultural Relics Institute, the Three Gorges Cultural Relics Bureau, and the Lingbao Cultural Office at Beiyangping, Lingbao, Henan. This site is situated at the base of Mount Jing,Yangping, Lingbao, and is one of many important Yangshao Culture sites containing cast bronzes. The site measures approximately 5 kilometers north-south and 300-500 meters east-west width, with layers of habitation running 3-5 meters deep. It is one of the largest Yangshao sites ever discovered. The area of this excavation was 320 square meters. Twenty-seven ash pits were found, of which twenty-four dated to Yangshao Culture and three to the Western Zhou. Five ancient graves were excavated - two from Yangshao and three from the Warring States. Three Yangshao-period houses were excavated, as well as a total of 100,000 pieces of pottery, stone and bone utensils, from which a hundred items emerged fairly intact. Among the articles unearthed in this excavation are astonishingly large utensils, such as a large vat 94 cm in diameter and a large 90-cm black clay jar, not often seen at contemporaneous sites. The meticulously crafted lid of a Miaodigou-period narrow-mouthed bottle modelled into the likeness of a human head is also rarely seen in western Hunan archaeological history. Even more astonishing are two symbols on the edge of a two-piece polychrome clay basin; whether these are words or symbols recording an event remains to be determined by further research.

Ren Minlu, "Gratifying Results in Beiyangping Salvage Excavation," Zhongguo wenwu bao (27 February 2000), 1.

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Unusual Early Building Methods Excavated at Dingbo Gate, Zhenjiang

The Jiangsu Zhenjiang Ancient City Archaeology Bureau conducted a salvage excavation at the remains of a circular wall at Dingbo Gate for over a year and has now obtained many important results. Built in the early Ming dynasty during the first year of the Hongwu reign (1368), the remains include the stone city wall, a flat platform outside the city wall, the city moat, and a brick-and-stone arched bridge (North Gate Bridge) connected to and extending outward from the city gate, remnants of which were found inside the city. The results of the archaeological study show the difference between the manner of construction of the circular wall and the usual method of building city walls on flat ground: it is built into the mountain, it has upper and lower walls, the inside is high while the outside is low, and the gate and bridge are connected to each other. This method of building cities is rarely seen. The excavation also revealed vestiges of the Tang-Song dynasty wall concealed inside the Ming-Qing Dingbo Gate. Bricks from the late Southern Song foundation showed several different imprinted characters dating from the Tang and Song periods. Aside from the Southern Song foundation, remains of the Tang and Northern Song rammed earth city wall and an old city moat were also discovered.

Liu Jianguo, "Innumerable Archaeological Gains at the Circular Wall at Dingbo Gate, Zhenjiang," Zhongguo wenwu bao (1 March 2000), 1.

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Tang Dynasty (618-917) Stone Carving in Dengfeng, Henan

The Dengfeng City (Henan) Cultural Relics Bureau discovered a carved stele, "Additional Preface Inscribed at Master Xianzang's Pagoda (Xianzang dashi ta ming bing xu)," dated to the third year of the Yuanhe era of the Tang dynasty (808), halfway up the slope on the east side of Songyue Temple pagoda. No mention of this stele appears in epigraphical records or local gazetteers. The stone tablet is 99.5 cm wide, 64.5 cm high, and has a 3-cm raised protective border on the periphery of the carving, on which is carved a design of interlocked lotus sprays. The stele holds 27 lines of text, with a complete line consisting of 20 characters and character diameter of 2.5 x 2.5 cm; there are no lightly carved guidelines. The calligraphic style is dignified, delicate, and smooth, meticulously carved. The stele text records the life story of Master Xianzang and the reason for the erection of the stele. From the text, it can be gleaned that this pagoda inscription was constructed for Xianzang by his disciples. The discovery of this stele provides important supporting evidence towards the study of Tang dynasty monks from Luoyang buried at Songyue.

Gong Songtao, "Discovery in Dengfeng of a Tang Dynasty Stone Carving," Zhongguo wenwu bao (1 March 2000).

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Restoration of Gardens in the Forbidden City

The Palace of Established Happiness Garden, a 4000 square-meter garden in the northwest corner of Beijing's Forbidden City, is now being restored in a four-year project financed by Hong Kong-based China Heritage Fund. Constructed in 1740, the Palace of Established Happiness Garden was destroyed by fire in 1923 during Pu Yi's confinement within the imperial palace and has not since been restored. The recreation of the nine-pavilion garden will use as a guide the northeastern garden of the Forbidden City, which was originally modelled after the Established Happiness Garden. China Heritage Fund, whose financiers include HK's Hang Lung Group, Chevron, Standard Chartered Bank and Computer Associates, is contributing $4 million to this restoration effort, which is its first project, as well as the first major renovation inside the Forbidden City to be funded privately.

Lorien Holland, "Return to Eden: A new project will restore the favourite garden of China's last emperor," Beijing Issue (9 March 2000).

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Lian Zhaomei, "Taiwan Beinan Jade Research," Gugong bowuyuan yuankan 2000:1, 18-38.

