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Gallery 2 | Review by J. Rauer

China Institute Gallery, New York, February 3 through June 4, 2005


In the exhibition Providing For the Afterlife: ‘Brilliant Artifacts’ From Shandong, fleeting visits to the Han dynasty’s conceptual afterlife are possible. Exhibited in the United States for the first time, these mingqi, “glorious vessels” or objects made for burial with the dead, whisper of the desperate need to predict ephemeral journeys and wrangle the unknown into the familiar. Elucidating the Han definition of death—separation of the body from both aspects of the soul: hun, the ethereal component that leaves the corpse at death to scale heavenly realms and ascend to the kingdom of immortals; and p’o, the soul’s earthly component—the exhibition’s artifacts speak of creature comforts in service of the p’o. Material goods, food and services, utilities, and treasured possessions denote worldly prosperity, rank, and luxury, furnishing tombs in stylish appeasement intended to discourage the p’o from abandoning the body and returning, in rabid fury, to the realm of the living as enraged demons, or kuei.

From the review by Julie Rauer.

Gallery One
(click on small images for large images with captions)







coin mold

coin mold



green-glazed dog

green-glazed rooster

green-glazed stove


lady with vessel

chariot fitting

chariot fitting

chariot fitting

Click here for Gallery 2 | Review by J. Rauer

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