Volume 42 – Number 1
Liao Dynasty Art and Culture
Robert Hans van Gulik
Kasuga Deer Mandalas
Leather with damask
Liao dynasty (916-1125)
Height 21 cm, width 19 cm
China National Silk Museum
Donation from the Mengdiexuan Collection
In our first issue of 2011, we step back a millennium into the realm of the Liao dynasty. Valerie Hansen traces the connections between the Kitan and the world around them through critical archaeological evidence and textual sources. Zhao Feng and Yu Tingting introduce the recent Mengdiexuan Collection donations of Liao textiles to the China National Silk Museum, and we interview the collection’s owners Betty Lo and Kenneth Chu.
Also in this issue, Robert E. Harrist, Jr. considers the Qianlong emperor’s cultural and ideological enterprises with reference to his replications of the Stone Drums, and Marco Huysman and Laurens Heij delve into the ‘three lives’ of Robert Hans van Gulik. Cui Guoming of the Capital Museum, Beijing tells us about recent developments and future plans at the museum. Collectors of Japanese art Sylvan Barnett and William Burto offer insights into the iconography of deer mandalas originating at the Kasuga shrine near Nara.
Sarah Nelson reviews Elizabeth Childs-Johnson’s book on the graph yi in Shang ritual art. We preview annual winter art fairs in Europe and San Francisco, while coverage from New York, Hong Kong and the UK reports on the latest trends in the auction world and the phenomenal record prices being set for Chinese works of art. We also review autumn art fairs in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Beijing. In our commentary, Michael Brand offers a thoughtful perspective on restitution claims.