The archaeological study of jade can no longer be limited to description or to classification, categorization, and simple comparison for tracing the historical origin of jade objects. Jade research must instead be able to transcend research targets of classifying, describing jade items and move into systematically examining comprehensive data, as well as undertaking a research focus on significant, interrelated threads of inquiry. The Beinan jade studies identified in this article belong to this conception of archaeological research. This essay first clarifies the natural properties of jade and its cultural definitions. It then proceeds toward a systematic and concise survey of the jade objects unearthed at the Beinan excavation in Taiwan, thus offering an excellent synopsis of the web of data on jade burial items. Finally, the author touches on the scattered appearance of a few types of rare jades and also offers a preliminary viewpoint on the unusual "guan zhuang xuan jie" spiral carving technique.

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Zhang Minghua, "Study of A Jade Compass Pendant," Gugong bowuyuan yuankan 2000:1, 39-49.

In the past, the jade compass pendant, first seen in the Eastern Han (25-220), was said to ward off evil and disaster and to provide directional guidance. With regard to its form, the spoon shape on the upper part is thought to be copied vaguely from a compass, but few have yet to reach an explanation for the bifurcated main body. This article suggests that the form evolved from cong, tall rectangular jade vessels; furthermore, the combination of the compass and cong precisely expresses the idea of reaching all parts of the universe, an important theme in the occult. In the Eastern Han, high officials, nobles, scholars, and educated men hung this ornament on their bodies and even had it buried in their graves after death, reflecting their hope to beseech the heavens to rescue their twisted ambitious souls through the intervention of this small, nondescript, hanging ornament.

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Yang Boda, "Analysis of the First Year of the Shunzhi reign (1644-1661) Signed Cheng Rongzhang Copper Snuff Bottle," Gugong bowuyuan yuankan 1999:4, 36-42.

This article is the result of the author's deeper reexamination of a Shunzhi-reign copper snuff bottle signed by Cheng Rongzhang early in his career that was discovered in the early 1950s. The article conducts an analysis from three aspects of the "First year of the Shunzhi reign Cheng snuff bottle" , currently held in the Beijing cultural relic main store collection: (1) analysis of the shape and Qing-period traits of the snuff bottle: inner court snuff bottles and dishes were always made separately, but this snuff bottle is a combination of bottle and dish; (2) analysis of the design: dragon-and-cloud design of the snuff bottle is Cheng Rongzhang's original rat-mouthed, hornless, serpentine dragon, and is completely different from the Qing court style, so in all likelihood the dragon pattern dates to after the Qing dynasty; (3) authentication of the style of characters in the signature: the "Rong" character in Cheng Rongzhang is written in simplified form instead of the original complex form. Finally, in an abstract of "Comprehensive Critical Study of the Cheng Snuff Bottle," after analyzing every flaw, the author came to the conclusion that the alleged Shunzhi-reign Cheng Rongzhang signed snuff bottle is a fake produced somewhere in Beijing around 1952.

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[past and ongoing exhibitions]

Exhibition of Artifacts from the Graves of the Consorts of the Yuan Dynasty Grand Councilor Ye Luzhu

The exhibition opened on 9 April 2000 at Beijing's Zhengyang Gate Tower. This site is the best-preserved, largest in scope, and tallest Yuan grave site in the Beijing region. Ye Luzhu, second son of the renowned politician Ye Luchu, yielded enormous influence during the reign of the first Yuan emperor, Kublai Khan (Shizu reign, 1260-1294). The more than 1980 artifacts displayed ranged from porcelain and pottery, ironware, bronzes, gold and silver objects, to coins. Also exhibited were 40 tomb figurines: male and female attendants, dragons & phoenixes, horses, camels, and other animals. Pots ranged from clayware to precious Longquan ware - including a jade-green flower vase, a basin with two fish swimming amid lotuses, and a high-footed shufu cup.

Feng Chaohui, "Exhibition of Artifacts from the Mass Graves of the Consorts of the Yuan Dynasty Grand Councilor Ye Luzhu," Zhongguo wenwu bao (7 May 2000).

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Old Music, New Rhythms: Ancient Chinese Bronze Musical Instruments Exhibition and Symposium

This exhibition ran in the Shanghai Museum from 6-31 March, with an academic symposium on 5 March. Nine works from the Shanghai Museum collection joined excavated relics now in the Hubei Provincial Museum and the Changsha (Hunan) Municipal Museum.

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Palace Museum Holds Ming and Qing Dynasty Calligraphy on Fans and Couplet Scrolls and Centennial of Zhang Daqian Exhibitions

From 21 January 2000, the Palace Museum presents the exhibitions Ming and Qing Dynasty Calligraphy on Fans and Couplet Scrolls and Centennial of Zhang Daqian at the Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition Hall. The calligraphy exhibition displays over 100 Ming dynasty (1368-1644) fan paintings and Qing dynasty (1644-1911) scrolls. Items on exhibit are all carefully selected from the Palace Museum collection, many of these exhibited for the first time. The artists of the exhibited pieces include almost all of the famous calligraphers and painters Ming and Qing dynasties. There are 49 fans by 29 artists, from Shen Zhou (1427-1509) to Chen Hongshou (1598-1652), and there are 51 scrolls by 46 artists, which range from early Qing painter Wang Shimin (1592-1680) to Li Ruiqing (1867-1920) of the late Qing. The exhibition essentially represents the styles and achievements of these two forms of art. The Zhang Daqian exhibition is being held to commemmorate the 100-year birthday of an important artist of this century. In total, over 40 drawings and painting dating from Zhang's 30s and 40s from the Palace Museum collection are being shown, starting from his 1932 Landscape fan painted at age 34 up to the 1948 hanging scroll Two Cranes amid Lotus, painted at age 50. The subject matter, style, and technique of the objects on display, cover almost all categories of traditional Chinese painting, including works in his own style, as well as those after artists from earlier periods, such as Shitao (1642-1718), Bada Shanren (1626-1705), Dong Qichang (1555-1636), all revealing Zhang Daqian's mature period style. HT

