Welcome to the Chinese-art.com Traditional Art e-bulletin, distributed monthly to scholars, professionals, and aficionados of Chinese art. Please e-mail suggestions, news, and announcements to editor@chinese-art.com.


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]

AUCTION & MARKET NEWS

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

30 September 2000
31 October 2000

[recent]

[upcoming]

[market news]

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

Traditional Chinese Art Magazine

Don't miss our latest 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, summarizes early Daoist iconography. A separate picture gallery introduces the little-known but unsurpassed collection of Daoist painting and sculpture at the White Cloud Temple in Beijing, where Wang Yi'e and the Daoist Association of China are based. In "An Outline of Daoist Art," Liu Jianlong confronts the question, "What is Daoist art?." We also offer "How Do We Come to Terms with Folk Religions from Feudal Times?" excerpted from a seminal work in the field of religious studies, History of Folk Religion in China, by Ma Xisha and Han Bingfang.

Our staff is currently compiling a comprehensive list with links to 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.

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."

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 welcomes submissions from our readers in US, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. File a monthly report and earn credits against books purchased on http://www.chinese-artbooks.com/. Write to editor@chinese-art.com for further details.

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.

[back to top]

 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS

First Time Discovery and Excavation of a Dual Emperor-Empress Tomb from the Tang Dynasty

The tomb of the Tang emperor Xuanzong (r. 713-756), the Hui mausoleum in Sanhe, Shaanxi Province, is the tallest Tang Dynasty tomb mound found thus far -- 14 meters high. In October 1999, tomb robbers left a 9-meter hole in the side of the mound. In order to prevent further loss and damage, archaeologists in Shaanxi Province, began a systematic excavation and rescue mission in March 2000 to try to glean all information possible from the site before further pillaging occurred. Despite previous looting, this tremendous site has provided an abundant array of painted pottery figurines, totalling over 800 pieces. Archaeologists have also located a funerary eulogy for both the Emperor and Empress, indicating that this is the first dual emperor-empress tomb from the Tang Dynasty to be unearthed. According to preliminary research, this site consists of imperial watchtowers, spirit road, stone sculptures, gate watchtowers, and surrounding walls. The 60-meter-long spirit road leading up and into the tomb runs north-south.

The brick corridor leading into the tomb extends 20.8 meters deep, 1.65 meters wide, and over 2 meters high. It is lined with seven small courtyards and six wall niches. At the south end, the corridor leads to a protective brick door; 8.9 meters beyond that is a stone door. The western chamber of the mausoleum contains a stone coffin with an ornately carved lid. The coffin bed is made up of green-blue stones, and the outside of the coffin is covered with imagery carved in fine shallow and smooth lines.

The coffin chamber houses ten squared pillar supports. In the corridor, the smooth white and grey walls are graced with murals with elegant contours and fresh bright colors. The east and west walls contain imagery covering nearly 6 meters, such as an immortal leading other figures down the corridor. and green-blue dragons and tigers. The western portion of the wall is not nearly as well-preserved but the subject matter is still discernible. The upper register of the northern wall is mostly complete and ends in a painting of a watchtower. The east and west walls pass chamber entrances, which are flanked by murals of male and female attendants and scenes of musical performances and dancing. Finally, at the northernmost end, a high-ranking noblewoman, followed by a series of attendants, is meticulously rendered.

Despite several lootings, the Hui mausoleum still contains a large number of funerary goods, indicating the original extent of the rich finds. Pottery figurines are the greatest in number and total more than 860. Filling the tomb niches, these figurines are both small and large, some even ranging in height to 0.8 meters (see photo above). Also found in the tomb were silver and jade ornaments, glazed colored beads, bronze horses and ornaments, iron implements, and ceramics. The historical background of the reign of the emperor interred within the tomb is somewhat muddled due to the fact that, in spite of being a younger brother, he was still able to ascend the throne. It was upon his 63rd year [date] that he died from illness and was buried here. According to the funerary tablet excavated from the site, the tomb was created with the intention of allowing both the emperor and empress to be buried in the same tomb. However, the empress died earlier, meaning that rather than following the system of concurrent interment, she had to be buried first. This forced workers to finish the tomb earlier than originally planned. Since workmen sealed the underground tomb following the empress's burial, the emperor could not be buried in the originally intended location. Therefore, a special coffin and chamber were created for the emperor's remains.

Ma Zhijun, Zhongguo wenwu bao (25 October 2000), p. 1.

[back to top]

"Goldbach's Conjecture of the Chinese Nation"

After five years of painstaking work, a board of more than 200 history experts, has announced that its members have verified the historical development of the "lost" 1229 years at the beginning of Chinese civilization. The report of their findings, The Chronological Table of Xia, Shang and Zhou, was published on 9 November 2000 [contact inquiries@chinese-artbooks.com for your copy]. In it, they stated that the Xia Dynasty began in 2070 BC, the Shang Dynasty in 1600 BC, and the Zhou Dynasty in 1046 BC. Chinese civilization is the only one of the four major ancient civilizations to have independent origins. However, unlike Egyptian civilization, which is able to verify the start and end of eras in its history, Chinese history has until now been unable to absolutely date dynastic divisions of over 2000 years of its 5000 years of history. The new chronological table not only gives the start and end of the three dynasties, but also orders the reigns of the ten kings of the Western Zhou (11th-7th century BC) and the twelve kings of the late Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century BC), starting from King Pangeng up to King Zhou. Research was conducted through re-collection and sorting of existing historical documents and artifacts, such as shells and gold, and through consultation of modern astrological charts. Relics from areas such as Beijing's Liuli River and Nancun in Zhen[g]zhou, Henan Province, were also excavated and examined using highly advanced sampling equipment. The three dynasties are particularly important, as they mark the time when Chinese civilization molded its characteristics and started to head towards prosperity. The findings bring the thread of Chinese development to light, and establish a foundation of a complete civilization chronology.

