LACMA is pleased to announce that works from our Chinese art collection are now on view for the first time in more than five years.
Chinese art was one of the first areas collected by the museum. Our collection spans more than four thousand years and features extraordinary works ranging from ancient jade carvings to contemporary video and photography.
The new installation presents approximately forty works, ranging from the Neolithic period to modern times.
I am in constant wonder of the Tang horse. It sits in the middle of the Chinese art gallery, its glistening glaze somehow indicative of motion. The caramel color of the form runs over, like rain streaking the muscular frame and darkening to an almost black, rendering the hooves a pale clay color. The harness, bridle, and saddle are blotched green and pale clay, melting as it were, as if the steed was merely a manifestation of paradise, a vision in an afterlife…
If you have ever dined at a Chinese restaurant, you have probably seen something printed with the signs of twelve animals—rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar—known as the zodiac animals. The Chinese use these signs to mark years, a system that follows the lunar calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar used in the West. The first day of a lunar year is the most important holiday, celebrated in many countries in Asia, such as China, Korea, and Vietnam...