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Ming and Qing Bamboo: Ancient Chinese Bamboo Carvings from the Kwan Collection
University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong
8 April-30 July 2000

This exhibition is a rare opportunity to view almost 200 examples of exquisite bamboo carving dating to the Ming and Qing periods from the private collection of Dr. Simon Kwan. Accompanying the exhibition will be a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay on the history of bamboo carving. The exhibition is a chronological survey of the art of bamboo carving across several different media including brush pots, sculptural works as well as functional and decorative items. A one-day symposium on Ancient Chinese Carvings was held at The University of Hong Kong on 8 April 2000 in conjunction with this exhibition. Organized by the University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong Museum Society.

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Exhibition of Forbidden City Artworks Tours the U.S.

From 5 February 2000, cultural artifacts from the Forbidden City will tour major American cities. The exhibit comprises 333 objects from the collection of the Palace Museum, including abacuses and writing instruments used by the emperors Kangxi (r. 1662-1722) and Qianlong (r. 1736-1795); the last emperor Puyi's bicycle; and other documents and relics from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).

Zhongguo wenwu bao
(30 January 2000), 3.

The Secret World of the Forbidden City: Splendors from China's Imperial Palace will be in the following cities:

  • The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, Santa Ana, CA (6 February - 3 September 2000)
  • Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA (14 October 2000 - 24 January 2001)
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, TX (2 March - 3 June 2001).

Fragrant Space - Chinese Flower and Bird Painting of the Ming and Qing Dynasties from the Guangdong Provincial Museum
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
May 05, 2000 - June 25, 2000

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Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
Jan 01, 1999 - Dec 31, 2000

The museum reintroduces its famous collection of Chinese jades with the new permanent gallery installation featuring over 200 works dating from the Neolithic period to the 20th century.

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Flora and Fauna in Chinese Painting
The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
Feb 01, 2000 - July 30, 2000

Paintings of flora and fauna from the 13th century to the modern period from the Museum's collection.

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Three Chinese Traditions - Three Arizona Collections
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ, USA
Feb 19, 2000 - May 28, 2000

The exhibition will include the premiere showing of `The Amy S. Clague Collection of Chinese Textiles, 1100-1900' which includes 30 examples from the Song to Qing periods. Also showing for the first time is `The Gail and Stephen Rineberg Collection of Chinese Black- and Brown-Glazed Ceramics 400-1400' which includes 21 examples the Six Dynasties to the Yuan periods. Iron rich glazes such as hare's fur, tortoiseshell and partridge feather are featured in tea bowls, jars and bottles. The third component of the exhibition includes recent acquisitions in `The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Painting' from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

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Dawn of the Yellow Earth: Ancient Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection
China Institute Gallery, 125 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10021, NY, USA
March 21, 2000 - June 18, 2000

Over 60 select works from the Meiyintang Collection, one of the richest collections of early Chinese ceramics outside China. Dating from the Neolithic through the Warring States period (ca. 5000-300 B.C.E.), many of the works in the exhibition were found along the Yellow River, long believed to be one of the cradles of Chinese civilization, and the lower Yangzi River Region. Items include those from the Yangshao, Longshan, Qijia, Siwa and Xindian cultures.

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Clay and Brush: Chinese Painted Pottery from the Sze Hong Collection
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA
April 10, 2000 - March 04, 2001

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Brushing the Past: Later Chinese Calligraphy from the Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA
April 30, 2000 - Jan 02, 2001

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[forthcoming exhibitions]

Treasures from the Central Plains: Archaeological Artifacts from Inner Mongolia
Shanghai Museum
July 1, 2000- November 30, 2000.

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Sixth Chinese Fine Art Season
Concurrent exhibitions of historical objects held in Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuchang, and Changzhou, commencing 28 September 2000.

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The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology: Celebrated Discoveries from the People's Republic of China
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
June 17, 2000 - September 11, 2000

This exhibit offers visitors a glimpse of over 200 artifacts recently unearthed in China. More than 30 Chinese museums have contributed these national treasures, which span 6000 years of history. Tickets are available online or by phone at 510-601-TWEB (8932). Sponsored by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

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Chinese Snuff Bottles from Bay Area Collectors
Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
July 15, 2000 - Oct 16, 2000

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Famed and Fabled in Chinese Painting
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA
August 14, 1999 - August 2001

2000 Ming and Qing dynasty paintings from the Vladimir G. Simkhovitch collection, acquired by the Museum in 1929.

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[museum news]

The Fuzhou (Fujian) Museum opened earlier this year, focusing on Fuzhou history and culture. Artifacts Excavated from Song Tombs in Chayuan Village was among the inaugural exhibitions.

The Hebei Folk Museum, [Shijiazhuang], opened October 1999. So far, exhibitions covered Ming-Qing applied arts, late Qing furniture arrrangement, popular fan paintings, and New Year's prints from Wuqiang. This year, the museum plans to exhibit the rich native flavor of the folk art, folk implements used during travel, and objects for daily use.

