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Exhibitions October 2000 Magazine Conferences & Symposia

contents

NEWS FROM CHINESE-ART.COM

 
ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS
NOTEWORTHY ESSAYS

EXHIBITIONS & MUSEUM NEWS

Readers may wish to view a calendar listing all June 2000 to May 2001 exhibitions reported in this and previous e-bulletins.

[ongoing]

[upcoming]

[museum news]

AUCTION & MARKET NEWS

Older auction results are posted in previous e-bulletins:
19 May 2000
23 June 2000
31 August 2000

30 September 2000

[recent]

[upcoming]

CONFERENCES & SYMPOSIA

Readers may wish to view a calendar listing all June 2000 to May 2001 conferences and symposia reported in this and previous e-bulletins.

[recent]

[upcoming]

BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM CHINESE-ARTBOOKS.COM

NEWS FROM CHINESE-ART.COM

Chinese Art at the End of the Millennium

Chinese Art at the End of the Millennium, a compilation of the essays and works that have appeared in the web journal Chinese-art.com in 1998 and 1999, is finished and now available in paperback! The book is edited by John Clark, Professor of Art History, University of Sydney.

To order at US$28, send us an e-mail now!

Chinese-art.com is Looking for News Correspondents

Chinese-art.com is looking for news correspondents in US, Europe, HK, Japan and Singapore. File a monthly report and earn credits against books purchased on http://chinese-artbooks.com. Write to editor@chinese-art.com for further details.

Traditional Chinese Art Magazine

Don't miss our newest issue (volume 2, issue 3) of the Chinese-art.com Traditional Magazine, featuring a tribute to the exhibition Taoism and the Arts of China at the Art Institute of Chicago. This groundbreaking exhibition will cover the artistic achievements of Daoism as seen in painting, calligraphy, sculpture, ritual implements, textiles, and rare books. In conjunction with the Art Institute's two day symposium, this issue contains an essay on "The Origins of Daoist Art", in which Wang Yi'e, arguably the only expert on Daoist painting in China, will introduce the little-known but unsurpassed collection of Daoist painting and sculpture at the White Cloud Temple in Beijing. In "An Outline of Daoist Art," Liu Jianlong confronts the question, "What is Daoist art?." We also 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, by Ma Xisha and Han Bingfang.

Our staff has compiled a reference list of Museums, Galleries, and Booksellers relating to Chinese art. Please contact editor@chinese-art.com if you wish to have your institution, gallery, or bookseller listed. Finally, check out the third installment of Zhao Li's Central Academy of Fine Arts thesis, Zhang Xin and the Jingjiang School.

Contemporary Chinese Art Magazine

The latest issue (volume 3, issue 4) of the Chinese-art.com Contemporary Magazine features guest editor Britta Erickson, who focuses on "Recent Riffs on the Cultural Revolution in Chinese Art." Other contributors include Kathleen M. Ryor, "Transformations: Reflections on the Recent Past in Contemporary Chinese Art"; Francesca dal Lago, "Images, Words and Violence: Cultural Revolutionary Influences on Chinese Avant-Garde Art"; Bronwyn Mahoney, "Re-Staging the Tiger - - Feng Mengbo's Taking Mount Doom by Strategy"; Martina Koppel-Yang, "Remoulding a Hero; Remolding Icons"; and Zhu Qi, "Putting On and Taking Off: How the Mao Suit Became Art."

Print Copies of Chinese-art.com Publications

Too busy to browse? New Art Media Limited (HK) offers paper-bound, printed copies of Chinese-art.com web publications on a paid subscription basis.

Chinese-artbooks.com

Our on-line bookstore, Chinese-artbooks.com, offers a careful selection of English and Chinese publications on traditional and contemporary art. For a sampling of new books available on traditional Chinese art, please see our New Books section below.

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS

Northern Wei Tomb Discovered in Datong

During May of this year archaeologists in Shanxi province discovered eleven Northern Wei (386-534) tombs containing over 300 artifacts. Of these tombs, five were brick structures and six were underground cave tombs. Tomb 5 was one of the most exciting of the finds. With its ornate stone carvings, murals and archways, it epitomized Northern Wei style. Also decorating the tomb were a number of squared arches in addition to red lined murals. At the entranceway to the tomb was a pathway which extends for 30 meters opening into two caves and two sacrificial pits. Both sides of this passageway were flanked with red colored patterns and images. Also evident on these stone slabs were marks left behind by the tools used to smooth off the tomb walls. Numerous detailed carvings and columns were located between the front corridor and the rear of the structure(see photo). The columns came in four varieties, such as a coiled dragon form and lotus patterns. The use of the lotus design was also visible on the doorways. Located within one of the visually richest chambers was a stone coffin with decorated stone panels. On the side slabs of the coffin are scenes of dancing and other activities. These images were created by first using black ink to outline the image, which was then decorated with red. This tomb is a tremendous find not just for architecture and decoration but also for its contents. In the main coffin chamber archaeologists discovered 150 artifacts, including pottery jars, iron mirrors, silver bracelets, lacquer basins and amber ornaments. Pottery figurines were greatest in number and variety including officials riding horses, warriors, guards, northwestern non-Han Chinese figures, attendants, cattle, horses, camels, pigs, dogs, sheep, tigers, vehicles and lamps. These pottery figurines surrounded the stone coffin. It is apparent from excavations conducted at the site that the figurines were placed in organized groups with a hierarchical ranking. For example, warrior figurines were distinguished according to rank and function by their headgear and direction. These figures sat on horseback facing eastward and wore headgear adorned with coxcombs. Those facing westward wore a different style of adornment and were followed by guards. Most of the figurines displayed evidence of red, black and white coloring. This site has provided archaeologists with a vast assemblage of information regarding the tomb architecture, funerary objects and burial practices of the early Northern Wei.

