January 11, 2014 |
NEW YORK - It's hard to break from the past. Even under the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which sought to smash the "Four Olds" of customs, culture, habits and ideas, the tradition of calligraphy was held in reverence, as it had been for centuries. Chairman Mao's own calligraphy served as nameplate for the powerful newspaper the People's Daily. "Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through April 6, ambitiously seeks to tie past with present through the work of 35 artists.
May 10, 2013 |
BEIJING -- One scene of the new documentary “Chimeras” shows the young Chinese artist Liu Gang wandering with his camera around a town in China that's been built to resemble an English village. Liu is in Thames Town, a development outside Shanghai that's eerily empty, aside from the couples posing in matching outfits for wedding photographs on faux cobbled streets. In a series of satirical, candid shots called “Better Life,” Liu explores China's conflicted aspirations. Our ideas of a better life, the artist explains, are “all indeed fantasies from the West.” Finnish filmmaker Mika Mattila's thought-provoking “Chimeras” -- which played this week at the San Francisco International Film Festival -- is a documentary about the search for a uniquely Chinese aesthetic in an international art world dominated by the West.
October 13, 2012 |
As a young boy in Taiwan, Jerry Yang was forced to study calligraphy - writing Chinese characters with a brush. The practice is thought to mold character as well as to reflect it, but Yang found it a tedious chore. In 1998, when he was turning 30 and had already co-founded Yahoo, he heeded the call to look back to his heritage and bought two Chinese calligraphies at auction. It was the beginning, he has written, of "a journey of discovery, inspiration, and fulfillment. " Today, his collection numbers 250 works, including some by the greatest calligraphers of the Ming and Qing eras, and 40 of them have been selected for "Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy," a new exhibition at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (through Jan. 13)
May 31, 2012 |
When UC Santa Barbara professor Ann Jensen Adams, known for her work on 17th century Dutch painting, was given the chance to try a new research website from the Getty last week, she first typed in the name of a major artist and author in the search field: Karel van Mander. She was surprised to find online a full-text version of Van Mander's 1604 masterpiece, "Het Schilder-Boeck" (Book of Painters), which attempted to introduce Dutch and German painters like Vasari's classic "Lives of the Artists" did for so many Italians.
May 3, 2012 |
Six people have been arrested on suspicion of stealing Chinese artifacts worth more than $32 million from two British museums. Police in London on Wednesday arrested two men suspected of the April 13 theft of 18 mostly jade antiques worth $29 million from Cambridge University's Fitzwilliam Museum. The Associated Press reports that on Tuesday, police arrested two men and two women in Walsall, a town in central England, suspected in a recent theft at Durham University's Oriental Museum.
March 19, 2012 |
Ed Asner has developed a knack during his extensive showbiz career for portraying crusty characters armed with a gruffness that camouflages a decent nature and good heart. Those traits were at the core of Asner's most famous role, the crotchety Lou Grant of the landmark "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its dramatic "Lou Grant" spinoff. But there was a brief moment in Asner's past nearly 40 years ago when he went over to the dark side, playing a villain on CBS' "Hawaii Five-O. " On Monday's episode of the revamped "Hawaii Five-O," he gets to resurrect his bad-boy past.