The Museum of the Ming Tombs at Xiaoling, Nanjing, opened 27 February 2000 to great fanfare, with renowned scholars of Ming history and archaeology attending. In addition to the preserved remains of the mausoleum complex, the museum will exhibit the many excavated grave goods.

The Wuchang (Jiangsu) Museum Calligraphy and Painting Gallery opened in 1999. The over 50 paintings first exhibited included works by Ni Zan, Dong Qichang, the Four Wangs, the Four Monk Painters of the Ming/Qing, the Yangzhou School, and the Shanghai School. Modern painters such as Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi, and Fu Baoshi are also represented.

The Xuzhou (Jiangsu) Folk Museum opened officially on 1 May 2000, dedicated to preserving local vernacular architecture, the first of its kind. Six courtyard homes with a total of 143 rooms dating from Ming to Qing will be on display.

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National Museum of Chinese History Launches Website

On 22 February 2000, the National Museum of Chinese History website officially went live at Readers can browse the 5000-year history of Chinese civilization in three versions: simplified Chinese characters, unsimplified Chinese characters, and English. Each edition has eight subject headings: Introduction, Exhibition, Collection, Academic Info, Service, News, Site Map, and Search. Among them, exhibitions and collected items are the richest. One comes across a display of a large number of detailed pictures and words comprehensively introducing the general history of China, as well as special exhibitions and the museum collection of fine cultural relics. The site also introduces the historical development of the museum, the renowned specialist scholars within the museum, public activities in the near future, and the development of service and museum education. It is reported that this site will constantly be updated and improved and will rank among the world's outstanding museum websites.

Tian Yuanxin, "National Museum of Chinese History Launches Website," Zhongguo wenwu bao (27 February 2000), 1.

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[recent auctions]

Controversy Fueled Over the Sale of National Treasures at Christie's and Sotheby's Hong Kong

Christie's and Sotheby's recently faced controversy over the sale of four objects from Yuanming Yuan, the imperial palace of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Looted in 1860 by British and French troops, the items are considered national treasures by the Chinese government. Prior to their Hong Kong spring auctions (April 30 to May 2) in which they were sold, the Chinese government's State Bureau of Cultural Relics asked the auction houses to cancel their auctions, arguing that the auction houses had no right to sell the treasures and should instead return them to China. The international agreements to which they referred, however, either were not applicable to Hong Kong or were agreements made in principle only. Hong Kong government leaders also expressed their objections to the sales, but legally, the international convention to which Hong Kong is bound only protects national treasures during times of war. Both Christie's and Sotheby's proceeded with their auctions, and ultimately met with no interference from either the Chinese government or the Hong Kong SAR government.

The four Yuangming Yuan treasures under dispute were three bronze animal heads and a hexagonal vase from the palace collection. The bronze monkey, ox, and tiger heads were originally part of a set of 12 animal fountain heads that formed a zodiac water clock. The fountain clock was commissioned by Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795), designed by French Jesuits, and located in the Hall of Calm Sea (Haiyan Tang), one of the European palaces in the Yuanming Yuan. The hexagonal vase is of the Qianlong period; its pair was sold by Sotheby's Hong Kong in 1988, without any government objection.

The items spotlighted by the Chinese government and local media were, in the end, sold to mainland Chinese buyers. Originally expected to fetch in excess of HK$4,000,000 (US$520,000), the monkey and ox heads were auctioned by Christie's for HK$8,185,000 (US$1,064,050) and HK$7,745,000 (US$1,006,850) respectively. The bronze heads were purchased by Beijing-based China Poly Group, formerly the commercial arm of the People's Liberation Army, and will be exhibited in their museum, which was opened last year to exhibit looted treasures bought at international auctions. The third bronze head, a tiger, was sold at the Sotheby's auction for US$1.8 million to an unidentified Chinese buyer. The hexagonal porcelain vase was sold for US$2.4 million to the state-owned Beijing Cultural Relics Co.

Aside from the controversial Yuanming Yuan treasures, a number of other important sales were made at the Hong Kong auctions. A world record auction price for Chinese porcelain was attained when an enamelled famille rose "Butterfly" vase of the Qianlong seal mark and period fetched HK$33,045,000 (US$4,295,850). The vase, part of the Yuan family's private collection of Qing Imperial porcelains, was sold for more than double its pre-sale estimate of HK$12 million (US$1.56 million). A record price was set for Qing underglaze-blue and enamelled porcelain at auction when a unique pair of underglaze blue and puce enamel decorated porcelain vases of the Qianlong seal marks period achieved HK$12,695,000 (US$1,650,350). A Lang Shining (Giuseppe Castiglione, 1688-1768) painting entitled Autumn Cries on the Artemisia Plain was sold for HK$17,645,000 (US$2,293,850). This painting by Castiglione, the most influential Jesuit artist who served at the Qing Imperial court, set a world record price for a Chinese painting at an international auction.

