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Volume 33 – Number 5

May 2002

 


Lighting the Way in the Afterlife: Bronze Lamps in Warring States Tombs

Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light at the Freer Gallery of Art

A Deity Without Form: The Earliest Representation of Laozi and the Concept of Wei in Chinese Ritual Art

Tea Ceremony Utensils and the Wabi Aesthetic

Stretched on a Frame of Boundless Thought: Contemporary Religios Painting in Rebgong


Tea bowl known as 'Ofuku' ('Great Blessing') 
By Hon'ami Koetsu (1557-1637)
Raku ware, glazed earthenware
(Photography courtesy of Japan Society Gallery)

Reinterpretation and renewal are the themes which link the diverse articles featured this month. While bronze lamps are generally acknowledged as grave goods, Guolong Lai returns to the classic texts to explore their function in funerary ritual. As new archaeological finds and the liberation of academic exchange make sites and information in China more accessible, many museums in the West are 'rediscovering' their Chinese collections. In view of this, Jan Stuart and Chang Qing have recontextualized the Freer Gallery's Chinese Buddhist sculptures for an exhibition at the gallery which begins on 16 April. Wu Hung goes back to basics and examines how Laozi was represented before anthropomorphic images of the deity were in popular use. Seizo Hayashiya and Rob Linrothe look at how contemporary artists are bringing new life to the ancient practices of tea ceremony and thangka painting while keeping true to the ideals of tradition. In his report on the National Palace Museum's symposium on Mongol art and culture, Jeffrey Moser explains how the field may be gradually experiencing a paradigm shift as scholars bring fresh insights. In his commentary, Stephen Vincent gives an update of the Schultz trial.
 
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