Shu Lin, Xi Mei, Jun XI, Zhi Zhong, and Zuo Yan, Zhongguo wenwu bao (17 September 2000), p. 1.

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Discovery of a Winding Channel Gives a New Meaning to Gan Bei

Archaeologists have discovered a square stone carved with a snakelike design in Xin Gan, Jiangxi province(see photo). This find dates to the Southern Tang Dynasty (937-975). Found broken into eight pieces, the stone, when assembled, creates a square form of nearly three meters in length and width. The winding path carved into the surface of the stone meanders in circular serpentine grooves before returning to same side of the stone. The use of this stone has been traced back to a game played each year on the third day of the third month, according to the lunar calendar. The object of the game was to place wine cups at the two ends of the circuitous path. Once the wine had traversed the length of the path it would pour into the cup of one of the two participants. The participant who received the wine first would also be the first to drink. This form of entertainment was widespread throughout Chinese history, only becoming less popular during the Qing dynasty before eventually going out of practice. This find provides a window into cultural customs and entertainment practices in ancient times.

Li Zheng, Zhongguo wenwu bao (17 September 2000), p. 1.

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10,000-Year-Old Remains Found in Inner Mongolia

In September 2000, archaeologists in Xilinguo made a significant discovery providing information on animal husbandry and habitation of the Inner Mongolian plains during Paleolithic times. While some regard the area surrounding the Yellow River as the primary cradle and birthplace of Chinese civilization, these finds provide evidence that beginning in the Paleolithic and extending well into the Xia (21st-16th century BC) and Shang (16th-11th century BC) dynasties, other areas were also developing agriculture and animal husbandry. The Jinqitai caves are located in Donghainigan Mountain at an elevation of 1200 meters above sea level. The cave opening faces northwest and leads into a cave which is 16 feet wide and extends 24 meters into the hill. Those cultural remains within the cave consisted of three levels. The black sand of the upper layer held pottery, bone and copper tools, jade ornaments and animal bones. The gray pottery jars, guan, were decorated with clay strip techniques, which created serpentine patterns writhing around the mouth of the pottery. Painted triangular designs and nippled patterns were also evident. Some of the pottery had handles for carrying cords and these handles often were designed to resemble coxcombs. Bone tools consisted of awls, beads and hooks to fasten clothing. Copper remains were few in number but archaeologists still uncovered button-like examples. Sheep and horse bones were among the animal remains indicating an early connection to animal husbandry. This top layer has been dated to the Xia and Shang Dynasties. The middle layer of earth contained polished stone implements, carved bone awls, small scale stone axes and animal bones. The bottom layer contained stone tools, stone axes, scrapers, cores, flakes and animal bones and has been dated to the late Paleolithic. This site provides a rich array of evidence on the formation of settlement and civilization patterns in early China and also challenges the notion that the development of Chinese civilization was limited to the eastern river valleys.

Wang Xiaokun, Zhongguo wenwu bao (17 September 2000), p. 1.

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Han Dynasty Daoist Scriptures Found in Ancient Well

During June of 2000 villagers of the town of Da'antuo outside of Tianjin discovered the mouth of an ancient well in the village fish pond. Upon further investigation of the wells, archaeologists found a wide array of artifacts. The most significant find consisted of sets of wooden Daoist slips dating to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). This marks the first time that Chinese archaeologists have located such early documents regarding Daoist belief and methodology. Tianjin's History Museum, in conjunction with this excavation, has already launched several archaeological teams to uncover similar structures. So far these teams have discovered seven Warring States (475-221 BC) wells, eleven Han Dynasty wells, two cellars or storage pits, two sets of vehicle tracks, two ash pits and one Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) well (see photo). The Warring States wells extended 4-5 meters in depth and contained pottery guan and a variety of examples of red pottery axes. The Han Dynasty wells consisted of a mixture of brick and wood structures and provided examples of both square and circular mouthed wells. Of this group, Well 2 contained red pottery axes, gray pottery basins and boxes. Well 4 contained a dog's head, cane lined baskets, pottery jars and wooden harrows. Five hundred artifacts in all were discovered in this excavation including examples of stone, pottery, bronze, iron, bone, horn, cane, grass and bamboo. Well 6 was noteworthy, for it contained human remains. Due to the placement of the bones, researchers determined that the victim suffered a violent death. The skeleton consisted of two halves. The upper torso was intact but the bottom half of the bones were jumbled in a pile and placed to the right side of the upper half of the body. The use of these human remains as a sacrifice or punishment have yet to be determined. However, these wells all contain valuable information regarding time periods ranging from the Warring States to the Han and Ming Dynasties. They also provide valuable information regarding production, life, handicrafts, animal husbandry and water storage during ancient Chinese history. Most importantly, the Daoist wooden writing slips provide researchers with important texts elucidating early beliefs in Daoism.

Mei Pengyun, Sheng Lishuang, Jiang Baiguo, and Zhao Chengjiu, Zhongguo wenwu bao (24 September 2000), p. 1.

