Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Translucent World exhibition - Aug 29 - Nov 11

Translucent World

"Translucent World is an exhibition of Chinese jade from the outstanding collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing, featuring the manifold uses of jade depicting nature as a reflection of human beliefs and emotions.

Since ancient times, the Chinese have revered this ‘heavenly stone’, carved to produce the most prized ornaments and ceremonial implements. Nature, worked in a diversity of themes and styles over the millennia, has remained a potent source of inspiration for artisans. Since China's Neolithic period, real and imagined creatures of the earth - turtles, birds, dragons or other monsters - were endowed with special attributes, as revealed by their depiction in jade. Gradually the flora and fauna of nature became jade’s most important subject matter. After the Tang dynasty, the landscape with its mountains and streams came to occupy a distinguished place within jade’s thematic repertoire. Designed to decorate cultural implements or sculpted into evocative boulders, these works embodied the universal longing of cultivated individuals to escape their quotidian world to commune with nature. As a crucial component of the nature and its rhythms, humans are represented as part of this translucent world.

Chinese depictions of nature through jade are seldom mere representations of the external world. Rather, they explore nature as a reflection of the human ideal. These ideas about nature, as well as their manifestation in jade, are consistent with Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism, all of which stress humanity’s oneness with nature..."

Where: Asian Gallery, Ground level, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road
The Domain, Sydney