Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity
Treasures of the Han Dynasty from XuzhouMay 25 – November 12, 2017
In 201 BCE, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty knighted his younger brother as the first king of the Chu Kingdom, which was centered in Peng Cheng, today’s Xuzhou, in northern Jiangsu Province. Ruling under the emperor’s protection, and given special exemption from imperial taxes, elites in this Kingdom enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. Twelve generations of kings lived, died, and were buried in sumptuous tombs carved into the nearby rocky hills. Since the mid 20th Century, nearly hundred tombs were excavated, revealing contents that testify to the Chu kings’ affluence, as well as their beliefs in immortality and the afterlife. One of the most stunning finds was an elaborate jade sarcophagi burial suit, assembled from thousands of pieces of jade, the precious stone adored by Chinese people since the Neolithic period as an auspicious material that could ensure immortality. This exhibition will feature the jade suit, and other tomb contents that highlight how these powerful and wealthy kings prepared for death and envisioned their afterlife to come.
Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s LensFebruary 8 – December 2, 2018
Mountains, in Chinese legends, are the pillars that hold up the sky. Mountains were seen as places that nurture life. Their veneration took the form of rituals, retreat from social society, and aesthetic appreciation through the art of their vast beauty – some of the many ways that nature played and continues to play a defining role in Chinese culture. The exhibition, consisting of three sections with over 70 photographs by more than 20 contemporary photographers, will present the geography, history, culture, life, and art that is associated with or derived from mountains. The Lofty Mountains: The Famous Mountains of China will introduce the geography, history, legends, and cultures that are associated with famous Chinese mountains; The Pure Sound of Landscape: The Mountains and Chinese Landscape Aesthetic will introduce the renowned Chinese landscape painting aesthetic and how it influenced contemporary photography; and The New Landscape Photography will showcase artists using photography and post-photographic visual effects to express their thoughts on the role of mountains in society.