Beijing Evening News (9 November 2000), excerpted in "News from All Over," City Weekend (23 November - 6 December 2000), p. 5. See a related article from the Far Eastern Economic Review posted in the 31 July 2000 e-bulletin.

[back to top]

Further Discoveries of Zhengzhou Remains

From Winter 1999 through Summer 2000, accompanying the "Xia (21st-16th century BC), Shang (16th-11th century BC) and Zhou (11th-7th century BC) Dynasties Chronology Project" and publication of reports on the excavation of Xiao Xuanqiao, archaeologists from Henan Province decided to recommence excavations in this 4,000,000 square meter area. During the original excavation from 1995-1997, archaeologists located remnants of Shang Dynasty rammed earth walls and architecture. Among these remains, they uncovered over a hundred sacrificial human bones, two burial pits, burnt stones, ten storage and ash pits, which conatined pottery, bone and stone implements. Archaeologists also found what are believed to be mass sacrificial burials, concentrated primarily around the walls enclosing the site. Researchers believe that these remains were the bones of prisoners or slaves (see photo above). Among the sacrifices, many had bent limbs, some were lying on their side, and others had their entire body bent. Very few of the remains were laid straight and facing upward. A number of the corpses had incomplete skeletal structure. Many showed signs of external damage to the skull, limbs and lower jaw bones. While in most of the pits the bodies were piled in a heap, in other burials the position of corpses suggests perhaps an intentional and symbolic pattern. One such arrangement, repeated several times in different pits, was that of two bodies, one male one female, placed as a pair, heads facing each other. The female was often on the bottom, body positioned in a rigid straight line. The man would then be positioned on top, body bent with broken shins and calves forced on top of the upper thighs. These human remains were all located in close proximity to the dirt walls at the site. The 1.8-meter long, 0.6-meter wide south wall had burial pits at its base containing 31 skulls and scattered limbs. The skulls showed signs of having been cut, punctured and smashed with both dull and sharp implements. Of the bones located, scientists have determined that the majority were those of young men, with very few women and children present. Burielas were also found by the north wall, including both human remains and a number of artifacts: pottery, bronzes, stone implements and clam shells. Following the initial and recent re-excavation of the Zhengzhou site, archaeologists have collected significant information regarding methods of sacrificial burial and beliefs, city building and sacrifice during the Shang Dynasty.

Song Guoding and Li Suting, Zhongguo wenwu bao (1 November 2000), p. 1.

[back to top]

The Search for the Mysterious Owner of the Si Jin Si Ma Bronze Seal

During July of this year, while excavating a brick Eastern Han tomb in Liuqiaozhen Miaoshan village, Jiangxia Province, archaeologists found a bronze seal engraved with the characters si jin si ma, indicating that this seal was once owned by an official from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD). This type of complete large-scale brick Eastern Han tomb is one of the first of its kind to be found. The grave goods located at the site consisted of pottery, stone, ceramic, iron, and bronze objects. Among these objects were blue-green ceramic jars, knives, tools, ritual vases. Despite its small size -- 2.5 cm long and 0.9 cm -- the thick bronze square seal has attracted the most attention so far. The character si, repeated twice, is traditionally associated with official status in China. This possible connection to an official from the Eastern Han, started researchers combing through Chinese history books. Upon investigating official records, there were no recorded names matching the seal. However, there were a few possible matches. But the evidence is still inconclusive, indicating that the mystery regarding the identity of this offical may continue for quite some time.

Zheng Jingang, Zhongguo wenwu bao (15 November 2000), p. 1.

[back to top]

Unique Carved Incense Burner Among Artifacts Unearthed in Sanmenxia

During August 2000 a team of archaeologists in Sanmenxia, Henan Province, excavated a series of tombs from the Han (206 BC-220 AD), Tang (618-907), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties. The approximately 148 artifacts found were fashioned from a variety of substances, including bronze, silver, iron, ceramics, and pottery.

Seven Han brick tombs about seven meters deep were unearthed, each with west-east spirit roads. Glazed pottery, ash pots, ding tripods, ewers, jugs, handled cup,s and daggers were among the remains at the site. One of the most exquisite and unique objects found was a latticework incense burner (see photo above), which researchers assert is the first of its kind to be found in Sanmenxia. The Tang tombs had north-south spirit roads with catacombs extending two to five meters in depth. These tombs contained an assortment of ceramic vases, bowls, dishes, iron sickle, and bronze mirrors. Tomb 25 in particular yielded extremely high quality white glazed ceramics, some of which exhibited the Southern blue and the Northern white glazes. The Ming and Qing tombs produced noteworthy examples of bronze mirrors.

These tombs provide an invaluable timeline for researchers, illustrating the ascent and decline of different dynasties and the changes in tomb structure and contents from one dynasty to the next. For those researching the progression and change in Chinese tomb structure and funerary art over time the finds at Sanmenxia are not to be overlooked.