Sources: China Daily (1 May 2000), China Daily (3 May 2000), South China Morning Post (2 May 2000), South China Morning Post (9 May 2000), H-Asia: Hong Kong Diary #46, Josephine Khu,,

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The Hammer Falls at the Guardian Spring Auctions

China Guardian's Spring 2000 auction took place on 9 May 2000. The success of this round not trifling, in concrete terms:

Auction Items Offered Items Sold Sales Rate % Total Sales (CNY)
Chinese Oil Paintings and Sculptures 80 52 65 4,570,000
Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy from the Qiu Zhai Collection 68 52 76.5 6,790,000
Chinese Modern & Contemporary Paintings and Calligraphy 276 206 74.6 13,230,000
Rare Books 264 124 47 5,720,000
Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy 177 109 61.6 7,810,000
Porcelain, Jade Carvings, Snuff Bottles & Works of Art 356 160 44.9 13,340,000
Jewellery and Jadeite 262 149 56.9 4,210,000
Stamps and Coins 1434 704 49 5,490,000
TOTAL 53.3

Most objects at the Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy auction exceeded original estimates, with the top five sellers as follows:

Item No. Artist Title Estimate (CNY) Hammer Price (CNY)
Qian Weicheng (1720-1772)
Jiu ru tu (Landscape) 60-80,000 1,540,000
896 Ren Bonian (1840-1896) Xun mei tu (Plum Blossom) 180-200,000 308,000
834 Anonymous (Qing, 1644-1911) Dongfang san sheng tu (Buddha Triad) 120-150,000 286,000
748 Wu Dacheng (1835-1902) Kuang Lu ji you tu (Journey to Lushan) 60-80,000 242,000
747 Qian Weicheng (1720-1772) Hanzhai dui hua (Chatting in Cool Study) 100-150,000 220,000

No. 886, Xu sheng xiao xing (Mr. Xu's Filial Visit) by Shen Zhou (1427-1509), initial estimate CNY100-150,000, attracted much attention during previews, but remain unsold.

The five top-grossing works at the Chinese Modern & Contemporary Paintings and Calligraphy auction were:

Item No. Artist Title Estimate (CNY) Hammer Price (CNY)
Qi Baishi (1863-1957)
Hua hui cao chong (Flowers and Insects) 760-880,000 1,540,000
250 Li Keran (1907-1989) Jinggang tu (Mount Jinggang) 600-700,000 308,000
242 Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) Shanshui (Landscape) 320-400,000 286,000
281 Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) Feng yu xing zhou tu (Boating in Wind and Rain) 120-160,000 242,000
418 Xu Beihong (1895-1953) Ben ma tu (Galloping Horse) 280-320,000 220,000

There were no takers for Qi Baishi's Gongbi cao hui ceye (Album of Grasses and Insects) (No. 217, estimate CNY1,100,000-1,500,000). At the special sale Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy from the Qiu Zhai Collection, the following paintings fetched the highest prices:

Item No. Artist Title Estimate (CNY) Hammer Price (CNY)

Li Keran (1907-1989)

Shan he tu (Mountains and River) 900,000-1,000,000 1,540,000
128 Li Keran (1907-1989) Fengjing xiesheng (Landscape from Life) 1,200,000-1,500,000 1,320,000
124 Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) Qing lu shanshui (Blue-and-Green Landscape) 480-550,000 528,000
103 Xu Beihong (1895-1953) Ben ma tu (Galloping Horse) 350-450,000 385,000
141 Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) Songxia gaoshi (Scholar under Pine Trees) 200-250,000 275,000

The auction of Porcelain, Jade Carvings, and Snuff Bottles & Works of Art attained the following top results:

Item No. Object Estimate (CNY) Hammer Price (CNY)
Blue-and-White bowl with design of pine and plum, Ming Xuande reign (1426-35)
800,000-1,200,000 2,310,000
1059 Copper-Red "Phoenix" Vase, Qing, Kangxi reign (1662-1722) 300-500,000 792,000
1132 Two Carved Tianhuang Stone Seals, Mid-Qing, 18th c. 480-550,000 528,000
969 Large Blue-and-White Zun Vase with Interlocking Vine Pattern, Qing Qianlong reign (1736-95) 400-600,000 451,000
980 Blue-and-White Bottle with Interlocking Vine Pattern, Qing Daoguang reign (1821-50) 60-80,000 418,000

A blue-and-white bottle vase with a dragon on a field of stylized peony blossoms and vines with a Qianlong reign mark (No. 970) failed to sell at the estimated price of CNY4-5,000,000.

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Sungari International Spring Auction of Calligraphy and Painting

On 16 April 2000, Sungari held its spring auction at the Capital Hotel in Beijing, garnering a total of CNY20,958,600. The following five items attracted the highest bids:

Item No. Artist Title Estimate (CNY) Hammer Price (CNY)
Dong Bangda (1699-1769)
Hua xiang guan ri (View of the Sun in Flourishing Peaks) 800,000-1,200,000 1,375,000
364 Dong Bangda (1699-1769) Baoyan xi zhao (Evening Glow at Baoyan) 800,000-1,200,000 1,100,000
Wen Zhengming (1470-1559)
Mao ting hui tu (Sweeping Away Dust at a Thatched Pavilion) 400-600,000 968,000
318 Qianlong emperor (r. 1736-1796) Yu bi yu fo ri san die yun shi (Three Rhymes on the Occasion of the Buddha Bathing Festival) 450-550,000 770,000
271 Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) Emei jin xiang (Golden Peaks at Mount Emei) 600-800,000 715,000

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Hanhai Auction Company Begins the Year 2000 With A Good Showing

On 9 January 2000, the Beijing Hanhai 2000 auction ended with a total of CNY1.2 billion in sales and a sales rate of 80%, a promising start for this company's business in the new millennium.