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Sacrificial Altar Found in Heilongjiang

On 20 July of this year archaeologists in Heilongjiang province discovered the remains of an ancient sacrificial platform, which has been dubbed the Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper (Beidouqixing). The ancient Han (206 BC-220 AD) and Wei Dynasty (220-265) cities, which encompass the altar, are located on Baotai Mountain in the Three Rivers Plain. To date, these remains are the most extensive and representative of mountain city structure in this area. The bottom layer of remains consisted of the surrounding city wall, protective gate and moat. The central layer featured the inner city (neicheng) with a platform and road. The uppermost layer consisted of the summit city (shandingcheng) and houses a tall platform, hilltop pit and heavenly pit (tiankeng). The summit city was elliptical in shape and 2,000 meters in diameter, with gateways located at the southeast, northwest, southwest and northeast sections. Each of the gateways had a protective wall which arches around its perimeter, as well as extensive moats used for protecting the city. In contrast to the extensive Summit City, other smaller cities like Moon City were connected to Summit City by multiple roads. When combined, these cities occupied over 4,500 meters. The inner city, also called the altar city, was located in the centermost part of the summit city and 450 meters in diameter. It contained the main platform and 8 tiankeng which were 6 to 8 meters in size and 0.3 to 0.5 meters in depth. In the center of this area was a tall elliptical platform which holds 7 tiankeng. The rich sacrificial remains in addition to the size of the site and range of smaller cities located within its perimeter provide a great deal of information on civilization and city building during the Han and Wei Dynasties. Moreover, the sacrificial remains indicate a great deal about spirituality during these time periods in the Three Plains Region.

Shi wei, Zhongguo wenwu bao (27 September 2000), p. 1.

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Nothing Found in Inner Chamber of Coffin of Laoshan Tomb, Beijing

Following last month's report, nothing has been found inside the coffin's inner chamber at the Laoshan tomb, Beijing. The coffin originally resting within the 12-meter-tall tomb dates back to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD). It took archaeologists half a day to open the lid. However, upon opening the outer chamber of the ancient coffin, archaeologists only found remains of silk fabrics. A senior archaeologist said thieves had stolen everything in the coffin. During the excavations, archaeologists further confirmed that the tomb had not only been robbed, but that fire had also damaged the mostly wooden tomb. Sources at the Xinhua News Agency reported that a misplaced wooden board on a coffin in the inner tomb suggested grave robbers had preceded archaeologists in locating this tomb. Looting, which was common on the mainland, especially during the Han Dynasty, continues today as the demand and prices for ancient archaeological relics soars. In fact, this tomb was first located after five unemployed Beijing residents were arrested after having dug several meters into the opening of the tomb. According to Wang Wuyu, who is in charge of the excavation, some of the unearthed objects from the Laoshan Tomb indicate that the tomb occupant was a king of the Yan Kingdom. The Laoshan tomb is the second Han Dynasty tomb discovered in Beijing.

From People's Daily on-line (26 September 2000) and The Asian Art Newspaper (October 2000), p. 4-6.

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Ruguan Pottery Kilns Unearthed - 1000 Years of Dust Brushed Away

The Ruguan kiln site in Henan province, since its initial discovery in 1987, has produced a rich assortment of artifacts, some never seen before. The wide variety of pottery styles unearthed at this site marks it as one of the great ancient centers of pottery production during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Between 1987-1998, archaeologists conducted four large-scale excavations, which turned up a wealth of pottery artifacts but no evidence of production kilns. In 1999, archaeologists again undertook an excavation which uncovered a 10-centimeter-thick layer of pottery pieces numbering over 1000, including well-preserved earthen bowls, tools and test firing pieces, indicating this site was in fact a locus of production. This extensive site covering over 4,800 square meters is a significant find in archaeological research of ancient pottery production. The newest discovery at this site occurred from June through October of this year. The excavation area, which covered 475 square meters, yielded fifteen kilns, two pottery clay pits, two ash pits and one well. Most of the kilns were located on the northwest portion of the site and followed a strikingly similar structural pattern. This pattern consisted of piles of fire-resistant bricks which surrounded preserved remnants of red and blue ashen burnt earth. The best preserved of the kilns was Kiln 5 (see photo). This kiln consisted of a fire door, 0.4 meters in width with a platform and fire chest, 0.7 meters in depth. The kiln area covered 1.8 meters east-west and 1.15 meters north-south. At its highest level the kiln consisted of 8 levels of fire-resistant bricks and had 3 smoke ventilation channels which ended in a 0.2 meter square chimney. Other kilns have provided a number of artifacts pointing to production of earthenware pots and jars glazed yellow and white. Kiln 2 produced a tremendous amount of artifacts, which include pottery boxes, bowls, bulbous pots, round washbasins, ewers and square and circular pots. Most bear remnants of glazes and decoration, illustrating the high quality of pottery production. For those researching the development and production of pottery this find marks a crucial step in understanding pottery production tools, kiln ventilation systems, and overall pottery kiln design of the Song Dynasty.

Zheng Mulin and Zhao Wenjun, Zhongguo wenwu bao (18 October 2000), p. 1.

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The Earliest Western Han Dynasty Royal Mausoleum Unearthed

Chinese archaeologists announced Sunday that they have found the earliest Western Han Dynasty (206 BC- 24 AD) royal mausoleum ever unearthed in China. Located 40 kilometers east of Ji'nan, capital of Shandong province, the mausoleum was first discovered when, during highway construction, a local farmer detected a pit containing funerary objects. The following 15 months of excavation revealed 20 pits located respectively to the south, north and east of the main grave. These finds are reportedly unparalleled by any graves previously unearthed in terms of either the number of pits with funerary objects or the value of items found in them. Judging from the earth seal already found, archaeologists decided that the mausoleum dates back to 186 BC. This is about a century earlier than the Laoshan grave currently being excavated in Beijing. Archaeologists deduced from the numerous artifacts in the pits that the owner of this mausoleum could be of royal standing such as a king. Some argued that it could be the elder son of Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Western Han. Archaeologists have found over 2,000 relics, ranging from a horse cart, food containers, weapons and sacrifices such as cows buried alive. The most amazing discovery was a large pit of musical instruments which, according to Dr. Cui Dayong, responsible for the excavation, "could form a grand palace orchestra." The pit, measuring 20 meters long, three meters wide and high, contains nearly 150 pieces of ancient Chinese musical instruments, all of which are still in good condition. However, the genuine identity of the owner will not be known until the main grave is unearthed. Lu Zhaoying, who specializes in Han dynasty archaeology, said that this mausoleum provides important clues to understanding royal graves of the Western Han dynasty.

