Guanyin Porcelain Sculpture on an English Candle stand
18th century, Qing Dynasty, Dehua ware. 

Art and text panels seen at the Philadelphia Museum of Art 


Burial Mask, Liao Dynasty (Northern China), 1018 or earlier From the Tomb of Princess Chen at Qinglongshanzhen

Asianhistory reads: Gilded Splendor: Treasures of China’s Liao Empire (907-1125). 
Oftentimes I get questions for recommendations on this blog for topics I’m not currently studying. However, this year I have the wonderful opportunity to do an independent study with one of my professors. This gives me quite a bit of freedom in choosing my reading material (It needs to be about decorative arts and material culture, but aside from that, I’m studying what interests me), so I thought I would share in what I’m reading. 
Gilded Splendor is a book I found within my University’s library (It’s upwards of $150 on Amazon used, so I suggest if you want to read it, you search for it at your local library as well). It’s a stunning book on the Liao Empire, covering archaeology, architecture, Buddhist texts, and a detailed catalogue of Liao pieces, as well as maps, developmental benchmarks, and a chronology of Dynastic China. The pictures are often full-page, it’s completely in color, and it’s well put-together and a pleasure to browse through. 
If you don’t have access to this book in a library however, have no fear! They also have a wonderful website to accompany it, where you can view some of the pieces and their essays in both German and English.
Gilded Splendor.  If you have books you could recommend me, feel free to submit them to my ask box! 

Burial Mask, Liao Dynasty (Northern China), 1018 or earlier 
From the Tomb of Princess Chen at Qinglongshanzhen

Asianhistory reads: Gilded Splendor: Treasures of China’s Liao Empire (907-1125)

Oftentimes I get questions for recommendations on this blog for topics I’m not currently studying. However, this year I have the wonderful opportunity to do an independent study with one of my professors. This gives me quite a bit of freedom in choosing my reading material (It needs to be about decorative arts and material culture, but aside from that, I’m studying what interests me), so I thought I would share in what I’m reading. 

Gilded Splendor is a book I found within my University’s library (It’s upwards of $150 on Amazon used, so I suggest if you want to read it, you search for it at your local library as well). It’s a stunning book on the Liao Empire, covering archaeology, architecture, Buddhist texts, and a detailed catalogue of Liao pieces, as well as maps, developmental benchmarks, and a chronology of Dynastic China. The pictures are often full-page, it’s completely in color, and it’s well put-together and a pleasure to browse through. 

If you don’t have access to this book in a library however, have no fear! They also have a wonderful website to accompany it, where you can view some of the pieces and their essays in both German and English.

Gilded Splendor If you have books you could recommend me, feel free to submit them to my ask box! 

natgeofound:

Two young Chinese girls chat with each other in a moon gate in a courtyard of a Chinese home, 1932.Photograph by W. Robert Moore, National Geographic

natgeofound:

Two young Chinese girls chat with each other in a moon gate in a courtyard of a Chinese home, 1932.Photograph by W. Robert Moore, National Geographic

Q: What languages are there in China? 
A: There’s a massive amount of them — and the problem is linguistically, the Chinese define some mutually unintelligible dialects as the same language, Mandarin. 
To start: 
For over 1 billion people in China, the online resource Ethnologue lists
The number of individual languages listed for China is 299. Of these, 298 are living and 1 is extinct. Of the living languages, 14 are institutional, 23 are developing, 111 are vigorous, 122 are in trouble, and 28 are dying.
[See more detailed information and breakdowns  here] 
That’s nearly 300 listed languages in one country. The Zhongyu (languages of China) cover several major language families, Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kaidai, Hmong-Mien, Austroasiatic, Altaic, Indo-European, and Austronesian. 
You’ll notice for example, Mandarin is broken into three major regions, and in many cases the divisions even within the lingua franca are by town, village, city, and so on. Standardized (Northern) Beijing dialect is considered the country’s official national spoken language. The language laws of China do not apply within autonomous regions - Hong Kong uses Cantonese, Macau Cantonese, Tibet uses Tibetan, Mongolia uses Mongolian, etc. 
The wiki-page is here, and there are additional immigrant or Colonial languages (English or Japanese).

Q: What languages are there in China? 

