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Art in a Time of Chaos:
Innovative Trends in Six Dynasties China

Chinese archaeology in the last twenty years witnessed an unprecedented period in the excavation of Six Dynasties art. Extraordinary works of art have been unearthed, and the ensuing scholarly research has significantly altered the understanding of this chaotic, four-hundred-year period of political upheaval, geographical division and civil strife. Not only is the Six Dynasties a pivotal link in the historical timeline between the Han and Tang dynasties, it has been recognized as the historical period that laid down the foundation for Chinese art. In ceramics, sculpture, painting and calligraphy, artists and artisans of the Six Dynasties spearheaded dynamic and vigorous artistic innovations that became instrumental in the evolution of Chinese art. Art in a Time of Chaos: Innovative Trends in Six Dynasties China will explore these creative individuals and the numerous techniques, theories and iconographies that have had insurmountable impact in the development of Chinese art throughout the ages.

On view will be important works of celadon, pottery, stone sculptures, brick carvings, calligraphy and mural paintings meticulously selected from the Nanjing Museum and the Shanxi Museum.

This exhibition is co-curated by Willow Weilan Hai Chang, Director of China Institute Gallery; Annette Juliano, Professor of Asian Art History at Rutgers University; Gong Liang, Director of the Nanjing Museum; Bai Ning, Director of the Nanjing Municipal Museum; and Shi Jinming, Director of the Shanxi Museum.

Exhibition Schedule
China Institute Gallery Fall 2016
Available June, July and August 2016


Carved pillar base
Northern Wei dynasty,
the second half of the fifth century (386–534)
12 ⅝ x 12 ⅝ inches (32 x 32 cm)


The Beauty of Chinese Gardens

This exhibition showcases 38 black-and-white photographs of classical gardens in the Suzhou and Shanghai regions of China. Taken by David Engel in the 1980s, these photographs capture the unique architectural and aesthetic elements of private gardens in the lower Yangzi region. The serene and beautiful images offer visitors a striking glimpse into how man-made architecture can be ingeniously fused with the natural environment.

We offer to loan this exhibition free of charge. In return, the hosting institution would agree to cover all expenses related to the loan and to publicize and promote China Institute’s programs through their website, emails, and promotional materials.

Available Immediately


David Engel
Moon Fate
1980s
The Garden of Cultivation, Suzhou

First built in 1882
Photograph: 11 ¾x 10 5/8 inches (30 x 27 cm)
China Institute


“[China Institute Gallery] consistently produces some of the best Asian shows in town, with first rate material, handsome installations and catalogues by some of the more glamorous specialists in the field…and exemplifies the curatorial direction museums should be taking today.”

(Holland Cotter, The New York Times, September 19, 2003)

For further information on exhibition rentals, including fees, logistics, and publications, please call 212-744-8181 x146, fax 212-628-4159 or email gallery@chinainstitute.org.