From People's Daily on-line (22 October 2000).

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NOTEWORTHY ESSAYS

"Ancient Tomb Opens to Public"
People's Daily on-line
15 September 2000

A 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) Laoshan Tomb in western Beijing was opened to the public on September 15. This follows the August opening of the tomb, which was covered by a two-hour live television broadcast. Approximately 200 people visited the excavation site on its opening day and were able to visit not only the already excavated portions but also the areas still under excavation. "Opening the excavation site to the public will help promote archaeological knowledge among the citizens and enhance their awareness of relics protection," said Yang Boxian, a cultural official from the Shijingshan District, where the tomb is located. Although the number of visitors is strictly limited, archaeologists are concerned about the possible adverse impact from allowing visitors to the site. "Archaeological excavation is a serious matter that must be handled very carefully with the least disturbance," said Wang Wuyu, head of the excavation team. Supporters, however, argued that the tomb had already been robbed so there will not be any major discoveries. "Excavation is not for archaeologists alone. The important thing is for all Chinese to take care of their own culture," they said. The tomb was discovered when the police arrested a group of tomb robbers earlier this year. Archaeologists believe that the tomb belongs to a Han Dynasty prince or his wife.

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"To Catch a Thief : Jiaheguan Cultural Department Catches Tomb Robbers"
Deng Yongxing
Zhongguo wenwu bao (17 September 2000), p. 1

Jiaheguan, Gansu province has long been recognized for its rich contributions to the world of Chinese archaeology. Its brick murals, architecture and long history as an important site in addition to its famous Yi shi tu, depiction of the first postal envoy, are well known throughout China. Due to the vast and rich array of tombs and the recent efforts of the Chinese government to restore and protect cultural antiquities, a daily patrol was set up on August 30 to protect this region's cultural treasures. But upon patrolling one of the tombs, NM33, the patrol noticed signs of a disturbance. The ground surrounding the tomb was covered with footprints and bicycle treadmarks. Upon further investigation, they found a 5-meter hole carved into the side of the tomb, indicating that the patrol had arrived too late. The tomb had already been plundered! Some of the tomb contents had yet to be removed, so it was determined that perhaps the offending parties might return in order to complete their task. So the patrol organized two groups composed in total of seven people. One group concealed themselves at the southern entrance of the tomb, and the second group created a blockade at the road leading to the tomb. At about 1:00 am, the thieves returned to finish their work. Upon being confronted by the two teams a struggle ensued. After subduing the four offenders, it was determined that they were local farmers carrying a variety of tools for digging into the tomb. Who had been systematically removing the contents of the tomb since August 29. Further investigation and decision on punishment is still pending.

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"DNA Points to Potential Link Between Ancient Shandong and Europe"
Guangming ribao (11 September 2000)

A recent article entitled "Yong DNA yanjiu gudai de lishi (Using DNA to Research Ancient History)" has generated a great deal of interest and debate due to its revelation that the DNA samples taken from ancient Shandong inhabitants resemble those of Europeans. Scientists in the Genetics Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in order to examine temporal changes in genetic structure, compared the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of three populations that lived in the same location, Linzi, Shandong province, during two different periods: the Spring and Autumn Period (770-475 BC) and the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Two indices were used to compare the genetic differences: (1) the frequency distributions of the radiating haplotype groups and (2) the genetic distances among the populations. Scientists at the University of Tokyo discovered not only that the genetic compositions of these two groups were different, but there was also a substantial difference between both of these groups and the modern inhabitants of Shandong. The genetic composition of the individuals from these two burial groups is relatively close to that of present-day Europeans. Moreover, the genetic composition of the individuals dating to 2,500 years ago, the Spring and Autumn Period, more closely resembles that of Europeans than does the genetic composition of individuals dating from 2000 years ago, the Han Dynasty. These finds have yielded no concrete conclusions, due to the difficulties of laboratory processing and the limited number of samples. Further research and a greater variety of samples from different groups in a number of areas is still required. However, this research could provide a significant link in understanding genetic diversity and routes of migration in ancient China. For more information regarding these finds please consult: Molecular Genetic Analysis of Remains of a 2,000-Year-Old Human Population in China and Its Relevance for the Origin of the Modern Japanese Population published electronically on 22 December 1998 by Hiroki Oota, Naruya Saitou, Takayuki Matsushita, and Shintaro Ueda.

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EXHIBITIONS & MUSEUM NEWS

[past and ongoing]

Readers may wish to view a calendar listing all June 2000 to May 2001 exhibitions reported in this and previous e-bulletins.

Bazaar and Temple: The Silk Road to Helsinki in 2000
The Sea Cable Hall, Cable Factory, Helsinki, Finland
17 September 2000 - 15 October 2000


This extensive cultural project explores the history, the present and the future of the Silk Road through exhibitions, festivals, concerts, multi-events, television and new media. Bazaar and Temple is a multi-event featuring Thang Long, the Vietnamese Water Puppet Theatre, an acrobatic troupe from China, and Indian music and dance. In addition, it introduces a Chinese calligrapher and an Indian painter, Asian cuisine, beauty parlors, felting and Asian games. Music clubs play Asian rhythms. Everything takes place in a colorful bazaar milieu inside the Sea Cable Hall.

From http://www.aasia.net.