Shi Zhimin and Wei Songlin, Zhongguo wenwu bao (15 November 2000), p. 1.

[back to top]


NOTEWORTHY ESSAYS

"China and US Drafting Anti-Smuggling Agreement"
Meg Maggio
The Asian Art Newspaper on-line

New developments have taken place since our September 2000 e-bulletin report on a possible US import ban on Chinese antiquities. It now appears that a full import ban may not be intended by the Chinese, but rather a bilateral agreement to implement the 1970 Unesco Convention. The word in Beijing is that next year, the Bureau of Cultural Relics will sign a bilateral agreement with the US with the aim of reducing smuggling and smoothing the way for the return of items seized in the US. China requested such a bilateral agreement in 1998, but progress has been slow. Several drafts submitted by the Chinese side to the US Embassy have been rejected for lack of conformity with international treaty standards. Now, as a result of recent high-profile overseas cases, including one civil suit to recover an antiquity from the US, the Beijing leadership, US Customs, and US Embassy officials alike are increasing pressure on the Bureau to conclude the treaty as soon as possible. While infighting persists within the Bureau over the best way to handle this and many other issues, the US Embassy, in an effort to push the agreement forward, has offered to assist by recommending legal experts to assist the Bureau. In all other cases where the US has entered into such an agreement (with El Salvador, Guatemala, Canada, Mali, Cyprus and Cambodia), its essence has been the restriction of the import into the US of archaeological or ethnological material from those countries. It seems, however, that the Chinese are aiming for an agreement that will simply mirror the language of the 1970 Unesco Convention, to which both the US and China have already acceded. This would include obligations on the US to prevent museums and similar institutions from acquiring illegally exported cultural property from China; a prohibition of the import into the US of Chinese cultural property stolen from a museum, public monument, or institution; and the mandatory return of such items once found in the US. The signing of such an agreement would be used officially as a vehicle for China to take a more visible role on the world stage in matters regarding international cultural property. To date, work on the agreement has been undertaken solely by the US Foreign Affairs Department of the Cultural Relics Bureau. In the view of some Bureau officials both inside and outside this Department, the question of illicit trafficking in antiquities should be kept out of their day-to-day activities, and would be more effectively handled by China's local police, Customs and Public Security Bureaus. Given the greater degree of accountability required from both sides by the agreement, the implementation of illicit trafficking curbs is likely to be faster and better coordinated than ever before, and a growing number of claims will have to be accepted and resolved on the Chinese side. The Cultural Relics Bureau may find itself getting deeper and deeper into the business of fighting the internal traffic in cultural relics, whether or not its members want to be involved.

[back to top]

"Foreign Elements Contained in Tang Dynasty Dragon Imagery"
"Tangdai long zaoxing zhong di wailai wenhua yinsu"
Ge Chengyang
Xungen
2000.1

The latest in a series of essays and books tackling the subject of cultural interaction, this essay regards the communication between East and West, illustrated by a specific visual example, the representation of dragons during the Tang Dynasty (618-960 AD). Archaeological evidence has demonstrated that during the Shang (16th-11th century BC) and Zhou (11th-7th century BC) Dynasties, China's central grasslands began establishing communication with the West. At this early stage the main form of interaction took the form of shared techniques of animal husbandry. This contact continued to progress, culminating in the Tang Dynasty. During this time period, this influence was not just limited to the Silk Road but rather spread through many regions, east and west. Contact was also no longer limited to husbandry and began to inculcate social and artistic norms. One particular form of representation that underwent several notable stylistic changes was dragon imagery. During the Tang, depictions of dragons began to appear with longer horns, adorning the crest of their heads. Researchers note that this innovation has a strong affinity to imagery from cultures of the West Asian grasslands. Furthermore, the entire head and body of the dragon began to undergo transformation. In addition to becoming rounded and full in shape, the dragon's head began to resemble a lion's. The body of the dragon also sprouted wings for flight, demonstrating a Western flavor for artistic depiction of mystical beasts. The body of the dragon began to take on qualities of half-bird and half-lion beasts found in Western art and folklore. These qualities, in addition to the amalgam of feline hair, leopard-like tail, and qualities of other beasts both real and fantastic, are thought to relate to Western imagery and forms of representation. Such similarities suggest yet another possible visual and ideological link between Eastern and Western cultures and civilizations.

[back to top]

"Regarding Early Xia Dynasty Civilization"
"Guanyu zaoqi Xia wenhua"
Li Baiqian
Zhongyuan wenwu 2000.1

Evidence may point to the fact that Erlitou culture was not, in fact, the earliest Xia Dynasty (21st-16th century BC) civilization. The author asserts that establishment of the Xia Kingdom, while undergoing a few conflicts, largely occurred in one area with members of the same ethnic groups. In contrast, the Shang (16th-11th century BC) and Western Zhou (11th-7th century BC) Dynasties faced an influx of peoples and, in particular, conflicts with Yi groups. Despite the often antagonistic of this cross-cultural communication, these contacts had a profound influence on methods of governance and societal structure during these two dynasties. The author contends that the Xia and early Shang, when compared with the late Shang and Zhou Dynasties, are fundamentally different in nature. The author further argues that the process of cultural development did not occur suddenly, producing Longshan or Erlitou culture. Rather these cultures were part of the ongoing process of state and societal change, not the final result. In choosing a more probable root for the Xia Dynasty, the author feels that Longshan provides a greater possibility. Archaeological evidence and the discovery of the sentry posts of the ancient fortress city of Longshan offer convincing evidence that the ancient sentry city of Longshan culture is most representative of the earliest Xia Dynasty civilization.

