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Other titles in the No series:
Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imageryby Patricia Bjaaland Welch
Synopses & Reviews
With Sensuous Surfaces, Jonathan Hay offers one of the most richly illustrated and in-depth introductions to the decorative arts of Ming and Qing dynasty China to date. Examining an immense number of works, he explores the materials and techniques, as well as the effects of patronage and taste, that together have formed a loose system of informal rules that define the decorative arts in early modern China.
Hay demonstrates how this systemand#151;by engaging the actual and metaphorical potential of surfaceand#151;guided the production and use of decorative arts from the late sixteenth century through the middle of the nineteenth, a period of explosive growth. He shows how the understanding of decorative arts made a fundamental contribution to the sensory education of Chinaand#8217;s early modern urban population. Enriching his study with 280 color plates, he ultimately offers an elegant meditation, not only on Ming and Qing art but on the importance of the erotic in the form and function of decorations of all eras.and#160;
Sensuous Surfaces is a richly illustrated and in-depth introduction to the decorative arts in Ming and Qing dynasty China. Jonathan Hay explores materials and techniques, as well as issues of patronage and taste, which together formed a loose system of informal rules that affected every level of decoration in early modern China, from an individual object to the arrangement of an entire residential interior. By engaging the actual and metaphoric potential of surface, Hay contends, this system guided the production and use of the decorative arts during a period of explosive growth, which started in the late sixteenth century and continued until the mid-nineteenth century. This understanding of decorative arts in China made a fundamental contribution to the sensory education of its early modern urban population, both as individuals and in their established social roles. Sensuous Surfaces is also an elegant meditation on the role of pleasure in decoration. Often intellectually dismissed as merely pleasurable, Hay argues that decoration is better understood as a necessary form of art which can fulfill its function only by engaging the human capacity for erotic response.
Featuring 280 fine color images of a wide range of early modern Chinese objects and artworks, this book will engage anyone with an interest in decoration, art, Chinaand#8212;or the experience of pleasure itself.
andlt;bandgt;With over 630 striking color photos and illustrations this Chinese art guide focuses on the rich tapestry of symbolism which makes up the basis of traditional Chinese art.andlt;/bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;iandgt;Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imageryandlt;/iandgt; includes detailed commentary and historical background information for the images that continuously reappear in the arts of China, including specific plants and animals, religious beings, mortals and inanimate objects. The book thoroughly illuminates the origins, common usages and diverse applications of popular Chinese symbols in a tone that is both engaging and authoritative.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;iandgt;Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imageryandlt;/iandgt; is an essential reference for collectors, museum-goers, guides, students and anyone else with a serious interest in the culture and history of China.
Chinese Art examines the meanings behind the hundreds of common motifs and symbols found in all forms of Chinese art, exposing their linguistic, metaphoric or historic origins, common usage, and diverse applications. Plants, flowers, real and imaginary animals and birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians, colors, numbers, and a myriad of inanimate images and personages communicate auspicious and benevolent messages in the Chinese vocabulary of decorative art. Many of the symbols are easily recognizable, and thanks to China's love of the past, reappear almost continuously.
A perfect reference for collectors, museum-goers, docents, students of Chinese art, and anyone else with a serious interest in the culture and history of China, the book includes both Chinese and Pinyin text, over 630 illustrations (including references to on-line collections), an extensive index in both Chinese and English, a bibliography, and a list of recommended museums and other places to visit with interesting collections of Chinese art.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Patricia Bjaaland Welchandlt;/bandgt;, MA, is a former lecturer in Chinese philosophy and art at Boston University, and has been a docent for over two decades in prominent museums in Boston, Bangkok, and Singapore. She has written several in-house training manuals for docents and is passionate about bringing people into museums and helping them to appreciate what they are seeing. She is a frequent lecturer on subjects relating to Chinese art and history. An avid collector and researcher, she is also the author of five published works, including andlt;iandgt;Chinese New Yearandlt;/iandgt;. She currently lives in Singapore.
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