Children to Immortals
Children to Immortals: Figural Representations in Chinese Art.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New-York.
Conveying a person’s inner spirit (chuanshen) is the central aspect of figural representation in Chinese art. Rather than prioritizing accurate anatomical renderings, artists sought to capture the “life energy” of their subjects. This exhibition explores sophisticated decorative arts that depict figures dating to late imperial China, from the Song (960–1279) to the Qing (1644–1911) dynasty. Over this thousand-year period, images of humans, legendary figures, and immortals frequently appeared. The first gallery focuses on children, a ubiquitous and long-standing motif expressing the cultural importance of offspring. The second gallery dis- plays scenes from idealized daily life, historical novels, and legends. Various religious figures from Bud- dhism and Daoism are presented in the third gallery.
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