[back to top]

"New Discoveries Regarding Chu Kingdom Remains in Shaanxi Province"
"Jinnian lai Shaanxi jingnei xin faxian de Chu wenhua yucun"
Yang Yachang and Wang Changfu
Gudai wenming yanjiu tongxun 6 (September 2000)

The rich archaeological remains of the upper reaches of the Dan River have provided researchers with abundant information on the development of the Chu Kingdom in Northwest China. This former border region was notable for its remote Western location and the confluence of ethnic groups. Furthermore, the remains in this area provide invaluable insight into cultural, economic and political interaction between the various kingdoms of Chu, Zhou, and Qin. The communication between these various kingdoms was instrumental in shaping the development of early China, later to be unified under the rule of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). Archaeological surveys indicate that, during the later stages of the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th-7th century BC), the upper reaches of the Dan River flowed along the banks of Chu Kingdom municipalities. From the middle of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) through the middle of the Warring States (475-221 BC), the upper reaches of the Dan River were the heart of Chu kingdom commerce and trade. Archaeological finds further illustrate that the material culture of commerce within the Chu kingdom difffered widely from other kingdoms. It was only after the Warring States period that Qin culture and civilization gradually was able to absorb that of the Chu. However, the author contends that the Chu kingdom's influence on the cultural and economic development of early China was never fully extinguished.

[back to top]


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.

Treasures of Ancient China
Tokyo National Museum
24 October - 17 December 2000

The exhibition contains 160 famous works selected from among the many historical objects that have been excavated in China. Ranging from 5000 BC to the 10th century AD, this exhibition is divided by period into six themes and offers a general survey of masterpieces from each era. Among these objects are thirteen Buddhist sculptures of the Southern and Northern Dynasties period recently unearthed in Qingzhou, Shandong Province, which will be shown in Japan for the first time. Their beautiful forms and vivid coloring will certainly astonish visitors. In terms of scope and content this is the largest such exhibition since the Archaeological Finds of The People's Republic of China exhibition opened in 1973 to mark the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and the PRC.

From http://www.tnm.go.jp/doc/Guide/Dyn/eten/eten08.en.html

[back to top]

An Eclectic Ensemble: The History of Asian Art
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
25 August - 3 June 2001

This fall, the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College presents highlights of the Asian art collection from the turn of the century to the present. Selections on exhibit show how the museum has, through a combination of gifts and purchases, amassed holdings of Asian art, particularly in the areas of Chinese and Japanese paintings and decorative arts, and Islamic textiles. A number of objects in the exhibition have never before been on public view.

From http://www.oberlin.edu/~allenart/exhibits-hisasian.html.

[back to top]

The Mystical Arts of Tibet
Bayly Art Museum, University of Virginia
18 November 2000 - 14 January 2001

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Chinese Ceramics: The First Three Thousand Years
Berkeley Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley
Ongoing.

From http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibits/.

[back to top]

Face of the Buddha: Sculpture from India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia
Berkeley Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley
Opening 8 November 2000

Graceful stone figures from China on long-term loan from the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation in New York, together with small Buddhist sculptures from the Berkeley Art Museum's collection, form an intense if literally fragmentary picture of the spread of Buddhist devotions throughout Asia.

From http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibits/.

[back to top]

Storage Jars of Asia
Freer / Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution
Until 10 March 2002

From Orientations.

[back to top]

The Chinese Dragon: Lord of Land, Water, and Sky
Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida
5 February - 30 January 2001

The year 2000, the last year of the 20th century, is also the Chinese Year of the Dragon. Therefore, the museum has chosen to celebrate the millennium with an exhibition that traces the development of the Chinese dragon from early Neolithic times to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

From http://www.lowemuseum.org/exhibitions.shtml

[back to top]

The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
3 October 2000 - 14 January
2001

The Metropolitan Museum is presenting approximately 150 masterpieces from the collection that were produced some 2,000 years ago in the period just before and after the Year One. Spanning seven curatorial departments, these works range from Roman portraits to Celtic metalwork, from Egyptian sculpture to Han dynasty terracotta figurines, from Vietnamese Dongson drums to Calima face masks of hammered gold. Together, they reveal the rich diversity of and intriguing interconnections among the cultures that produced them.

From Metropolitan Museum of Art on-line.

