above: Chen Honshou and Yan Zhan Magu presents gifts to Queen Mother of the West 17th C.
Chinese Flower and Bird Painting of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
5 May - 25 June
Flowers and birds are ubiquitous motifs in Chinese art. The endurance and resonance of these motifs arise not only from their natural beauty but also their cultural associations. Often they are suffused with poetic overtones or imbued with social and political allusions. Over one hundred such superb paintings dating from the 15th to early 20th centuries will be shown in this exhibition. The painters featured were all major bird-and-flower painters of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Included amongst them are the well-known court academy painters, scholar-amateur artists, as well as the Eccentric Painters of Yangzhou, famous for their unconventional behaviour and painting styles. The works on show are painted both in the vividly realistic, colourful court style as well as in the refined literati mode of pale colours, or in the most subtle technique of all - shades of pure ink. The variety of formats in this absorbing exhibition includes hanging scrolls, handscrolls, and album leaves.