A: There’s a massive amount of them — and the problem is linguistically, the Chinese define some mutually unintelligible dialects as the same language, Mandarin. 

To start: 

For over 1 billion people in China, the online resource Ethnologue lists

  • The number of individual languages listed for China is 299. Of these, 298 are living and 1 is extinct. Of the living languages, 14 are institutional, 23 are developing, 111 are vigorous, 122 are in trouble, and 28 are dying.

[See more detailed information and breakdowns  here

That’s nearly 300 listed languages in one country. The Zhongyu (languages of China) cover several major language families, Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kaidai, Hmong-Mien, Austroasiatic, Altaic, Indo-European, and Austronesian. 

You’ll notice for example, Mandarin is broken into three major regions, and in many cases the divisions even within the lingua franca are by town, village, city, and so on. Standardized (Northern) Beijing dialect is considered the country’s official national spoken language. The language laws of China do not apply within autonomous regions - Hong Kong uses Cantonese, Macau Cantonese, Tibet uses Tibetan, Mongolia uses Mongolian, etc. 

The wiki-page is here, and there are additional immigrant or Colonial languages (English or Japanese).

indypendenthistory:

1940- U.S. Navy truck in front of a Chinese temple at Paoshan on the Burma Road.

indypendenthistory:

1940- U.S. Navy truck in front of a Chinese temple at Paoshan on the Burma Road.

travelingcolors:

Hong Kong | China (by el crater)
asiasociety:

Interview: Historian Considers Three Tumultuous Years in Ever-Changing China
China and the U.S. are now intertwined to such a point, says Asia Society Associate Fellow Jeffrey Wasserstrom, that nearly every news story about one place has some link to the other.
Read full story here.

asiasociety:

Interview: Historian Considers Three Tumultuous Years in Ever-Changing China

China and the U.S. are now intertwined to such a point, says Asia Society Associate Fellow Jeffrey Wasserstrom, that nearly every news story about one place has some link to the other.

Read full story here.

[Top] Autumnal Colors On the Chiao and Hua Mountains. Zhao Mengfu.

— a descendant of the Song Dynasty royal family, Zhao Mengfu joined the court of the Yuan Dynasty Emperor. He rose to cabinet minister, and secretary of the Art Academy. Despite his stigma as a collaborator with the Yuan, he is one of the most well established Calligraphers in all of China.

There is a long inscription written by Zhao Mengfu explaining why he wrote the painting, and this is again an Archaic pursuit of portraying landscape “blue and green” style. He disregarded correct size for relationships and made things purposefully out of scale. This is not pursuant of beauty to be appreciated by the viewers, and denied the possibility of romantic landscapes. The landscape is austere, even bleak. The artist most prized the antiquity or ancient style displayed in his painting - rather than its modern techniques or maturity.  

[Bottom] Bamboo Groves in Mist and Rain. 1308. Guan Daosheng.

Zhao Mengfu’s wife, Guan Daosheng learned from her husband how to paint; many female painters learned from literati family or teachers.

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Yungang “Cloud Ridge” Temple In Datong, the first Capital of the Northern Wei. At this site, more than 50 main caves were carved out of sandstone in the cliffs. At cave 20 is a colossal Buddha with attendant Buddha (Possibly Maitreya). Although he appears to be seated in a niche, he was originally in a cave that has since worn away. This Buddha represents the mesh of Indian and Chinese styles called Archaic Style. This Buddha is smiling, with his lips closed and turned up slightly in the corner. The interior caves are covered with relieved walls with sculptures of Buddhas of varying sizes. Many families (Especially of the upper class) commissioned shrines and reliefs.

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Top: Peonies, Morning Glories, Cherries, and Chinese Cotton. Jiang Tingxi, 1669-1732. Ink and Color on Gold Paper Fan. Phoenix Art Museum.

Bottom: Summer Flowers. Unknown Artist. Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) 18th Century. Ink and Color on Gold Paper Fan. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I thought everyone would like to see the objects I’m writing on for my Chinese Painting class. I had the distinct pleasure of viewing the top fan at the Phoenix Art Museum up close and in person, and was lucky enough to find a stylistic twin to compare it to for my paper at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website. 

The top fan was intended for a member of the royal family and is inscribed with a seal gifting it to the Emperor of China. Completely gold painted fans like this in China are a little unusual, but very beautiful. 

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