Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/10/2012 (3 years 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 (3 years 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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More U.S.

Spiritual Warfare. We are Led into the Desert to Fight the Devil Watch

Image of Jesus is tempted and does battle with the devil in the desert.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The devil is not some figment of our imagination, but a malevolent fallen angel who, just as He tempted our first parents and tempted the Lord, now tempts us. These 40 Days of Lent are a classroom in which we learn to conquer the world the flesh and the devil, in ... continue reading


Liberty Counsel: We Mourn the Passing of Justice Antonin Scalia

Image of Official portrait of Justice Scalia

By Liberty Counsel

"With the passing of Justice Scalia, the future of the High Court and the future of America is hanging in the balance.- Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel WASHINGTON, DC (Liberty Counsel) - We mourn the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin ... continue reading


FBI arrests Cliven Bundy leading to protesters' surrender in Oregon occupation Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy was arrested by the FBI moments after stepping off a plane (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy stepped off a plane at the Portland International Airport Wednesday evening and was taken to Multnomah County jail, where his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy were already being held. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Thursday morning the ... continue reading


Beauty and the Priest - Cleric indicted for murder in cold case from 1960 Watch

Image of Irene Garza was 25 at the time of her death. No motive has been established in the death of the beauty queen from McAllen, Texas, but John Feit is the only suspect.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A former priest has been indicted for a 1960 cold case murder of a woman. According to Texas authorities, then 27-year-old priest, John Feit, heard the confession of Irene Garza, then asphyxiated her afterwards. Her body was found in a canal days later. Feit will now ... continue reading


Former Catholic priest arrested in connection with beauty queen's murder - 56 years later Watch

Image of Now a married grandfather, former Catholic priest John Feit is accused in the 1960 murder of 27-year-old Irene Garza in 1960 (CNN).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Many thought, but few actually believed that a small town Catholic priest would be capable of such a savage crime. Fifty-six long years later, former priest John Feit, now a married grandfather living in Arizona has been arrested in connection with the 1960 ... continue reading


Ash Wednesday and Lent. It Works if you Work It Watch

Image of After receiving the ashes, we are exhorted to leave the Church as penitents and pilgrims and continue in a Christian way of life every day

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If we enter into the observance of Lent with our entire person, it can draw us, at its' closure, into a deeper embrace and experience of the power of the Resurrection, beginning right now and stretching into eternity. Our frequent liturgical celebrations present ... continue reading


No Catholic or other Christian Should Support the Candidacy of Bernie Sanders Watch

Image of Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, denies the fundamental Human Right to Life of children in the womb.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Legalized abortion on demand is an open rejection of the entire ethic of being our brothers (and sisters) keeper. There can be no enduring lasting solidarity upon which to build a secure future in a culture that kills its own children and calls it a right. No ... continue reading


Mardi Gras' several names and traditions: How is it celebrated around the world? Watch

Image of Mardi Gras is famous for its colors, masks, beads, food, floats and more (Pixabay)!

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

People around the world celebrate Fat Tuesday each year with regional traditions - but did you know it is a celebration with roots in Christianity?  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Fat Tuesday" is English for the French "Mardi Gras," and is traditionally ... continue reading


7 Fun facts about Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebrations Watch

Image of Mardi Gras first became a holiday in 1582.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday; it comes directly before Ash Wednesday. "Mardi Gras is a raucous celebratory affair that serves as a final shebang before the 40-day abstinence of Lent," explains The Huffington Post. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amidst all ... continue reading


605,000 undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses in California Watch

Image of California driver's licenses do not bestow any federal benefits to the recipient. State sources say the law is intended to make California roadways safer.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thanks to a new California law known as AB60, which took effect on January 2, 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV has handed out 605,000 driver's licenses to undocumented workers. It is estimated that 1.4 million migrants will receive licenses under ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 26:4-10
4 'The priest will then take the basket from your hand and lay it before ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:1-13
1 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 10:8-13
8 What does it say, then? The word is very near to you; it is in your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 14th, 2016 Image

St. Valentine
February 14: Click Here for St. Valentine Prayer's Saint ... Read More