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Maya - Links to a Significant Early Civilization
Qinshihuang Bingmayong Bowuguan, Xian
27 September - 31 December 2000

Two wonders of the world unite. Before visiting Guangzhou and Beijing, precious artifacts of Mayan civilization will be on display at the Qin Emperor Terra-cotta Warrior Museum. This exhibit brings to China over 186 artifacts from a civilization which spans 1000 BC to 800 AD. This collection will display examples of architecture, sculpture, painting, gold ornaments, jade carvings, writing, mathematics and various other demarcations of the development of Mayan civilization. These objects serve as an overview of the wealth of remains which illustrate the economics, culture and religion of the Maya. The audience is encouraged to make a comparison between the early civilization of China and its Mayan counterpart which, while on opposite sides of the globe, traversed the same era and represented two advanced ancient civilizations and empires. Concurrently, an exhibition of Chinese artifacts entitled Imperial China : Xi'an's Early Kingdoms will be on tour in Mexico.

From Zhongguo Wenwu bao (1 October 2000), p 2.

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Considering Excellence: Great Works from The Textile Museum
Collections

The Textile Museum, Washington, DC
Until 5 November 2000

An exhibition exploring the combination of how excellence is achieved not only by visual appeal, technical achievements and uniqueness but also through the influence of cultural heritage of the maker. Some outstanding recent acquisitions such as a yellow gauze-weave Chinese coat and an Indian brocaded sash made using 16th-century Mughal drawloom technology are on display.

From Orientations
.

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The Glorious Traditions of Chinese Bronzes - A Selection from the Collection of Anthony and Susan Hardy and Sze Yuan Tang
Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore
Opening 25 October 2000

Approximately 100 Chinese bronzes ranging from the Shang to the Tang period including ritual vessels and those for daily use, weapons and chariot embellishments. They represent the excellence of Chinese bronze casting and are also testament to the colorful ritual and daily lives of the ancient Chinese.

From Orientations
.

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[upcoming]

Ancients and Moderns in Asian Art, Part I
Yale University Art Gallery New Haven
16 January - 1 April 2001

From Orientations
.

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Ancients and Moderns in Asian Art, Part II
Yale University Art Gallery New Haven, Connecticut
17 April - 2 September 2001

From Orientations.

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Worshipping the Ancestors: Ritual and Commemorative Portraits in Late Imperial China
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
17 June 2001 - 9 September 2001

This exhibit will feature brightly colored portraits primarily focusing on members of the Qing dynasty imperial family and social elite. Examples of Qing dynasty costume and furniture will also be presented, as well as a `book of faces' that served as a guide to for artists to create ancestor portraits of the deceased.

From Orientations.

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[museum news]

China's First Carved Stone Park Opens

A park featuring ancient carved stone, the first of its kind in China, has opened to the public. Over 100 stone carvings or stone inscriptions were erected in the 33-hectare Baima Carved Stone Park in the northwestern part of the Purple Mountain in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province. The stone carvings are representative of the development of the nearly 2,000-year-old stone carving art, according to local experts. The artifacts span over 2,400 years and include carved stone men and women, turtles, horses, tigers and towers, gathered from across the city.

People's Daily on-line (3 October 2000).

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China Gives Facelift to Tibet's Jokhang Lamasery

China is renovating Tibet's Jokhang Lamasery, hoping that it will be accepted by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. The central government and Tibet Autonomous Region government have poured 11 million yuan (1.3 million US dollars) into dismantling 530 buildings and paving new roads around the historical site. Advertisement billboards and peddlers' stalls have also been removed. Located near the Potala Palace, Jokhang Lamasery was established 1,000 years ago and is a major arena for holding Buddhist religious activities. In 1961, the Chinese government named it a historical site receiving state-level protection. Sources said that UNESCO experts expressed their appreciation in the renovation of the lamasery by the Lhasa Government.

People's Daily on-line (22 October 2000).

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Hecang Fortress in Gansu to Undergo Restoration

Dating to approximately 114 BC, the Hecang Fortress for five centuries acted as a silo, which stored and supplied food for soldiers guarding the traveling caravans and residents of this Silk Road outpost. This outpost was located in today's Gansu province, 120 kilometers to the northwest of Dunhuang, in the Gobi desert. Workers have been steadily laying clay bricks at the bottom of a two-meter high rammed earth platform to strengthen the foundations. This small team, according to team engineer Yang Tao, is one of many engaging in similar projects to try to save thousands of similar ruins in Gansu province. Excavations at the site have yielded grains and other relics indicating the use of the site as an army grain silo over 2,000 years ago. Today the site shows the ravages of time and the elements such as the clay bricks, high in sand and alkali content, are steadily eroded. Ruins like these number more than 9,000 and extend throughout the Gobi Desert. Among them are large segments of the Great Wall, ancient military forts such as the Jiayu Pass, and numerous clay or mud brick tombs. Efforts continue to try to preserve these ruins, however, due to poor funding and the desperate need for experts to aid in preservation, such sites are rapidly being lost to the elements and the sands of time.

From The Asian Art Newspaper (October 2000), p. 6.

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Museum fur Ostasiastische Kunst (East-Asian Art) Reopens

The Berlin Museum fur Ostasiastische Kunst possesses a long past, which reflects both German history and Chinese art history. This history has turned a new page with the reopening of the museum on October 14. Founded in 1906 this museum was one of the first in Germany to be devoted exclusively to non-Western art. Changing names and patrons numerous times over the past century, the museum began with a collection built up under its first director Otto Kuemmel (1874-1952). The primary emphasis at this time was on Japanese and Chinese painting. It was under the flourishing connoisseurship of the Berlin elite in the early 1930's that the collections' diversity began to expand. However, abruptly in 1933, after Hitler's meteoric rise to power, many collectors were forced to sell their collections and leave Germany. Even more damaging to the state of East Asian art in Germany was the 1945 bombing of the museum. Five percent of the collection including the library, photo archive and inventories were lost. Although 300 works of art had been carried off to safety outside of Berlin at the end of the war about 90 percent of the collection was looted by Russian soldiers. The building, after later restoration, was no longer a museum of Asian art and the collection remained homeless throughout the 1960's and it was only in 1970, after 25 years without any gallery space that the remains of the collection found a home. After extensive museum renovations, the collection is again on display at the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, tel +49 30 830 13 82.

From The Asian Art Newspaper (October 2000).

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Peabody Essex Museum Expansion

Located in Salem, Massachusetts, the Peabody Essex Museum will be expanding 100,000 feet making it the second largest museum space in the United States. The expansion, designed by architect Moshe Safdie will house the museum's burgeoning collections of American, East and South East Asian furniture, decorative arts, portraits and costumes. Most importantly, for scholars of Chinese art, the expansion makes possible a full display of China Trade Arts, have long languished in storage for decades. Within three years the expansion is planned to be completed accompanied by six new galleries, a new family-oriented center and a fully reconstructed and furnished Chinese house. The Chinese house, Yin Yu Tang, is an eighteenth-century two storied structure from Huizhou and will contain items belonging to the original owners. For more information visit www.pem.org.

From The Asian Art Newspaper (October 2000).

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AUCTION & MARKET NEWS

[recent]

Christie's

New York
Chinese Ceramics, Paintings and Work of Art Exhibition

New York
Preview : 12-20 September
Auction : 21 September

Exhibition Items include fine Chinese ceramics, paintings and works of art including a bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara (10th Century AD).

South Kensington, London
Islamic and Oriental Works of Art
12 September 2000

Oriental Ceramics and Works of Art
14 September 2000
28 September 2000

Los Angeles
Asian Works of Art
Los Angeles
5 October 2000

Lot # Artist Title Estimate (USD) Hammer Price (USD)
156 Anonymous (Han) Partially burnished pottery vessel, Hu 5,000 - 7,000 5,288
234 Xu Beihong (1895-1953) Xu Beihong calligraphy 5,000 - 7,000 5,288
239 Anonymous (Late 19th century) Hand painted wall paper 5,000 - 7,000 5,288
210 Anonymous (Spring and Autumn Period, 770-475 BC) Pair of Canton Famille Rose Bough pots and covers 1,200 - 1,500 4,935
158 Anonymous (Spring and Autumn Period, 770-475 BC) Gray pottery vessel 4,000 - 6,000 4,113

Hong Kong
300 Years of Jade
30 October 2000

This is Christie's "first ever auction exclusively devoted to jade works of art." The items on view have been carefully chosen to represent "the full spectrum of forms and styles produced in the last 300 years for both Qing Imperial court and wealthy patrons."

The Fushoutang Collection - Important Classical Chinese Paintings from Japan
30 October 2000

The Fushoutang Collection features more than 30 works by Chinese masters from the eleventh through the nineteenth centuries, "the collection is perhaps on of the finest ever to have appeared on the market." Rain and Mist on the Spring River (painting attributed to Zhao Lingrang, 12th century, estimate on request); Flowers of Spring and Autumn (handscroll, Shen Zhou(1427-1509), estimate: HK$1,500,000 TO HK$2,000,000); and Myna Byrds Feeding on Cabbage Leaves (hanging scroll, anonymous, Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), estimate: over HK$460,000) are the three major masterpieces that are anticipated to attract considerable interest.

Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy
30 October 2000

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
31 October 2000

From Christie's website

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Sothebys

New York
Asia Week New York

Exhibition : 15 September 2000
Auction : 20-22 September 2000

Auctions of a variety of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and Southeast Asian Art will be conducted.

Important Chinese Export Porcelain and Chinese Works of Art from the Collection of the Late Mildred R. and Rafi Y. Mottahedeh
19 October 2000

Artworks will include Warring States and Ming ceramics, porcelains and other works of art.

The five items receiving the highest bids are as follows:

Lot # Title Estimate (USD) Hammer Price (USD)
460 Important pair of Chinese mixed-media figures of Westerners with auspicious emblems 100,000 - 150,000 566,750
376 Chinese export goose tureen and cover 60,000 - 90,000 148,750
75 Chinese export blue and white Persian market ewer and cover 20,000 - 30,000 137,750
187 Chinese export Hung punchbowl 20,000 - 30,000 115,750
391 Chinese export ox-head tureen and cover 30,000 - 50,000 110,000

Hong Kong
Important Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy
An Extraordinary Collection of Ming and Qing Imperial Porcelain and Works of Art from a Private Trust

29 October 2000

The Guo'an Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles
30 October 2000

Amsterdam
Chinese and Japanese Ceramics and Works of Art
31 October 2000

From The Asian Art Newspaper, (October 2000), p. 21 and www.sothebys.com.

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Butterfield & Butterfield
Treasures from the Hoi An Hoard
Preview: New York
14-22 September 2000
Preview: Los Angeles

23-25 September 2000
Preview: San Francisco
5-10 October 2000

Auction : Los Angeles and San Francisco
11-13 October, 4 December 2000
On-line Sales: mid-October 2000

This collection includes extremely rare examples of late 15th/early 16th century Vietnamese high-fired stoneware which was recently salvaged from a 500-year old shipwreck at the depths of the South China Sea. Over 50,000 of these highly unusual and rare items will be on auction both online, mid-October through www.ebaygreatcollections.com and through live auction in Los Angeles and San Francisco. For more information contact www.hoianhoard.com.

From www.butterfields.com.

