Past Exhibitions

Water Views in Chinese Landscape
July 10, 2018 - August 5, 2018

The Chinese word for "landscape" (山水, Ch: shanshui; J: sansui) is a combination of the characters for "mountain" 山 and "water" 水. As this etymology reveals, Chinese representations of nature are never complete without water elements. But how did Chinese painters depict this amorphous subject matter?
From ancient times, techniques for painting water have revolved around variant renderings of water's ripples, waves, and flow. Perhaps the best example of this is the masterwork Twelve Views of Water by Southern Song painter Ma Yuan, in the Palace Museum, Beijing.
This exhibition highlights depictions of water in Chinese paintings dating from the Song (960–1279) through Qing (1644–1912) dynasties. Following the model of Ma Yuan's Twelve Views of Water, these artists give form to a formless medium, perhaps the ultimate artistic achievement.

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