The Modern Chinese Painting and Calligraphy auction had CNY20,283,000 in sales, with a sales rate of 88.8%. Fu Baoshi's 1945 Pipa xing (Strolling with a Pipa), the first item sold, reached a price of CNY1,210,000. In comparison, Xu Beihong's Wu jun tu sold at CNY1,122,000 at his 100-year commemorative exhibition. Qi Baishi's Chun shan tu (Spring Mountain) fan painting also reached the price of CNY374,000, the highest price obtained for a fan painting in recent years. Among the top ten sold, Qi Baishi's works composed half; He tang yu xi (Fish Playing in a Lotus Pond), Liu hai xi chan (Shrimp in Flowing Waters), Beiye caochong (Insects among Shells and Leaves), Wuliangshou fo (Buddha of Longevity), etc., all reached fairly high prices, and Number 432, Bajiao (Plaintain) began bidding at CNY30,000 to six times the estimated price, CNY220,000, demonstrating that Qi Baishi's works strongly attracts buyers.

The Ancient Chinese Painting and Calligraphy auction was Hanhai's strongest, a total of CNY33,022,000 in sales, with an 83.8% sales rate. The highest selling price went to the Ban jin hong mei tu (Speckled Pigeons and Red Plum) by the Ming painter Lu Ji, at CNY2,310,00. The Ming painter Zhou Chen's Shanshui renwu (Figures in Landscape) sold for CNY715,000, surpassing the estimated price by more than CNY100,000. Qing dynasty imperial palace artist Jin Tingbiao's portrait of Dorgon went from over CNY100,000 to CNY660,000. It is worth mentioning that several high-quality albums, such as Zhao Zuo's Shanshui (Landscape), Yun Shouping's Hua niao (Flowers and Birds), Hua Yan's Hua niao dongwu (Flowers, Birds, and Animals), Lan Ying's Fang gu shanshui (Landscape after Old Masters), and Fan Qi's Shanshui (Landscape), were all auctioned off at their estimates.

Chinese Oil Paintings were Hanhai's newest offering, and reached total sales of CNY2,125,000 and a sales rate of 60%. Middle-aged artist Liu Yuyi's work, Yi ju san de (Three Birds with One Stone), because of its unique materials and auspicious symbolism, sold for CNY440,000. Jin Shangyi's Ying di (Eagle and Flute) was auctioned off at CNY176,000.

The Chinese Antiquities auction attained total sales of CNY27,066,000 and a sales rate 85%. A Qianlong-period enamelled basin, sent to the auction by a Taiwan collector, reached the price of CNY902,000, almost twice the price of a similar item auctioned not long ago in Hong Kong. A Qing-dynasty coral red "Sixteen Sons" bowl with gold designs of the Jiaqing reign, perfect in texture, technique, and glaze, also started from over CNY100,000 to the final bid of CNY825,000 RMB. Another piece from Taiwan, a Qing-dynasty light blue-green used by the Qianlong emperor bamboo armrest sold for CNY550,000. Similarly, the snuff bottles inspired buyers: the Qing-dynasty agate Su sun hou xian shou snuff bottle, with an estimated price of CNY120,000-180,000, sold at CNY286,000. Another piece, a Qing dynasty crystal snuff bottle with a landscape painted in its inner surface , estimated price CNY30,000-50,000 RMB, reached the high price of CNY330,000. The approximately 12.8 cm-long Qing yongzheng tongtai hua falang dieshi box went from the CNY80,000-120,000RMB estimated price to CNY374,000.

The Chinese jades placed on the block had a sales rate of 96%. Among the 200 pieces offered, only eight were not sold. Such a high sales rate has rarely been seen in recent years. HT

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New Century Henan Inaugural Nationwide Exhibit and Sale of Cultural Relics

This event took place from 8-11 April 2000 at the Henan Antiquities Exchange Center in Zhengzhou, Henan, jointly organized by the Henan Antiquities Exchange Center, Kaifeng Cultural Relics Store, and the Luoyang Cultural Relics Store. Forty-three antiquities dealers and shops exhibited and offered for sale over 20,000 antiquities of porcelain, jade, bronze, and carved bamboo, as well as works of calligraphy and painting.

Qian Zhi, "New Century Henan Inaugural Nationwide Exhibit and Sale of Cultural Relics," Zhongguo wenwu bao (19 April 2000).

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2000 Pacific Spring Auctions for Fine Arts & Antiques

Held on 8-9 May 2000 in Beijing, the Pacific International spring auction -- comprising five separate sales for classical calligraphy and painting, oil painting, porcealin, furniture, and curios - with anticipated sales of CNY35,000,000. Calligraphy and paintings on the block ranged from the Ming and Qing dynasties to the present, including a landscape album of 16 leaves by Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) containing colophons by ten personages from the late Qing and Republican period (No. 228, estimate CNY580-680,0000). Another notable offering, a landscape handscroll by Wang Jian (1598-1677), had a starting estimate of CNY500-600,000.

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[market news]

Tianjin Antique and Curiosity Company Spring 2000 Exhibition and Sale

This spring sale was held on 6 May 2000 at the Tianjin Cultural Relics Exhibition Center. Antiquities for sale included over 30 Qing imperial porcelains and a Ming dynasty Wanli (r. 1573-1619) five-color porcelain wine goblet. The calligraphy and painting sale offered works by Chen Jiru (1558-1639), Liu Yong (1720-1805), Wu Changshuo (1844-1927), Lan Shen (grandson of Lan Ying, b.1585), Huang Ding (1660-1730), among others.

