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Volume 49 – Number 1

Jan/Feb 2018

'Power and Beauty in China's Last Dynasty' at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

The Fifth Moon Group: Pioneers of New Chinese Modern Art in Taiwan
A Pictorial Journey through the Diamond Mountains
The Forged and The Divine: Weapons and Goddess Worship in Hinduism
Travelling Icons and Travelling Donors: A Metal Buddha Image in The Cleveland Museum of Art
Was the Lost-wax Technique Adopted in Pre-Qin Chinese Bronze Art?
Sigiriya: An Early Designed Landscape in Sri Lanka

COVER: The five hundred arhats (detail)
Qing dynasty (1644-1911), 18th century
Handscroll, silk tapestry (kesi), 42.5 x 899 cm
Minneapolis Institute of Art (42.8.343)

We start the New Year with a groundbreaking exhibition— ‘Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty’ at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). Focusing on costumes and other works made for the court, the show is innovative in being designed in partnership with visual artist and theatre director Robert Wilson. The installation, which is accompanied by sound effects, employs the contrasts of darkness and brightness, emptiness and fullness to immerse visitors in the realm of the Qing court. Mia’s deputy director and chief curator Matthew Welch relates the background to the show, while Chinese art curator Liu Yang guides us through the display.

Next, An-yi Pan looks at the growth of post-war Taiwan modern art and the evolution of the Fifth Moon Group, which was resurrected in the 1990s and featured 36 painters in its 2017 show; Soyoung Lee presents a 19th century painting of the Diamond Mountains in Korea that was recently acquired by The Met and will be on view in 2018; and Rachel Parikh explains the sacred roles of weaponry in Hindu belief.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is home to a 6th century image of Shakyamuni, long thought to have been the oldest metal Buddha made in Nepal. In ‘New Perspectives’, Aurora Graldi re-examines this view, concluding that the statue was in fact cast in northeast India. Peng Peng considers the manufacturing technique of the bronze zun-pan set from the tomb of Marquis Yi. And Divya Kumar-Dumas introduces Sigiriya, perhaps one of the oldest gardens known in Asia.

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