[back to top]

Beyond the Screen: Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Ongoing.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Year of the Dragon: Calligraphy of Wang Fangyu
Newark Museum, Newark
Until 12 November 2000

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Wind in the Mountains: Chinese Ming Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Until May 2001

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Oriental Carpets from the James F. Ballard Collection
Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis
Until 25 February 2001

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Treasures from a Lost Civilization: Ancient Chinese Art from Sichuan
Seattle Asian Art Museum
10 May - 12 August 2001

Kimbell Art Museum, Forth Worth, Dallas
30 September 2001 - 13 January 2002

The first US exhibition of ancient bronzes from a recently discovered Bronze Age civilization in China. It includes 90 bronzes, jades and clay objects dating from the 13th century BCE to 2nd century CE. The exhibition will also incorporate images of supernatural beings and human figures as well as vessels, weapons and various implements.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Style and Symbol: Chinese Cloisonne from the Permanent Collection George Walter
Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts
Until 1 July 2001

Drawn from one of the largest collections of Ming and Qing period cloisonne outside China, are household objects such as vases, candlesticks, dishes and jars as well as religious items such as incense burners, altar sets and Buddhist figures. In order to trace the evolution of styles and symbols in Chinese art through comparative artistic mediums, examples of porcelain, jade and furniture, also amassed by George Walter Vincent Smith in the 1800s, will be displayed alongside.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Celebrating Virtue: Prestige Costume and Fabrics of Late Imperial China
Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto, Ontario
Until 13 May 2001

Glenbow Museum
29 September 2001 - 2 February 2002

An exhibition reflecting the opulence and pageantry of last imperial age. The 42 garments and textiles, dating from the 17th to the early 20th century, are from the Textile Museum of Canada and the Glenbow Museum and many have never been exhibited before. The title of exhibition was taken by guest curator John Vollmer from a quote by leading Confucian historian Ban Gu who rationalized the elevated status of the ruling classes by noting: "the ancients used clothing for the purpose of distinguishing between the noble and the common and to illustrate virtue so as to encourage the imitation of good example."

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Visions of Compassion: Images of Guanyin in Chinese Art
National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Until 25 December 2000

An exhibition of paintings and scriptures on the subject of the three artistic representations of Guanyin - esoteric, exoteric and sinified - to give a better understanding of the complex and multi-faceted process of the development of Buddhism in China.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Painting and Calligraphy Donated to the National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Until 25 December 2000

An exhibition to honour the benefactors who have bequeathed works to the museum.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

A Collection of Painting and Calligraphy
National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Until 25 December 2000

An exhibition of works by Shen Zhou (1427-1509), Chen Hongshou (1598-1652), and Wen Boren (1502-1575).

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Masterpieces of Cursive Script Calligraphy
National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

Until 25 December 2000

Examples of this most abbreviated and fluid form of calligraphy through the various periods to demonstrate the history, techniques and beauty of this type of calligraphy.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

A Special Exhibition of Qing Dynasty Grand Council Archives
The National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Until 30 December 2000

The broad range of documents from the Grand Council archives offers an insight into the world of Qing dynasty court politics and the often contentious final two centuries of Chinese imperial rule.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Nomadic Waves and Cultural Exchange on the Inner Mongolian Steppe
National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Until 3 January 2001

An exhibition of archaeological and other treasures offers visitors an glimpse of the historical cultures of the north China steppe, the nature of their relationship with China and the role that they played in the greater history of Asian art and culture.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Guangdong Painting of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
Until 28 January 2001

Over 110 works by prominent painters of the Ming and Qing periods give a glimpse of the artistic achievements of the Guangdong masters such as Liang Yuwei and Su Liupeng and how their art reflected a characteristic regional style.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Chinese Painting and Calligraphy: Gift in Memory of Wong Siew Chan and Wong Peng Cheong
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
Until 4 February 2001

One hundred paintings and calligraphic works from the Ming period to modern day illustrating diverse styles.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Ancient Chinese Gold Ornaments
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
Until 18 February 2001

The first of its kind, this exhibition consists of over 400 hundred examples of ancient Chinese gold ornaments from the Shang to the Qing period selected from Hong Kong collections.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

[upcoming]

Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies
The British Museum, London
16 June - 12 August 2001

This is a rare public exhibition of the Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies scroll, a painting long attributed to Gu Kaizhi (ca. 345-406), along with other highlights of early Chinese figure painting in The British Museum. In conjunction with this exhibition, the British Museum and the Percival David Foundation are co-sponsoring a three-day colloquy, The Admonitions Scroll: Ideals of Etiquette, Art & Empire in Early China from 18-20 June 2001.

[back to top]

Chinese Paintings from Local Collections (Two Parts)
Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
July 2001 - July 2002

The first major exhibition of Chinese paintings from private collections in the Seattle area.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Chinese Furniture
Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
July 2001 - July 2002

An exhibition of furniture from the celebrated Ming and Qing period in the Museum's collection.

From Orientations.

[back to top]


AUCTION & MARKET NEWS

[recent]

Nagel Auctions

Stuttgart, Germany
Asian Art: Chinese Art I - Ceramics
11 November 2000

Lot# Item Estimate DM) Hammer Price (DM)
2083 Export porcelain, Chinese woman and a dog 15,000 55,000
2086 Pair of scholar's rocks models 38,000 54,000
2119 Pair of jars and covers 15,000 40,000
2085 Pair of glazed porcelain cranes 12,000 35,000
2076 Glazed porcelain meiping vase 4,500 24,000

Asian Art: Chinese Art II
11 November 2000

Lot# Item Estimate (DM) Hammer Price (DM)
2173 Steatite covered ink palette in shape of a tortoise with carapace 25,000 25,000
2192 Large partially gilt bronze statue of guardian 24,000 24,000
2262 Carved rhinoceros libation cup 26,000 24,000
2185 Bronze sculpture of Guanyin 5,800 18,000
2197 Gilt-bronze figure of Avalokitesvara 10,000 17,000

From http://www.auction.de/.

