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Volume 47 – Number 1

Jan/Feb 2016

Southern Song Silver 'Red Cliff Plate'
Mary Griggs Burke Collection: Decorative Arts
Goryeo Dynasty Incense Box
Northern Qi Imperial Buddhas
Five Political Prints in the Nianhua Medium
Interview with He Baili

COVER: Plate decorated with chased ‘Red Cliff’ scene
China, Southern Song dynasty, 13th century
Silver, diameter 26.5 cm
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton (2012.34)

Behind every great work of art is a story. For our first issue of 2016, we delve into the tales and traditions behind some remarkable artistic creations. Liu Yang begins by revealing the poetic foundations underpinning a chased silver plate inspired by Su Shi’s Odes to the Red Cliff. Turning to Japan, Monica Bincsik discusses the development of customs that led to the production of notable lacquer wares and ceramics now in the Mary Griggs Burke Collection, on view in a special exhibition at the Met until 31 July 2016. Armed with scientific analyses, Nanhee Lee presents an indepth examination of a Goryeo dynasty incense box with mother-of-pearl inlay. Through a review of comparative works she establishes the object’s implications for the study of this material in Goryeo lacquer.

Filial piety and other virtues of Northern Qi nobleman Gao Rui are discussed in Eileen Hsiang-ling Hsu’s essay, which centres on four marble Buddha statues that Gao commissioned. Moving on to the 20th century, Ellen Johnston Laing talks about a set of political nianhua centred around the 1911 Republican Revolution. These colour prints make use of blocks previously used for older, established themes, modified for a more modern purpose and a new era.

Another Chinese tradition—that of the scholar-recluse—seems to be echoed in the rich, atmospheric works of contemporary artist He Baili, who speaks to Orientations about his life and work.

Also in this issue, Liu Yang pays tribute to philanthropist Bruce Dayton, who donated many important works to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, including the silver plate featured on this month’s cover.

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