Please join the Rhode Island School of Design in exploring a blast from the past! Our annual art exhibit will be celebrated January 22, 2012 in RISD’s auditorium. This year will showcase art work from the Early Chinese and Early Japanese Civilizations. During this free exhibit your entire family will be able to explore the very fascinating masterpieces from ancient Chinese and Japanese artist. Throughout the exhibit you will see different forms of art with each piece reflecting on their culture, history, and religious beliefs.
Please take some time to read about some of the artwork that will be displayed, and its roots. Understanding these amazing art forms can be comprehended by first taking a look on how all forms of art was greatly influenced by Early Chinese Civilization. There are many connections between culture, religion, and spiritual beliefs. Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism were religions that greatly affected Chinese artist. These religions and philosophies represented social responsibility, responsibility towards nature, practical and mystical relations, along with healthy life balance.
In addition to religion the admiration of nature played a very special part in art whether it is sculptures, calligraphy scrolls, or architecture. The wide array of art forms can be traced back to the Chinese culture. In the first preview you will notice a bronze horse; this artwork was created during the Han Dynasty. A horse for many was means of transportation however the Chinese valued the horse, especially due to their location. The breed of horses that were available to the Chinese were considered “flying horses” due to their speed.
Many emperors along with citizens valued animals and nature because of their spiritual beliefs. Chinese men also valued the horse understanding that in time or war horses were an essential part to defeating enemies. Another art form that can be viewed at our annual exhibit is the representation of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang represent the equal balance of life. This is most commonly represented by black and white, although the Chinese understood that life would not always be black and white.
The Chinese understood that no part of life could be relevant without the other and appreciated the good with the bad and believed in things being equal. Japanese art form absorbed many of the influences from the Chinese Civilization. Japanese art in its own way is a concentrated form of Chinese work and cultural beliefs. There were Taoist and Confucius influences however the Shinto and Buddhist society were also heavily acknowledged. The love and respect for spiritual peace in addition to nature can be easily identified in Japanese art.
Much like the Chinese, the Japanese also valued family, life balance, and elder wisdom. In the above image one can sense the importance of religion and spiritual finding. The Shaka Triad displays in the center Buddha. This art work was a direct influence of Buddhism, which later became to influence the court life of the Japanese. (Benton & DiYanni, 2008) This piece of art was directly influenced by the Chinese sculpture traditions especially those of pre-Tang period.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 28 December 2016
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