[back to top]

Ceramics and Works of Art from the Collection of J. Chase Gilmore
Anthony Carter, London
9-17 November 2000

A collection with a Western provenance dating to the early 20th century, and which has been on loan to the Art Institute of Chicago since 1974. It reflects not only the personal taste of J. Chase Gilmore but also the vogue among collectors of the 1950s and the 1960s, a period rich with opportunity to find rarieties.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Chinese Furniture of the 17th and 18th Centuries
Eskenazi, London
10 November - 1 December 2000

For more information contact mailto:EskArt@aol.com.

From International Herald Tribune (4-5 November 2000).

[back to top]

Chinese Antique Furniture, Curios & Artworks Fair 2000
Shanghaimart, Shanghai
23-26 November 2000

Dealers will be exhibiting Ming and Qing period furniture, bronzes, jades, seals, porcelain, painting, calligraphy, bamboo, wood and ivory carvings.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Jade: Treasures from Heaven
Ming's Asian Gallery, Old Bellevue, Washington
22 November - 31 December 2000

An exhibition of incense burners, large figural sculptures, animals, vessels, vases, burial and ritual artefacts from the Shang to Qing period.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

[upcoming]

Christie's

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

South Kensington, London
Oriental Ceramics and Works of Art
7 December 2000

Asian Decorative Arts
25 January 2001

Asian Decorative Arts
22 February 2001

New York
Chinese Works of Art
21 December 2000

From http://www.christies.com/.

[back to top]

Sothebys

Amsterdam
Chinese and Japanese Ceramics and Works of Art
22 May 2001

From http://www.sothebys.com/.

[back to top]

Butterfield and Butterfield

San Francisco
Hoi An Hoard
3 December 2000

Fine Asian Works of Art
4 December 2000

From http://www.hoianhoard.com/homepage.html.

[back to top]

Oriental Art Auction - Japanese and Chinese Art
Kunsthandel Klefisch GmbH, Ubierring 35, Cologne, Germany
2 December 2000

From Orientations.

[back to top]


Kunsthaus Lempertz
Auction of Works of Art from Japan, China, Tibet, Nepal, India, South East Asia, Korean including the highly important collection Pulverer of Japanese Woodblock Prints (Part I)

Neumarkt 3, 50667 Cologne, Germany
1 - 2 December 2000

From http://www.lempertz.com/.

[back to top]

Asian Art Auction
Nauert Auktionen Wien, Vienna
2 December 2000

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Phillips Auctioneers

Edinburgh
Asian Art Auction
8 December 2000

Bayswater, London
Asian Art Auction
19 December 2000

From http://www.phillips-auctions.com/ch/index.html.

[back to top]

MRCC Maastricht
TEFAF Maastricht
The Netherlands
10 - 18 March 2001

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Doyle New York
Asian Works of Art
19 March 2001

From http://www.doylenewyork.com/.


[back to top]

[market news]

Museums and Asian Community are Top Buyers at Butterfields Hoi An Cargo Auction -
Nearly $3 million Sold in First Live Sale

Prominent West Coast and international museums captured important lots in Butterfields marathon three-day auction 11-13 October in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and on-line at eBay. All major lots in this precedent-setting auction were sold, with many exceeding their high estimates. Key buyers among West Coast institutions were the Seattle Art Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the San Diego Museum of Art. The Phoenix Art Museum with its new Asian Art curator, Dr. Janet Baker, jumped into the fray, buying Lot 6, a fine blue-and-white barbed rim dish for $14,000 hammer (est. $10,000/$15,000); the Seattle Art Museum followed, buying Lot 26, a rare blue-and-white landscape dish, for $20,000 (est. $10,000/15,000). The Phoenix Art Museum continued to be active all through the first day, underbidding many lots and garnering rare pieces. The Birmingham Museum of Art, which houses a fine group of Vietnamese ceramics, also decided to expand its collection, buying Lot 734, a superb blue-and-white circular dish with a cavorting mythical beast for $16,000, and two lots of unusual parrot bowls in the third session of the sale. The British Museum captured the first of three rare and dynamic dragon-form ewers (pre-sale estimate for each $30,000/50,000) at a hammer price of $55,000; the third went to the Gallery of New South Wales for $50,000. The British Museum was quite active in the auction, bidding by representative, successfully buying a number of lots, and underbidding others. An overseas Asian collector garnered the second dragon ewer for a record-breaking $70,000. This Asian collector played a major role in the sale, buying many important pieces, including Lot 351, a fine and rare blue-and-white dragon jar at a hammer price of $25,000; Lot 10, a rare blue-and-white landscape dish, for $30,000; and Lot 376, a large blue-and-white baluster jar for $22,000. The star offering of the auction, Lot 360, a blue-and-white baluster jar, went to this buyer for a post-sale hammer price of $70,000. Other Asia-based collectors competed by telephone for the best condition large dishes and jars, driving prices above the high estimates for many lots. The Vietnamese collecting community bought over 20 percent of the nearly $3 million auction, rallying to buy both rare and best condition pieces from their heritage, and bidding in the room, by telephone, and on-line, in which on-line participants can bid in real time against the auction floor. More treasures from this cargo are currently being offered on-line in a multi-week sale by Butterfields on eBay Great Collections. A second live sale of the cargo will be held on December 3rd and 4th at Butterfields in San Francisco.

