NYC-ARTS

S2020 E481 | CLIP

NYC-ARTS Choice: Arts of China at Brooklyn Museum

Guided by curator Joan Cummins, NYC-ARTS visits the Arts of China gallery at Brooklyn Museum, which highlights 5,000 years of Chinese artistic accomplishment.

AIRED: February 20, 2020 | 0:07:15
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> NEXT WE TRAVEL TO THE

BROOKLYN MUSEUM TO VISIT THE

ARTS OF CHINA GALLERY.

IT REPRESENTS 5,000 YEARS OF

CHINESE ACCOMPLISHMENTS,

BRONZES, CERAMICS AND PAINTINGS

FROM THE MUSEUM COLLECTION.

THE INSTALLATION CURRENTLY

FEATURES MORE THAN 130 WORKS

MANY OF WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN ON

VIEW IN DECADES.

CONTEMPORARY ART IS ART PART OF

THIS DISPLAY.

THEY ACQUIRED OVER 50 PAINTINGS

AND SCULPTURES OF ARTISTS OF

CHINESE DISSENT.

THE EXPERIMENTAL PAINTINGS VIEW

CHALLENGE AND TRANSFORM CHINA'S

TRADITIONAL ARTISTIC PRACTICES.

THEY RESPOND TO PRESENT DAY

CONCERNS SUCH AS URBANIZATION,

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION AND

THE RAP PACE OF CHINESE

MODERATION.

>> THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM IS

EXCITED TO WELCOME VISITORS TO

NEWLY REINSTALLED CHINA GALLERY.

IT IS SET UP CHRONOLOGICALLY

WITH THE EARLIEST MATERIAL AT

ONE END AND THE LATER MATERIAL

AT THE OTHER END BUT THERE IS,

IN FACT, A SPRINKLING OF

CONTEMPORARY ART THROUGHOUT THE

GALLERIES.

THIS MAGNIFICENT JAR IS ONE OF

THE GREAT MASTERPIECES OF THE

BROOKLYN MUSEUM.

IT DATES TO THE EARLY SIDE OF

THE 1200s AND IS FROM A PERIOD

WHEN THEY REALLY MASTERED THE

ART OF DECORATING AND COBALT

BLUE.

BUT THEY HAD NOT YET FOUND A

SOURCE OF COBALT IN CHINA SO IT

HAD TO BE IMPORTED FROM THE

MIDDLE EAST.

THE FISH ARE SO WELL PAINTED

THAT WE CAN RECOGNIZE THE FOUR

SPECIES THAT ARE REPRESENTED AND

IF ONE SAYS THEIR NAMES IN

CHINESE IN THE ORDER IN WHICH

THEY APPEAR ON THE JAR, IT

ACTUALLY SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE

SAYING OUT LOUD THE WORDS HONEST

AND INCORRUPTIBLE.

SO WE BELIEVE THAT THIS JAR WAS

ACTUALLY MADE FOR A CHINESE

CONSUMER, SOMEBODY WHO WOULD

HAVE GOTTEN THE PUN WHICH IS

UNUSUAL BECAUSE MOST BLUE AND

WHITE CERAMIC WERE FOR EXPORT

THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM HAS A

UNUSUALLY LARGE COLLECTION OF

CHINESE OBJECTS.

THE PIECE THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT

NOW IS CALLED A CHAMPION VASE.

>>> IT'S A SHAPE USED AS A

TROPHY CUP OR REWARD THAT WAS

GIVEN TO HEROES IN BATTLE.

TO CELEBRATE CONTRIBUTIONS TO

THE MILITARY.

AND THIS WAS TO HOLD ARROWS.

OURS IS FAR MORE DECORATIVE THAN

THE KINDS OF THINGS USED TO HOLD

ARROWS.

IT HAS A WONDERFUL FALCON WHICH

IS A VERY BOLD, STRONG BIRD ON

THE FRONT.

A STANDING ON ONE FOOT AND THEN

THE WHOLE BODY OF THE VASE IS

COVERED IN DECORATIVE PATTERN IN

BEAUTIFUL BLUE AND VIOLET AND

PINK AND WHITE.

THIS IS ONE OF THE OLDEST

OBJECTS.

IT'S ONE OF THE GREAT

MASTERPIECES OF THE COLLECTION.

IT IS A WINE POURING VESSEL THAT

WOULD HAVE BEEN USED IN RITUAL

AND IT DATES TO 1100 BC.

IT IS QUITE OLD AND BEAUTIFULLY

MADE.

IT IS JUST COVERED WITH

PATTERNING AND ANIMALS AND IT IS

SHAPED LIKE A DRAGON WITH THIS

SORT OF SNAG WILL TOOTH GRIN.

WHEN YOU POUR IT, THE WINE WOULD

COME OUT FROM BETWEEN THE TEETH

OF THE ANIMAL.

THIS IS A FABULOUS FINISH.

INSTALLED NEAR OUR WONDERFUL

WINE VESSEL IS THIS WONDERFUL

PIECE BY THE NEW YORK BASED

ARTIST TU.

IT IS, AS YOU WITH SEE, A BRONZE

VERSION OF A McDONALD'S BURGER

BOX FRY CONTAIN EASTERN FORK.

IT IS VERY MUCH THE ARTIST'S

TAKE ON AMERICAN CULTURE.

THE RITUAL BRONZES ON WHICH THE

DECORATION IS BASED WERE USED IN

WORSHIPPING THE ANCESTORS.

THEY WERE OF GREAT IMPORTANCE

AND SERIOUSNESS.

HERE HE RECREATES SOMETHING THAT

IS A THROW AWAY OBJECT,

SOMETHING YOU EAT ON THE RUN.

SOMETHING THAT HAS NO REAL

RITUAL SIGNIFICANCE WHATSOEVER

TO REMIND US OF HOW SHALLOW THE

EXPERIENCE OF EATING FAST FOOD

CAN BE WITH COMPARISON WITH

THESE MUCH MORE RITUALIZED MEALS

THAT TOOK PLACE IN ANCIENT

CHINA.

IN AND AROUND THE ARTS OF CHINA

GALLERY ARE QUITE A NUMBER OF

CONTEMPORARY WORKS THAT REFER TO

THE ANCIENT CHINESE PRACTICE OF

PAINTING.

THE PIECE WE'RE LOOKING AT NOW

IS ACTUALLY A VERY OVERT

REFERENCE TO A CHINESE LANDSCAPE

HAND SCROLL.

THIS IS A PAINTING THAT PEOPLE

WOULD LOOK AT BY UNROLLING

GRADUALLY AND ALLOW YOU TO

TRAVEL THROUGH A LANDSCAPE

VISUALLY.

THIS IS A TIME HONORED FORMAT

FOR CHINESE PAINTING BUT HERE

IT'S DONE NOT IN PAINT BUT IN

PHOTO MONTAGE.

YOU CAN SEE THE MOUNTAINS AND

TREES ARE ACTUALLY COMPOSED OF

SKYSCRAPERS AND ELECTRICAL

TOWERS.

AND THAT SOME OF THE ROCKS ARE

DERELICT FARRIS WHEELS.

THE WHOLE PIECE IS VERY MUCH THE

YUCK ARTIST, YOUNG LEON'S TAKE

ON THE CHINESE TREATMENT OF THE

LANDSCAPE TODAY.

THERE ARE SO MANY PIECE THAT'S

WE HAVE NOT SHOWN HERE TODAY.

AND I INVITE VISITORS TO COME

AND DISCOVER THEM FOR

THEMSELVES.

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