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Asian Art Calendar of Events

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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Old From the Imperial Theater: Chinese Opera Costumes of the 18th and 19th Centuries
Place: The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, 1000 Fifth Avenue, USA
Date: Jun 25, 2016 to Oct 09, 2017
Detail: Drawn entirely from The Met collection, this exhibition examines these luxury textiles from artistic and technical points of view. It is organized in two rotations. The first focuses on costumes used in dramas based on historical events; and the second will feature costumes from plays derived from legends and myths. The presentation showcases eight robes, each of which was created for a specific role—court lady, official, general, monk, nun, and immortal. A set of album leaves faithfully depicting theatrical characters wearing such robes is also displayed.

The 18th and 19th centuries witnessed a flowering of Chinese drama. Under the patronage of the Qing court (1644–1911), performances—including the \"Peking Opera\"—filled the Forbidden City in Beijing. A form of traditional Chinese theater, Peking Opera was developed fully by the mid-19th century, and because of the form\'s minimal stage settings and the importance of exaggerated gestures and movements, costume played an unusually significant role.

This exhibition includes superb examples with interior markings indicating their use in court productions.

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Old Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, 14th to 19th Century
Place: The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, 1000 Fifth Avenue, USA
Date: Jun 25, 2016 to Oct 09, 2017
Detail: This exhibition, featuring 45 magnificent examples of Chinese carved lacquer drawn entirely from The Met collection, will explore the development of this significant artistic tradition. Among the objects on view will be works created as birthday gifts bearing symbols of long life, such as peaches, cranes, the character for longevity (shou), and representations of children. One of the highlights is a unique, large, lobed tray of the 14th century, carved with a delightful scene showing two women and 33 children. Other early pieces on view include a dish with a scene of long-tailed birds and hollyhocks. A rare screen that was produced by Lu Guisheng—a famous 19th-century artist and one of the few individuals working in lacquer whose name is recorded in Chinese history—provides a spectacular finale to this tradition.

Lacquer, the resin of a family of trees found in southern China, hardens when exposed to oxygen and humidity and can become a natural plastic. Tinted with cinnabar (red), carbon (black), and other minerals, it has been used as an artistic medium in China since at least the sixth century B.C. Carved lacquer, which involves applying multiple layers of lacquer onto a substructure (usually wood) and then entails carving through the layers, is the most laborious and time-consuming of all lacquering techniques.

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Old Colors of the Universe: Chinese Hardstone Carvings
Place: The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, 1000 Fifth Avenue, USA
Date: Jun 25, 2016 to Oct 09, 2017
Detail: Hardstone carving is one of the oldest arts in China, dating back to the fifth millennium B.C. It was not until the Qing dynasty, however, that an abundant supply of raw material, extraordinary craftsmanship, and keen imperial patronage allowed the art to flourish. During the 18th century, widespread prosperity and successful military campaigns brought political stability, while also securing the trade routes that permitted the importation of gemstones over the Silk Roads and through sea trade routes from as far away as Europe.

Showcasing a selection of 75 exquisite carvings drawn from The Met collection, this exhibition presents the lapidary art of China\'s Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Featuring not only jade, the most esteemed of East Asian gems, but also agate, malachite, turquoise, quartz, amber, coral, and lapis lazuli, the exhibition reveals the extensive variety of hardstones and full palette of vibrant colors that were favored at the imperial court. Exploring the diverse subjects and styles of Qing lapidary art, Colors of the Universe illustrates the extraordinary imagination and technical virtuosity behind these miniature sculptures.

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Old Asian Art at 100: A History in Photographs
Place: The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, 1000 Fifth Avenue, USA
Date: Sep 05, 2016 to Oct 11, 2017
Detail: Since The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870, the institution\'s physical space and collection have grown and its curatorial departments have diversified. The first Asian works of art to enter the collection—mostly ceramics and lacquers—were acquired in 1879 and originally accommodated in what was then called the Department of Decorative Arts. Only in 1915 was a separate Department of Far Eastern Art established, and it was not until 1986 that its name was changed to the Department of Asian Art. The timeline presented in the photographs in this exhibition chronicles the changing face of The Met\'s galleries of Asian art as the building\'s footprint has expanded, exhibition styles have evolved, and the collection has grown.

Forever a work in progress, The Met\'s collection of Asian art is ultimately the product of the passion and scholarship of the many collectors, curators, donors, dealers, and directors who have together shaped the Museum\'s holdings and legacy.

