In art as well as literature, the Chinese have traditionally imbued flowers, fruits, and woody grasses with rich and multilayered qualities that convey human ideas, values, and aspirations. These find expression in visual puns known as rebuses, in which botanical names call to mind homophones for blessings of good fortune, as well as in subtle allusions that endow a plant’s natural attributes with symbolic meanings. Most poignant is the meaning associated with bamboo, which remains green throughout the year and whose hollow stem bends but does not break in a strong wind. Since the 10th century, the delicate yet firm character of this plant has embodied the human of integrity and perseverance.
This intimate exhibition demonstrates how scholar-artists (literati) often chose to convey their thoughts and emotions in allusive images of nature. Their images are characteristically painted in monochrome ink, with deft and dynamic brushwork evocative of calligraphy. The style of court and professional artists, by contrast, is highly colorful and often precisely descriptive.
1 day 9 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Congratulations to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on their grand opening this weekend. The building, designed by architect David Adjaye, is a truly historic addition to the National Mall in Washington D.C. #APeoplesJourney #MakingHistory
1 day 12 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Time machines, superheroes, wild creatures, and more… JourneyMaker makes every visit to the museum an adventure.
Try this new digital interactive for families in the museum’s Ryan Learning Center, located in the Modern Wing, or print out a tour at home.
2 days 10 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Today marks the autumn equinox and the official end of summer. Celebrate the changing of the seasons with the latest in ARTicle’s Sound and Vision series, matching songs from around the world with our encyclopedic collection.