Kaikodo Journal XIX Spring 2001
A Natural Selection
Corresponding to the exhibition held between March 19 and April 28, 2001. 48 Chinese, Korean and Japanese paintings; 42 Chinese and Vietnamese objects (90 color plates). Preface by Howard Rogers. 356 pages.
Includes the essays:
“Chinese Lenses and Chinese Art”
“Two Palace Museums: An Informal Account
of Their Formation and History” (Ching
Yuan Chai so-shih IV)
“Lives of the Painters: Li T’ang (ca.1080-ca.
In his esssay, Joseph McDermott, Professor of Chinese History at Cambridge University, views the evolution of Chinese culture from a most unusual perspective, that provided by an examination of the introduction of the optical lens from the West and its subsequent impact on Chinese art. Professor McDermott’s essay was conceived and delivered as a paper at a conference on “Text and Image in Chinese Culture” held at St. John’s College, Cambridge, from December 16-19, 1999, with generous support from the Foundation for European Cultural Exchange under the presidency of Dr. Ding Yih Liu.
The second essay, by James Cahill, Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, provides an intriguing overview of the recent history of the Palace Museum collections now held in Taipei and in Beijing. In examining the evolution of the imperial collection from its early Qing dynasty origins to its present bifurcation into two separate public collections of quite different nature, Professor Cahill touches upon significant political events that are illumined in turn by the varying impacts they exerted on collecting attitudes and activities.
Howard Rogers’s essay on the Song painter Li Tang (Li T’ang) (ca. 1080-ca. 1163) examines the particulars of the artist’s life and seeks to provide increased understanding of the changing challenges to which he responded as a professional artist working in first the Northern Song capital Kaifeng and then the new seat of government in Hangzhou.