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IM Chait Gallery/Auctioneers
Fine Asian Art
Beverly Hills, CA
22 October 2000

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Arts of Pacific Asia Show
New York
69th Regent Armory, Lexington Avenue and 26th Street
Preview: 20 September 2000
Auction: 21-24 September 2000

Los Angeles
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
Preview: 6 October 2000
Auction: 7-8 October 2000

Over 70 galleries and dealers participated in this event, "the most important antique fair for Japanese works of art, Chinese jade and ceramics." For more information, contact www.caskeylees@earthlink.net, or call (310) 455-2886.

From The Asian Art Newspaper (September 2000).

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Art Festival to Hold On-line Auction
www.guaweb.com
7 October 2000

More than 20 artists who have have put their paintings on show at the ongoing Sixth China Art Festival in the eastern province of Jiangsu will auction their works on-line. The paintings, which include some of the most outstanding works of artists from the Chinese mainland as well as from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, will be auctioned at www.guaweb.com, a website of the Beijing-based China Jiade International Auction Company. It is the first time for the China Art Festival to hold an on-line auction. The festival has held exhibitions on Chinese paintings, calligraphy and selected works of ancient painters and calligraphers in Jiangsu Province.

From Orientations.

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The Chinese Porcelain Company
Chinese Art from the Wei to the Tang Dynasties
New York
11-28 October 2000

The star piece of the show is a Tang dynasty sancai pottery court lady in a chignon, seated on a waisted circular garden seat. Her face is delicately painted and modeled, and her shawl and dress are covered with a bright finely crackled green, straw and chestnut-splashed glaze.

17th and 18th Century Chinese Porcelain from Distinguished Private Collections
New York
11-28 October 2000

This show includes some interesting examples of blanc-de-chine and famille-verte porcelain, reflecting the taste of early 20th-century collectors such as J.P. Morgan and Henry Clay Frick. Highlights include an unusually large blanc-de-chine seated Guanyin, formerly in the collection of the Singer Memorial Foundation in the Netherlands, which dates from the Wanli period. Also included are a large Kangxi period famille-rose baluster vase from the collection of John D. Rockefeller and Nelson A. Rockefeller as well as a blanc-de-chine Bodhidharma from the Edward Chow collection.

From Orientations.

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The Taiwan Antique Dealers' Association Millennium Exhibition
Taipei
21 October 2000

The association was officially incorporated in August 1999 and was the first organization of its kind in Asia. There will be eight dealers and two auction houses (Christies Hong Kong - Taiwan branch and Sothebys Taiwan) to present Chinese and other Asian works of art in this exhibition. It is hoped to compare favorably to the standard of international fairs. The items on show are Buddhist and Tibetan art, pre-Tang and Tang art, early ceramics, Chinese furniture, sculpture, calligraphy and painting.

From The Asian Art Newspaper (October 2000), p. 17.

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[upcoming]

Sothebys

London

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Chinese Export Porcelain

14 November 2000

Chinese and Japanese Ceramics and Works of Art
28 November 2000

Amsterdam
Commemoration Sale: The Netherlands - Japan 400 Years Chinese and Japanese Ceramics and Works of Art
27 November 2000

From Orientations.

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Christie's

London
Kensington
Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

9 November 2000

Oriental Ceramics and Works of Art
7 December 2000

King Street
Fine Chinese Export Ceramics and Works of Art

15 November 2000
Ja
panese Art and Design and Japanese Lacquer
16 November 2000

Amsterdam
Chinese and Japanese Ceramics and Works of Art
5 December 2000

From The Asian Art Newspaper (September 2000).

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I. M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers
Fine Asian Art Auction
Beverly Hills, California
3 December 2000

Lot # Title Estimate (USD)
202 Ming Dynasty Wanli (r.1573-1620) Wu Cai Vase 120,000 - 180,000
203 Ming Dynasty Jiajing (r.1522-1566) Palace Vase 50,000 - 60,000
151 Ming Dynasty Yongle (r.1403-1424) Blue and White Dish 40,000 - 60,000
325 Massive Jin Dynasty (265-420) Stucco Buddha 40,000 - 50,000
136 Tang Dynasty (618-907) Chesnut Glazed Horse 35,000 - 40,000

From Orientations.

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Nagel Auction
Asian Art
Stuttgart, Germany
11 October - 11 November 2000

This auction includes a private European colection of Netsuke and Japanese lacquer; a German private collection of more than 300 export porcelains; a Swiss private collection of Japanese and Chinese sculptures and works of art; and a collection of antique furniture.

Tek Sing Treasures
Stuttgart, Germany
17 November - 25 November 2000

More than 350,000 porcelains and other works of art salvaged from a Chinese junk sunk in 1882 will be on display.

From The Asian Art Newspaper (October 2000).

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Guardian Auctions
Chinese Paintings Calligraphy; Porcelain and Works of Art; Jewelry; Cameras
Beijing, China
12 November 2000

From Guardian Newsletter 26/2 (2000).

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2000 Years of Chinese and Japanese Sculpture
Gerard Hawthorn, London
9-17 November 2000

Included in this show is a bronze figure of Buddha with the date 1465 cast rather than cut into the figure, and therefore one of the few datable to the late 15th century.

From Orientations.

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Important Collection of Chinese Arts
Francois de Ricqles, Paris
24 November 2000

From Orientations.

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CONFERENCES & SYMPOSIA

Readers may wish to view a calendar listing all June 2000 to May 2001 conferences and symposia reported in this and previous e-bulletins.

[Recent]

Four Perspectives on Chinese Calligraphy: Curator, Artist, Scholar, Collector
Metropolitan Museum of Art Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
1 and 22 October 2000

http://www.metmuseum.org

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42nd Annual Conference for the American Association for Chinese Studies
28-29 October 2000
University of San Francisco, Lone Mountain Campus
http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/aacs/aacs.htm

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Buddhism and Art Lecture
Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
29 October 2000


From AsiaEvents.

