Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/10/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Artwork survived political upheaval by being produced in secret

If a work of art is created, and no one is allowed to view it - as it may fall out of line with strict, political constraints - does it exist at all? A new show at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in Southern California is doing its best to redress this. Entitled "The Artful Recluse: Painting, Poetry and Politics in Seventeenth-Century China," the exhibit highlights the work of proud artisans who had to remain in secret.

Works have been drawn from the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, six private collections from the U.S. and Taiwan, and five public institutions. The exhibit will also be exhibited at the Asia Society in New York next year.

Works have been drawn from the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, six private collections from the U.S. and Taiwan, and five public institutions. The exhibit will also be exhibited at the Asia Society in New York next year.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/10/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: reclusion, 17th Century China, artists, political upheaval, painting, museum, art, exhibit


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to scholars, the figure of the recluse is omnipresent in Chinese art and culture. The recluse remains an enduring symbol of self-sufficiency, immortalized as the lone professor surrounded by scrolls, the fisherman with craggy cliffs as his witness.

"The Artful Recluse" show has gathered 60 paintings, scrolls, fans and poems from a period that featured the dramatic fall of the Ming Dynasty, which was around 1644 and the tumultuous rise - later dubbed the Chaos - of the Qing Manchu.

Works have been drawn from the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, six private collections from the U.S. and Taiwan, and five public institutions. The exhibit will also be exhibited at the Asia Society in New York next year.

In the decades before the fall of the Ming, the imperial court was in flux. Corruption, political intrigue and uncertainty inspired prominent scholar-officials such as Shitao and Bada Shanren to withdraw from public life in search of rural solitude. Trained in philosophy, art and literature, they retreated to mountain dwellings and became immersed in calligraphy, poetry, painting and the study of the masters, making the 17th century one of the greatest periods for Chinese art.

"This idea of reclusion was not new in Chinese art," she told China Daily. "This is deeply rooted in Chinese culture," Susan Tai, curator of Asian art at the Santa Barbara museum says. "Then later, when many of these men were in hiding as a result of their association with the Ming, their art reflected a sense of loss, frustration, despair and, ultimately, a sense of resolve.

"This art is about freedom and escape; it permeates the paintings."

Tai explains that the artist-recluses of the period were singularly concerned with their natural surroundings.

"For Chinese, reclusion means a retreat to nature," she says. "In Taoism, Buddhism and even Confucianism, you're taught that nature is where you find comfort - it's where your problems are resolved."

Peter Sturman, professor of art history and architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and co-curator of the exhibition, says that the art born of the political and social situation of the day resulted in a series of stunning artworks.

"The more we looked at this subject, the more we realized it was something vital to the time. For frustrated intellectuals, reclusion gave people a way to express their wish to get away from something and live this pure existence.

"There was a certain rhetoric of reclusion, in which very famous people prominently declared a desire to be recluses. And later, when thousands and thousands of people remained loyal to the Ming Dynasty and couldn't face the prospect of being under alien rule, reclusion became a real and necessary aspect of many people's lives. Some people committed suicide; some became Buddhist monks; many others disappeared into the hills," Sturman says. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

'We are coming for you!' American Islamic jihadist suicide bomber gleefully shouts to Americans on chilling final video Watch

Image of American terrorist Moner Mohammed Abu-Salha smiled and talked about dying and going to paradise.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new video shows an American smiling as he prepares to kill himself and dozens of others in a suicide bombing. In the video, made just before his death, Moner Mohammed Abu-Salha, 22, ripped, chewed, and burned his American passport before climbing into an ... continue reading


Malinformed much? Ninety percent of your information now comes from just 6 media sources Watch

Image of Small media outlets are consumed by the large, limiting the variety of expression.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Have you ever tried to describe something, but lacked the vocabulary to do it? This is the concept behind Newspeak, a fictional language in George Orwell's 1984. Orwell proposed that by limiting expression, thought itself could be limited. Today, as media companies ... continue reading


Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage struck down Watch

Image of The Virginia case, Bostic v. Rainey, was brought by two same-sex couples. Fourteen thousand gay couples also were certified as a class for the suit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a dramatic reversal of a voter-based 2006 decision, U.S. appeals court this week struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, the latest in a string of court rulings to back gay marriage. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit ... continue reading


Archbishop Chaput Speaks at the Napa Institute Conference on Pope Francis and Economic Justice

Image of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is one of the preeminent Churchmen of our age. He offers a prophetic voice for this important time. He not only grasps and articulates Catholic Social Doctrine well, he also understands the real treasure we have been given in this Pope who took the name Francis. I believe that his insights into Pope Francis need to be read by as many people as possible.

By Catholic Online

In matters of economic justice, Francis' concerns are the same as Benedict's and John Paul II's and Pius XI's and Leo XIII's. He understands economic matters through the lens of Church teaching in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Like his ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Bridget of Sweden, Marriage and Family, and the Need for Canonized Married Saints Watch

Image of St Bridget of Sweden, her husband Ulf, and all the modern Popes call Christian married couples to become the 'Sweet and Smiling Face of the Church' in this age. This is an age which is desperately in need of all kinds of saints. I suggest we particularly need examples of married, canonized Saints. That is precisely because this is an age where faithful marriage is now counter-cultural. We need examples of men and women who not only embraced it in Christ, but lived it as a but a path to heroic virtue.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The clear teaching of the Bible, the Christian tradition and the re-emphasis of the last Council in the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council, make clear - we are ALL called to holiness in life. That  is what the Catholic Church regularly refers to as ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Obama demands that illegals be allowed to enter U.S. Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of illegal, unaccompanied minors have flooded into the United States since 2014 began, often escaping violence in war torn Central American countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's administration is considering whether or not it will allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras and other war-torn Central American states to enter into the United States illegally and without crossing into the country ... continue reading


Are you ready for the next dust bowl? California is! Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the Colorado River Basin is rapidly running out of water, which may be disastrous for the seven states it supplies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a report published by the American space agency and the University of California, the water crisis that is punishing the southwestern United States is likely to worsen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report found that the prime source of water ... continue reading


PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter