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Chinese art and visual culture: 21-27 September

September 27, 2009

*If you happened to blink in Beijing between 21 August and 14 September, then you probably missed 60 Years of Chinese Fine Arts at the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC, 中国美术馆). But you can still visit it virtually with Sinopop’s review and the online catalogue.

*My panel was accepted at AAS! “Picturing the Foreign: Images of East and West in Visual and Literary Culture from 1400 to Present” will run on Sunday 28 March from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

*Souren Melikian’s analysis of last week’s art auction successes chalks everything up to new Chinese buyers who aren’t bothered by the usual aesthetic concerns and period stigmas.

*chinaSMACK posted about the coiffures designed to celebrate National Day (国庆节) on October 1. The Great Hall of the People never looked so good.

*Sinosplice caught sight of a brilliant bit of signage.

How to Use the Squatty Potty

*An unprecedented double whammy: Beijing has loaned artifacts to Taiwan for the first time since 1949, and Emperor Yongzheng (r. 1723-1735)  will finally get a decent dedicated exhibition.

Yongzheng is rather an enigma: his is overshadowed as a ruler by both his father and his son, reigned amid suspicion and fear, and died in mysterious circumstances. But he loved art, and certainly laid the foundation for his heir’s art patronage. From the portrait below, you can also see he had an eccentric sense of humor and didn’t take himself too seriously in private. This quirkiness seen in his art, which so blatantly contradicts his persona as a ruler, is what keeps me awake at night. And another book idea is born…

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