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[upcoming]

Education Programme - 2000 Years of Chinese Painting: Han Dynasty to Modern Times
Christie's New York
Until 16 November 2000

An eight-week programme designed to provide an intensive introduction to the painting and calligraphy of China. Seminars and lectures given by leading authorities in the field as well as weekly field study sessions held at public and private collections. A tea ceremony demonstration, calligraphy workshop and a seminar on buying Chinese painting at auction. For further information contact 212 636 2195 or lwhitman@christies.com

From Orientations.

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Interactions between India and China in the Era of Colonialism and Imperialism
6-7 November 2000
http://www.asiasource.org/events/

Scholars wishing to participate in this seminar or wanting to know more about it are invited to contact the organizers as soon as possible at the following e-mail addresses: ics@ndf.vsnl.net.in and madhavi@del3.vsnl.net.in. Inquiries may also be made by phone to the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, India, at the following number on weekdays: +91-11-3388155.

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Arts of the Book in Asia
The British Library, London
11 November 2000
http://www.orientations.com.hk/events3.htm

A study day featuring illustrated lectures by curators of the British Library's Asian collections in association with Asian Art in London. For further information, consult the British Library website.

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On the Cusp of An Era: Art in the Pre-Kushan World
8-11 November 2000
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

from CAA News (May 2000)
http://prekushan@nelson-atkins.org

The first symposium to define the formative stage of Buddhist and Hindu art that developed in a vast territory of South and Central Asia during the 2nd century BC-AD 100. Organized by Dr. Doris Meth Srinivasan, Curator of South and Southeast Asian art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, the symposium assembles 24 of the world's leading scholars who will present papers surveying the diverse cultural and artistic heritage upon which so much of South Asian religious art is founded. For more information, visit www.nelson-atkins.org/symposium.htm.

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Chinese Calligraphy in Context
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

http://www.metmuseum.org

9 December 2000
Robert E. Harrist, Jr. (Associate Professor of Art History, Columbia University), "Wang Xizhi and the Culture of Chinese Calligraphy," 16 December 2000

16 December 2000
Robert E. Harrist, Jr. (Associate Professor of Art History, Columbia University), "Imperial Brushes: Rulership and Calligraphy in China"
Free with museum admission.

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East Asian Conference - Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
3-5 April 2001

Three British associations separately dedicated to Chinese, Korean and Japanese studies will be organizing this event. For more information contact Lynn Baird, University of Essex.

From The Asian Art Newspaper, (October 2000)

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European Jesuits as Cartographers of China in the Last Decades of the Seventeenth Century
Warburg Institute, London
26 April 2001
http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/fineart/html/chinese/attend.html

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BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM CHINESE-ARTBOOKS.COM


Taoism and the Arts of China
Stephen Little, with Shawn Eichman
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000

This catalogue illustrates works included in the first ever major exhibition on Daoism and its associated arts, which opened at the Art Institute of Chicago in late 2000. Renowned experts on Daoism and Chinese art and history -- Patricia Ebrey, Kristofer Schipper, Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt, Wu Hung -- contributed essays to this volume.

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Zhongguo minjian zongjiao shi (The History of Folk Religion in China)
Jungying Tsao, ed.
Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1998 (2nd edition)

This volume presents the only comprehensive overview of China's folk religions from the Han to the Qing dynasties. Ma Xisha (People's University) and Han Bingfang (Central Academy of Social Sciences) argue for folk religion as a reflection of, and challenge against, orthodox religions and governments.

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Daojiao changshi (A General Overview of Daoism)
Chinese Daoist Association, ed.
Beijing: Chinese Daoist Association, 1997

Researchers at the Chinese Daoist Association, based in the White Cloud Temple in Beijing, contribute individual chapters introducing Daoist thought, ritual, and art.

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Daojiao meishushi hua (On the History of Daoist Art)
Wang Yi'e
Beijing: Beijing Yanshan chubanshe, 1994


The author, a research fellow at the Chinese Daoist Association, headquartered at the White Cloud Temple in Beijing, provides an overview of Daoist art and its relationship to Daoist philosophy and ritual. See her article, "The Origins of Daoist Art," in the most recent issue of Chinese-art.com Traditional Art Magazine.

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Beijing Baiyun Guan (The White Cloud Temple [in Beijing])
Chinese Daoist Association
Beijing: Chinese Daoist Association, 1994

This pamphlet illustrates the architecture, sculpture, and paintings at the White Cloud Temple. Many of the objects held there date to as early as the Tang dynasty (618-906), with most dating from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

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Daojiao shenxian huaji (Album for Taoist Deities and Divine Immortals)
Chinese Daoist Association
Beijing: Huaxia chubanshe, 1995

This full-color volume catalogues Daoist paintings in the collection of the Baiyun Guan (White Cloud Temple) in Beijing, the richest collection of such works in China. The paintings date from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Several plates may be seen on-line in the Picture Gallery posted in the most recent issue of
Chinese-art.com Traditional Art Magazine.

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Beijing tushuguan guji zhenben congkan (Index to Ancient Books in the Beijing Library)
Beijing Library
Beijing: Shumu wenxian chubanshe, 1987


A useful guide to old books and manuscripts at the Beijing Library (now called the National Library) branch at Beihai, recently reopened after three years of renovation.

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Mawangdui boshu yishu (The Art of Calligraphy on Silk from the Mawangdui Tomb)
Chen Songchang, ed.
Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 1996

The items reproduced here are in the collection of the Hunan Provincial Museum.

Qingdai jiaju (Qing Dynasty Furniture)
Xu Jianrong
Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 1996

Songdai minghua zaojian (The Connoisseurship of Famous Song Paintings)
Xu Jianrong, ed.
Shanghai: Shanghai shudian, 1999

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