CHINESE SCROLLS

August 26 - September 10, 2011
Opening Reception: September 2, 2011

A Provenance Center Exhibit

     

The history of Chinese art extends for over 5,000 years and is believed to be the oldest artistic tradition of mankind. As one of the primary forms of artistic representation in ancient China, the art of hand painted scrolls has continued as a tradition into the present time. The format used for Chinese paintings varied widely over time. Massive wall paintings, free-standing screens, horizontal and vertical scrolls, were some of the many formats used. The horizontal hand scroll unrolled from right to left, giving the viewer a chance to look at one segment at a time. The horizontal hand scroll was like a picture story book, and lead to the shorter vertical hanging scroll. Silk was usually used to make scrolls until the invention of paper, traditionally thought to have been invented in China in the first century AD. As silk is not very absorbent, this led to the practice of slow and deliberate application of paint and ink. Early paper was made from a variety of substances such as rice, straw, bark, reeds, and bamboo. These early papers were more absorbent and led to more spontaneously created paintings. Most modern wall scrolls are painted on Xuan paper, also known as rice paper. A wooden dowel is attached to the bottom of the scroll to prevent it from rolling up, and a thin piece of wood with a cord is placed at the top to hang the scroll.

Vertical hanging scrolls were suspended on walls and gave the viewer an opportunity to get close up and examine the details of the painting, and to back up and take in the entire picture. Traditionally, scrolls were taken down periodically, with different scrolls replacing them. The Chinese have long thought of a magical link between mankind and the landscape, so many of the early hanging scrolls were landscapes, with other subjects added over the years. A Chinese painting is judged on how the theme of the painting balances with the rest of the picture, and the feelings it evokes. The subject matter itself is sometimes secondary. Chinese scroll paintings are wondrous creations of art, full of meaning, and give joy to the eye and soul. When you view a hand painted Chinese scroll you view thousands of years of history, tradition, and artistry.

~ Nadesha Mijoba

     
 

All Mighty Buddha
Ink and watercolor on paper
original artwork, mid-20th century
29" x 72" Hao Ran
Study of Ming Dynasty Mural PaintingWatercolor on paper60" x 110"
Artist - Qimin Liu
Bird and plum blossom
Ink on paper, on silk
original artwork
9" x 34"Wang Shinianmid-20th century, Ming, Southern style
Beautiful Young Girl
ink on paper
original artwork
28" x 65"
Wang Xiaoyanc. 1990
 

 

   
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