Stephen Little. Mirrors of Two Cultures: Chinese Paintings from Japanese Collections
This article introduces the exhibition ‘Chinese Paintings from Japanese Collections’, on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 11 May–6 July 2014. The exhibition examines the history of collecting Chinese paintings in Japan from the 13th to the mid-20th century, and includes masterpieces from the Tang (618–907), the Song (960–1279), the Yuan (1271–1368), and the Ming (1368–1644) dynasty. Chinese paintings functioned in Japan as symbols of Chinese culture and of social status, and served as important models for major traditions of Japanese painting (as seen, for example, in Zen, Kano and nanga painting). Borrowed from seven Japanese collections, the works in the exhibition include a National Treasure (Kokuhō), thirteen Important Cultural Properties (Jūyō bunkazai), and three Important Art Objects (Jūyō bijutsuhin).