Volume 48 – Number 3 | Orientations
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Volume 48 – Number 3

May/Jun 2017

USC Pacific Asia Museum

Interpretation and Innovation: Chinese Ceramics from the Mid-6th to the Early 8th Century
A Chinese Scholar’s Dreams
Hong Kong’s Ink-links: Four Millennials to Watch
The Legacy of Tsang Khenchen Penden Gyatso in Bhutanese Art
The Taj Mahal and the Garden Tradition of the Mughals

COVER: Roof of USC PAM, showing ‘flying eaves’ with copper finials, fu dogs and chiwen, 2015
(Photograph: Chris Shinn)
(see p. 73)

A Bag of Landscape (detail)
By Zhang Xiaoli (b. 1989), 2015
Ink and colour on silk, 50 x 50 cm
Private collection
(see p. 106)

This issue spotlights USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California. Currently closed for a seismic retrofit, the museum was originally scheduled to reopen this May, but will not now do so until September. Conceived as a private residence and gallery by the Asian art dealer Grace Nicholson in the 1920s, the building is a fascinating Orientalist fantasy. Yeonsoo Chee tells the story of the museum and presents selected pieces from its holdings, while Christina Yu Yu takes a look at its design, as well as some other Asia-inspired properties of the era. The museum will reopen with a show of its textiles, and Rebecca Hall discusses some highlights.


In our articles on Chinese art, Denise Leidy considers the rapid development of ceramics in the north from the mid-6th to the early 8th century; Sarah Handler looks at the world of the Chinese scholar—both real and that of the imagination; and Olivia Wang introduces four of Hong Kong’s young ink artists, who are now gaining recognition.


Little study has been made of the arts of Bhutan, so Ariana Maki’s ongoing project to document its artists is especially valuable: her article focuses on Tsang Khenchen and his atelier. And for our ‘Garden’ series, Laura E. Parodi assesses the Taj Mahal in the context of the Mughal tradition.


In our other new series, discover Alexandra Munroe’s favourite piece in ‘Curator’s Choice’, and Vivian Li’s curatorial plans in ‘Emerging Voices’.


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