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Old Splendors of Korean Art
Place: The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, 1000 Fifth Avenue, USA
Date: Oct 01, 2016 to Sep 17, 2017
Detail: Among the objects reflecting key genres and themes of Korean art are strikingly modern-looking pots and glittering jewelry from ancient burial sites; exquisite gilded Buddhist sculpture from the seventh through the seventeenth century; sophisticated celadon and metalwork of the Goryeo dynasty; porcelain with delightful and distinctively Korean designs; and paintings on diverse subjects from the Joseon and early modern periods.

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Old Show and Tell: Stories in Chinese Painting
Place: The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, 1000 Fifth Avenue, USA
Date: Oct 29, 2016 to Aug 06, 2017
Detail: In China, paintings that tell stories serve as powerful vehicles to promote political agendas, endorse cultural values, or express personal thoughts. With masterpieces dating from the fourth century, narrative is the earliest established genre in Chinese painting. This exhibition is the first at The Met to explore the various ways in which Chinese artists have gone beyond mere illustration to convey multiple layers of meaning.

Displaying works from the 12th century to the present, this exhibition introduces three distinct modes of pictorial storytelling: multipart illustrations presented in long handscrolls, often punctuated with passages of text; single iconic scenes that evoke an entire story; and generic landscapes or flower-and-bird paintings that acquire narrative significance through the artist\'s inscription. The exhibition is further organized by theme: historical events, seasonal progression, warfare, journeys, Buddhist and Confucian values, and family and friendship. One special gallery focuses on a grandiose military narrative—that of China\'s annexation of East Turkestan in the 1750s. The installation, a collaboration among three Museum departments, features a suite of European engravings alongside Chinese weaponry and a painting to show how an emperor exploited art for his own aggrandizement.

Contemporary Chinese artists have continued the narrative tradition with an expanded repertoire of subjects and approaches. The examples on display range from reflections on the creative process to critiques of modern technology and government policies. Together, the approximately 60 pictorial works and 30 decorative art objects, most from The Met collection, present a comprehensive view of the narrative genre, demonstrating its expressive versatility and continuing relevance.

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Old Celebrating the Year of the Rooster
Place: The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, 1000 Fifth Avenue, USA
Date: Jan 25, 2017 to Jul 04, 2017
Detail: Each of the 12 animals in the zodiac corresponds to a year in a repeating 12-year cycle that makes up the traditional East Asian lunar calendar. The association of these zodiac animals with the Chinese calendar first appeared in the third century B.C., and became firmly established by the first century. In sequence, the 12 animals are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal is believed to embody certain traits that are personified by the character of the people born in that year. This Lunar New Year, beginning on January 29, is the Year of the Rooster. Since the rooster is an early riser, people born in the year of the rooster are thought to be diligent and industrious.

Archaeological finds date the rooster\'s domestication to prehistoric times. The rooster is also one of the six animals (liuchu) recorded in the Chinese classics; the other five are the horse, ox, sheep, dog, and pig, each of which plays an essential role in the life of humans. According to Chinese legend, there is a heavenly rooster in the land of the immortals that lives in a peach tree on top of Taodu Mountain. It crows when the sun casts its first rays on the tree, thus awakening the whole world. The rooster is also an auspicious figure, because its crowing brings out the sun and dispels the darkness. Consequently, roosters have been a popular motif in Chinese art since ancient times. A few choice examples from The Met collection are featured here.

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Exhibition Private
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Old Munakata and the Disciples of Buddha
Place: Ronin Gallery - New York, 425 Madison Ave. 3rd Fl, USA
Date: Mar 02, 2017 to Apr 29, 2019
Detail: On View: March 2 – April 29, 2017
Opening Party: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Asia Week Reception and Matcha Tasting: Saturday, March 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ronin Gallery is honored to present Munakata and the Disciples of Buddha during Asia Week 2017. This exhibition invites you to experience the woodblock prints of Shiko Munakata (1903 - 1975) and to discover the Buddhist roots of Japanese woodblock printing. Culminating in his iconic series Ten Great Disciples of the Buddha, the exhibition explores the vital interplay of artistic tradition and religious practice behind Munakata’s groundbreaking work. Starting with the origins of Japanese woodblock printing in the 12th century, to the ukiyo-e prints of the Edo and Meiji periods, the exhibition Munakata and the Disciples of Buddha places this innovative master of modern woodblock printmaking within centuries of tradition. Also on exhibit will be an exceptionally rare calligraphy kakejiku (scroll painting) by Munakata from the private collection of Munakata\'s granddaughter, Yoriko Ishii, as well as other important hand-colored works.

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