Despite the aforementioned jubilant praise of the Hoi An Hoard auctions, there have been conflicting reports of the success of the auction. For example, The Asian Art Newspaper reported that the results of the auction were "far from buoyant." And while the major pieces were scooped up by institutions (the British Museum bought one of the three dragon ewers at $55,000, and the Gallery of New South Wales bought another at $50,000), the majority of the lots remained unsold. Only 40% of the lots found buyers for a total of $2.96 million, and the continuing sale of the vast trove over the internet seems even slower. Since eBay has declined to give the sell-through rate, the exact results have yet to be determined.

From From eBay Great Collections and The Asian Art Newspaper online.

[back to top]

Bazaar Behavior Marks London's Asian Art Week

Asian Art In London, which lasting from 9-17 November, was a citywide festival, dense with cultural and social events to accompany the commercial activities. This year, the 54 participating galleries sponsored block parties. Streets and museums became venues for live music, dance performances, special exhibitions and scholarly symposia. Many art world insiders say that New York's Asia week is mainly for collectors and commerce, whereas London's is for visitors and tourists. However, since the best wares at the New York events often come from London dealers, both cities probably serve connoisseurs equally well. This year the London auctions began on 13 November with Chinese ceramics and furniture and ended on 16 November with Japanese antiques. London's Asia week differs from New York's in several significant ways, with each city plays to its own strengths. London's organizers deliberately eschewed the format of New York's successful Asian Art Fair. Many gallerists disliked the idea of someone else deciding whether they were good enough to participate; in a city with so many prestigious galleries, that proved a major irritant. "It's entirely a voluntary process," says Michael Spinks. "The only condition is that you need to have a business running full-time for a year to join." For many Americans accustomed to the art fair experience, there are at least two important downsides to London: the sheer distances they need to cover and the absence of vetting. New York's events happen chiefly in Manhattan, with the upper-market dealers mostly housed at the Park Avenue Armory. That fair, and most other top-drawer antique fairs, have strict vetting committees that filter the quality and authenticity of merchandise. But vetting committees can be controversial, often plagued by flaws that resemble co-op boards. In addition, according to Spinks and others, the London approach offers several advantages for the buyer: a greater choice of dealers, of prices, and of sheer number of objects. Plus, dealers have always offered guarantees of quality. For top London dealers, such questions rarely come up. Despite these differences, both events were characterizd by a wide range of not-to-be-missed artworks and activities.

From article by Melik Kaylan, http://www.forbes.com/ (8 November 2000).

[back to top]


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]

Chinese Aesthetics: The Orderings of Word, Image, and the World in the Six Dynasties
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
3-4 November 2000

The conference is funded by the State-of-the-Art Conference Committee of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois. The conference is open to public.

From Chinese and Japanese Art History WWW Virtual Library.

[back to top]

Qing History (1600-1900) Through Things
Princeton University
3-4 November 2000

From Chinese and Japanese Art History WWW Virtual Library.

[back to top]

Resistance Door-Gods and New Demon-Quellers: Folk Imagery and Propaganda in the Anti-Japanese War
Harvard University, Cambridge
17 November 2000

From Chinese and Japanese Art History WWW Virtual Library.

[back to top]

[upcoming]

The Buddhist Art and Religion of Xinjiang
Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong
8 December 2000

Jointly organized by the Centre of Asian Studies, Hong Kong, the Museum fur Indische Kunst, Berlin and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Delhi. For registration contact tmyip@hku.hk.

From Orientations.

[back to top]

Tall Landscapes of the Late Ming
Berkeley Art Museum
28 January 2001

Katharine Burnett, assistant professor at UC Davis and specialist in Chinese art history, will explore some of the reasons for the very tall and attenuated, sometimes heaped and piled, mountain landscapes that proliferated in the waning years of the Ming Dynasty, shortly before the country fell to Manchu invaders in 1644. Illustrating Professor Burnett's talk will be an outstanding group of paintings now on view in the galleries. For more information, browse: http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibits/asian_gallery/index.html#landscapes.

From http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibits/.

[back to top]

Face of the Buddha
Berkeley Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley
21 January 2001

In conjunction with the exhibition Face of the Buddha, adjunct Curator for Asian Art Sheila Keppel will discuss the exhibition of small Buddhist sculptures arranged to give a view of the breadth of Buddhist devotions throughout Asia. She will focus on two exquisite Chinese sculptures from the Northern Wei period, and a lovingly painted late Tang period image of the bodhisattva Guanyin, newly arrived from the Sackler Foundation in New York.

From http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibits/.

[back to top]

Stolen Art/Fake Art: Problems of World Sculpture in Museums
Berkeley Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley
25 February 2001

This two-part hands-on lecture and study session will focus on Southeast Asian sculpture--specifically, on several intriguing stone heads that will be displayed for the program. Adjunct Curator Sheila Keppel, along with an expert in the field (to be announced), will address issues of connoisseurship and authenticity. The ongoing Face of the Buddha is a changing exhibition, and this program will provide a forum for discussion that will inform the selection of further works. Following Keppel's talk, Dr. Caverlee Cary will give a brief presentation about UC Berkeley's ground-breaking Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative. She will illustrate her talk with documented examples of art that has been damaged and/or possibly stolen.

From http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibits/.