Zhao Qiang, "Preview of Spring Antiquities Sale in Tianjin," Shoucangjia 2000:4, 51.

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The International Asian Art Fair 2000

The International Asian Art Fair 2000 was held in New York from March 24-29, beginning with a preview gala benefit for Asia Society. Sixty leading international dealers of Asian art exhibited and sold furniture, sculpture, bronzes, ceramics, carpets, textiles, pictures, works of art and jewellery.

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Workshop on Beijing Auctions

In February, the Beijing Municipal Cultural Relics Bureau convened a workshop to discuss antiquities auctions held in the Beijing area. Last year, 112 separate auctions were held by numerous companies, with the 19497 items sold for a total CNY2,999,837,000. Regulations on the examination and approval of cultural relics offered for sale were discussed extensively.

Wang Xin, "Workshop on Auctions of Cultural Relics Held in Beijing in 2000," Zhongguo wenwu bao (27 February 2000).

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[forthcoming auctions]

China Guardian Auction Website, June launch

Rongbaozhai, Beijing, June 2000

Duoyun Studio Spring Auction, Shanghai, 17-18 June 2000

Guotai Auctions, Shanghai, 18 June 2000

Gongmei Auctions, Shanghai, 19-20 June 2000

Beijing Hanhai Spring Sales, 1 July 2000

Pacific International Auction Co., Ltd., 28 May, 25 June, 30 July, 27 August, 24 September, 29 October, 26 November, 31 December 2000

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International Symposium on Chinese Imperial Seals
Chinese University of Hong Kong, 9-11 March 2000

Participants from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan gave 21 papers: Ye Qifeng on Warring States imperial seals; Lin Suqing on Chu imperial seals of the character for "field"; Wu Rongzeng on Western Han seals containing images of the Queen Mother of the West; Wu Zhenwu on memorial seals carved in relief; Cheng Songchang on the classification of seals excavated in Hunan from Warring States and Han tombs; Wang Hui on a Qin seal recently excavated in Xi'an; Takahisa Yoshitsuku on the relationship between the same seal and small seal script in the Han text "Shuo wen"; Eihara Ichisho on the Han dynasty "fish-button" palace seal; Yoshihiro Hatahito on a seal excavated from the tomb of the king of Nan Yue; Taniguchi Fusao on palace seals of the Tan peoples during the Wei and Jin periods; Sun Weizu, Zhang Xiying and Cao Mianyan on Sui and Tang palace seals; Lin Xiuzhen on palace seals used by the Nuzhen rulers of the Jin; Shote Kazu on the historical circumstances of a gold seal given to the Axing Lama; Guo Fuxiang on Yongzheng's imperial seals in the Palace Museum collection; Shua Amorai-Start on a lapis seal carved with an image of a reclining lion excavated in Guyuan, Ningxia; and Guo Weimin on the silicon content of Chinese bronze seals. The exhibition The Fine Art of Chinese Imperial Seals, jointly sponsored by the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Zhejiang Provincial Museum, ran concurrent to the symposium.

Lin Xiuzhen, "International Symposium on Chinese Imperial Seals Convenes in Hong Kong," Zhongguo wenwu bao (12 April 2000).

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Symposium of Chinese Archaeological Institutes on the Remains of Yucheng and the Gaocheng Tumulus
Jiangsu 6-7 April 2000

Chaired by Yu Weichao, Zhang Zhongpei, and Huang Jinglue, this symposium drew over twenty participants, who convened to discuss the dating of the Gaocheng grave mound and the Yucheng city wall. Gaocheng is the largest tomb Liangzhu Culture gravesite, yielding stone and jade implements, pottery, wooden inner and outer coffins. The area encompassed by the remains of the city wall and moat at Yucheng measures approximately 300,000 square meters, and dates to the Maqiao Neolithic Culture. The conveners concluded that the Gaocheng tumulus dates from early to late Liangzhu. As for the dating of Yucheng, several expert opinions were offered: the Wu Bronze Age Culture (Mou Yongkang); the late Shang (Zhang Zhongpei, Zhao Hui); anywhere between the Erlitou Neolithic Culture and the Western Zhou (Liu Xu); and after the Maqiao Culture (Song Jian). Other important aspects of the two sites were also discussed in depth.

Sun Xiuli, "Symposium of Chinese Archaeological Institutes on the Remains of Xucheng and the Gaocheng Tumulus at Jiangyang, Jiangsu Province," Zhongguo wenwu bao (19 April 2000).

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International Dunhuang Studies Academic Symposium
29 July 2000

The Dunhuang Institute expects 200 Chinese and 160 foreign scholars to attend this symposium, scheduled for 29 July 2000. Those interested in participating should contact Zhang Xiantang or Zhang Yuanlin at the Dunhuang Institute.

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Visit, our new on-line bookstore service, which offers a wide selection of books on traditional and contemporary art, many of which were published in limited runs. Here is a sample listing:

Xuan he hua pu (Guide to Paintings Collected in the Xuanhe Reign)
Changsha: Hunan meishu chubanshe, December 1999.
This is a reprint of the catalogue of the imperial collection of the Northern Song emperor Huizong (r. 1119-1125), listing 231 artists and over 6000 works.

Mo yuan hui guan (Record of Calligraphy and Painting I Was Destined to See)
An Qi (ca. 1683-after 1744)
Nanjing: Jiangsu meishu chubanshe, September 1992.
Reprint of the catalogue of the Qing connoisseur An Qi's collection and of works he had seen elsewhere. Many of these works entered the imperial collection in 1746 and remain extant in the National Palace Museum and Western collections.

