October 6, 2007—February 10, 2008
Location: Bloch Building, Gallery L13
The extraordinary objects in this exhibition, spanning 5,000 years of Chinese creativity, are presented for the first time to any public audience. The selection and organization of this exhibition rest on the belief that when a work of art attains a supreme level of artistic achievement, it can provide a moving aesthetic experience that is worthwhile and sufficient in and of itself. The level of artistic achievement of each work rests at the pinnacle of its type, both in terms of conception and execution.
The objects echo, each in their own way, common concerns fundamental to humankind past and present: 1. the mystery of existence, 2. fear of oblivion at death, and 3. the nature of a society beneficial to its members. We have evolved mythologies, religions, philosophies, governments, customs and practices and all manner of technologies to address these fundamental issues. They have motivated the creation of much of what we today call art.
All the works in this exhibition have been motivated by at least two of these three human concerns. Despite the achievement of each, no maker’s name is known. In the end, the objects are eloquent but anonymous sentinels of humankind’s relentless quest to understand ourselves and our world. The makers have expressed the interface of those two concerns through visual means that can communicate meaningfully to others, even though centuries and oceans separate us.
This exhibition is supported by the Hall Oriental Fund and the Blakemore Foundation. Midwest Airlines is the official airline sponsor.