[back to top]

The Admonitions Scroll: Ideals of Etiquette, Art & Empire in Early China
Percival David Foundation Colloquies on Art & Archaeology in Asia, No. 21
The British Museum, London
18-20 June 2001


In conjunction with a rare public exhibit at the British Museum, this colloquy focuses on iconic Admonitions scroll, a strikingly beautiful set of didactic and genre scenes about beauty and virtue at court in medieval China. Speakers from China, Taiwan, Japan, the U.S., and Europe include Chen Pao-chen, Craig Clunas, Nixi Cura, Jonathan Hay, Stephen Little, Charles Q. Mason, Shane McCausland, Alfreda Murck, Julia K. Murray, Jessica Rawson, Audrey Spiro, Eugene Wang, Wang Yao-t'ing, Wen Fong, Roderick Whitfield, Wu Hung, Yang Xin, Yin Ji'nan, Yu Hui, and Zhang Hongxing.

[back to top]

Dunhuang Art and Society: On-Site International Seminar
Mogao Caves, Dunhuang, China
15 - 28 July 2001

The Silkroad Foundation and the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan will co-sponsor and conduct the second seminar on "Dunhuang Art and Society" next year at Dunhuang, China, with the support from the Dunhuang Research Academy. This seminar provides a unique opportunity for scholars and students to research and study the Dunhuang caves on the site. The invited speakers include well-known Dunhuang specialists from the United States, United Kingdom and China. Participants of the seminar are also invited to attend an international conference on Dunhuang art and culture at Lanzhou, on their way to Dunhuang from 13-14 July 2001. This conference is not part of the seminar program.

From Chinese and Japanese Art History WWW Virtual Library.

[back to top]


BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM CHINESE-ARTBOOKS.COM


Lidai huihua ti shi cun (Poems Inscribed on Extant Paintings of Successive Dynasties)
Zhao Suna, ed.
Taiyuan: Shanxi jiaoyu chubanshe, 1998

This reference volume reprints poems inscribed on paintings in the Palace Museum collection, compiled by a researcher at the Palace Museum. The book is arranged chronologically, then further divided into individual poets' works.

[back to top]



Duo gongneng Hanyu da cidian suoyin (Improved Index to the Dictionary of the Chinese Language
Shanghai: Hanyu da cidian chubanshe, 1997

A "power" index for more specialized use of the Hanyu da cidian, compiled by a joint Chinese and Japanese team of linguists. It is ideal for locating characters regardless of position within a multi-character phrase.

[back to top]

Concise English-Chinese Chinese-English Dictionary, New Edition (Jingxuan Han-Ying Ying-Han cidian, xinban)
Martin H. Mauser, Zhu Yuan, Wang Liangbi, Ren Yongchang, ed.
Oxford/Beijing: Oxford University Press/Commercial Press, 2000 (2nd edition)

The pocket dictionary of choice for travelers and beginners in learning Chinese.

[back to top]



Wang Li gu Hanyu zidian (Wang Li's Dictionary of Classical Chinese)
Wang Li, ed.
Beijing: Zhonghua shuju,
2000

Over twenty years in the making, and finally completed by Wang Li's students after his death, this volume supplants previous classical Chinese dictionaries in thoroughness, range of sources, and ease of use.

[back to top]

Guangjisi (The Guang-ji Monastery)
Zhongguo fojiao xiehui (The Buddhist Association of China), ed.
Beijing: The Buddhist Association of China, 1981

Established in 1484, and destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries, the Guangji Monastery now houses Buddhist scriptures, stelae, and other artifacts. This guide introduces visitors to highlights of the temple in Chinese, Japanese, and English.

[back to top]

Song Yuan Ming Qing shuhuajia chuanshi zuopin nianbiao (Chronology of Extant Works by Calligraphers
Liu Jiuan
Shanghai: Shanghai shuhua chubanshe, 1997

[back to top]

Ming Qing Su shi jiaju (Ming and Qing Furniture from Suzhou)
Pu Anguo
Hangzhou: Zhejiang renmin meishu chubanshe, 1999

Pin cha shuo cha (Taste Tea and Talk about Tea: History and Culture of Chinese Tea)
Lu Jun, Shi Diandong, ed.
Hangzhou: Zhejiang renmin meishu chubanshe, 1999

Zhongguo gudai jianzhu: Sheqi Shan Shan huiguan (Ancient Architecture of China: Shanxi/Shaanxi)
Henansheng gudai jianzhu baohu yanjiusuo, ed.
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 2000

Zhongguo jianzhu yishushi (Chinese Architectural Art History), 2 vols.
Xiao Mo
Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe, 1999


URL LINKS: If you receive this newsletter with inactive URL links, just click the "refresh" button or "cut" and "paste" the URL link text into your internet browser address bar. In addition, it's always a good idea to upgrade your browser regularly to ensure trouble-free browsing.

CHANGE OF E-MAIL ADDRESS: If you change your e-mail address, please let us know so that we can update our mailing lists.

SUBSCRIBE: Do you have friends who are interested in receiving this newsletter? Have them send us their e-mail address with "subscribe chinese-art-t" in the e-mail body to mailto:lyris@lyris.chinese-art.com.

UNSUBSCRIBE: We hope that you enjoyed reading about what's new at chinese-art.com. However, if you would prefer to take your address off our list, please send an e-mail with "unsubscribe chinese-art-t" in the e-mail body to lyris@lyris.chinese-art.com.


Copyright � 2000 New Art Media Limited (HK).