Zhongguo gudai shuhua mulu 3 (Index of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy and Painting)
Zhongguo gudai shuhua jianding zu (ed.).
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, June 1987.
Experts Xie Zhiliu, Qi Gong, Xu Bangda, Yang Renkai, Liu Jiu'an, Fu Xinian, Xie Chensheng, and Xu Xiechen publish their findings on 4780 works after 1985-1986 authentication workshop.

Zhongguo gudai shuhua mulu 4 (Index of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy and Painting)
Zhongguo gudai shuhua jianding zu (ed.).
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, July 1991.
Experts Xie Zhiliu, Qi Gong, Xu Bangda, Yang Renkai, Liu Jiu'an, Fu Xinian, Xie Chensheng, and Xu Xiechen publish their findings on an additional 2269 works after a 1986 authentication workshop.

Zhongguo gudai shuhua mulu 6 (Index of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy and Painting)
Zhongguo gudai shuhua jianding zu (ed.).
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, June 1993.
Experts Xie Zhiliu, Qi Gong, Xu Bangda, Yang Renkai, Liu Jiu'an, Fu Xinian, Xie Chensheng, and Xu Xiechen publish their findings on an additional 3000 works after a 1987 authentication workshop.

Zhongguo gudai shuhua mulu 7 (Index of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy and Painting)
Zhongguo gudai shuhua jianding zu (ed.).
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, February 1990.
Experts Xie Zhiliu, Qi Gong, Xu Bangda, Yang Renkai, Liu Jiu'an, Fu Xinian, Xie Chensheng, and Xu Xiechen publish their findings on an additional 3070 works after their 1987 authentication workshop.

Zhongguo gudai shuhua mulu 9 (Index of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy and Painting)
Zhongguo gudai shuhua jianding zu (ed.).
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, September 1991.
Experts Xie Zhiliu, Qi Gong, Xu Bangda, Yang Renkai, Liu Jiu'an, Fu Xinian, Xie Chensheng, and Xu Xiechen publish their findings on an additional 1969 works after their 1988-89 authentication workshop.

Zhongguo gudai shuhua mulu 10 (Index of Ancient Chinese Calligraphy and Painting)
Zhongguo gudai shuhua jianding zu (ed.).
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, June 1993.
Experts Xie Zhiliu, Qi Gong, Xu Bangda, Yang Renkai, Liu Jiu'an, Fu Xinian, Xie Chensheng, and Xu Xiechen publish their findings on an additional 2164 works after their 1989-90 authentication workshop.

Zhongguo kaoguxue wenxian mulu, 1949-1966 (Index of Articles in the Study of Archaeology), Second Edition
Zhongguo shehui kexueyuan kaogu yanjiusuo ziliao xinxi zhong (ed.).
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, March 1993.
This reference volume summarizes select articles on Chinese history, literature, and art as revealed through archaeological discoveries.

Zhongguo kaoguxue wenxian mulu, 1971-1982 (Index of Articles in the Study of Archaeology)
Zhongguo shehui kexueyuan kaogu yanjiusuo ziliao xinxi zhong (ed.).
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, June 1998.
This reference volume summarizes select articles from 1971-1982 on Chinese history, literature, and art as revealed through archaeological discoveries.

Zhongguo huaxue zhuzuo kao lu (Texts on the Study of Painting)
Xie Wei.
Shanghai: Shanghai shuhua chubanshe, July 1998.
Over 12 years in the making, this volume includes texts on painting by over 1500 writers, well-indexed. It includes prefaces by Yang Renkai and Lin Shuzhong.

Meishu lunwen lunzhu ziliao suoyin (Index to Dissertations, Books, and Other Materials on the Fine Arts)
Shi Tongsheng, Chen Junsheng (eds).
Tianjin: Tianjin renmin meishu chubanshe, January 2000.
This invaluable reference volume catalogues over 60,000 books, journals, and prefaces written in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Lidai ti hua shi (Poems Inscribed on Paintings)
Chen Bangyan (1678-1752).
Beijing: Renmin meishu chubanshe, October 1995.
Reprint of a catalogue of poetry colophons first published in 1707.

"Tu hui bao jian" jiaokan yu yanjiu (Collation and Study of "Appreciating Treasures of Painting")

Kondo Hidemi, He Qingxian.
Nanjing: Jiangsu guji chubanshe, December 1997.
A thorough analysis of the 14th-century collector Xia Wenyan's jottings on painting theory and biographies of 1500 painters from the Three Kingdoms period to the Yuan dynasty.

Songdai shuhua zaojian (Connoisseurship of Song Calligraphy and Painting)
Xu Jianrong.
Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, November 1999.

Zhongguo meishu shetuan man lu (A Plethora of Chinese Artistic Organizations)
Xu Zhihao.
Shanghai: Shanghai shuhua chubanshe, September 1994.
Entries on 341 artistic organizations inside and outside China from the late Qing up to 1949 include information on the founders, important members, duration, and influence of the organizations.

Message from We encountered some technical difficulties with our new system in our first month of operation. We apologize for any inconveniences caused. If you experienced problems with the site, please drop us an e-mail for a 10% discount on any order you place with us (e-mail orders accepted) in the next 10 days while we re-work the site. E-mail books you want to purchase to

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