Authors: Shi Jinming and Willow Weilan Hai Chang
Brick carving is a traditional folk art that was used to decorate architecture and adorn tombs. Excavations in recent decades have uncovered unique and theatrically-themed brick carvings from the Shanxi province, revealing a passion for theater and opera in this region during the Jin dynasty (1115–1234). The tombs of Shanxi, adorned with beautiful, intricate brick carvings and other décor, illustrate two kinds of popular entertainment: Za Ju, formal performances of written plays and San Qu, performances related to village festivals. An entirely reconstructed tomb will offer visitors a window into the ways ancient art patrons transferred the artistic joys of life into the afterlife. Theater, Life, and the Afterlife: Tomb Décor of the Jin Dynasty from Shanxi, brings to life the intersection of the brick carving and theater traditions.
Exhibition catalog, 2012. Paperback, 172 pages: ill.