It will be the first time when the collection of the Shanghai Museum will be demonstrated in the Moscow Kremlin Museums. The exhibition is dedicated to the Ming dynasty epoch (1368–1644), one of the most vivid pages in the wealthiest heritage of China. Experts call that period – the "extension of knowledge", as the interest in art, literature and music, intimate knowledge of philosophical and historical tractates becomes a real cult. This very body of knowledge and interests is known as “scholarship” in China.
Not only aristocrats but also artists in different spheres of art were highly educated people and connoisseurs of the art of the earlier periods. Sources of inspiration for them were mainly works of the masters of the Tang (618–907) and Song (960–1279) dynasties, which were perceived as a peak of refinement and exquisite style. Wonderful pieces of art that will be demonstrated in the exhibition halls of the Moscow Kremlin Museums will make it possible for visitors to get acquainted with almost all aspects for which Ming culture is renowned—porcelain, paintings, stone carving and furniture.
The Shanghai Museum is the owner of a unique collection of Ming furniture. On display will be a "scholar’s studio", which will represent various items of furniture, i.e. armchair, table for calligraphy and incense stand, shelf for keeping books and scrolls, distinguished for their beautiful lines, superb and high-quality carving on wood. In addition to furniture, there will be examples of so-called in China “cabinet treasures”, namely elegant ink slabs, vessels for dissolving ink, brush stands, etc.
Undoubtedly, the hallmark of the Ming era was porcelain. It was then that the masters developed wonderful coloured glaze and the technology of overglaze painting. Also, it was the time when new techniques of lacquer carving and cloisonne enamel originated.
Ming painting is noted for both skilful refinement and reform spirit. The display demonstrates two scroll paintings by prominent artists of that period. They are the ‘Snow Landscape’ by Wen Boren and ‘Peony, Banana Leaves and Stones’ by Xu Wei.
A separate part of the exposition is dedicated to archaeological artefacts, viz the rarest jewellery and a unique set of china statuettes of an honorary escort from the tomb of the imperial family members.
The display is aimed at familiarizing Russian viewer with a genuine cultural phenomenon, a profound intellectual world of a man of education in Imperial China through the example of magnificent exhibits of one of the best Chinese museums—the Shanghai Museum.
This catalogue accompanies the exhibition "Ming Dynasty: The Radiance of Knowledge" hold at the Moscow Kremlin Museums (April-July 2018) and presenting over a hundred and fifty items from the Shanghai Museum. Four sections of the publication offer most characteristic and vivid aspects of Ming culture. The "Scholar's Studio" section introduces the key "treasures" of the man of education of the Ming dynasty (1348-1644); the "Passion for Antiquity" tells about imitating the finest pieces of art dating back to more ancient times. The third section called "Porcelain Pleiad of the Ming Dynasty" is related to the art of porcelain which flowered at that time; and the "Treasures Discovered in Ming Tombs" allows us to get acquainted with a fascinating set of statuettes of an honorary escort, comprising sixty six figures. The catalogue is of interest to both specialists and wide audience of amateurs of Chinese culture. Price: 2,000 RUB.
THE RADIANCE OF KNOWLEDGE
- Film 'The Son of Heaven'
- Ming Porcelain. Part III
- Ancient China in the Moscow Kremlin: Culture and Art through the Lens of Calligraphy I
- Ancient China in the Moscow Kremlin: Culture and Art through the Lens of Calligraphy II
- Past and Future of Calligraphy: Calligrafuturism in the Moscow Kremlin
- Ming Porcelain. Part I
- Ming Porcelain. Part II
- Invitation to the exhibition 'Ming Dynasty: The Radiance of Knowledge'
- From Shanghai to the Moscow Kremlin
- Ming Dynasty: The Radiance of Knowledge
Ming dynasty is a very interesting period in the centuries-old history of China. The fact that the samples of that epoch are for the first time presented in Russia shows that our countries reached wonderful relations not only in the political sphere, military affairs, trade and economic relations but also in the cultural field. I’m absolutely sure that this exhibition will arouse interest among Russians, and I’d like to mention one interesting, maybe, a paradoxical fact. Last year, the Moscow Kremlin Museums were attended by 1,7 mn tourists from the People’s Republic of China. I absolutely think that among our visitors in 2018, there will be Chinese tourists who will for the first time see Chinese pieces of art here in Moscow.
I’m very pleased to be present at the vernissage of this splendid display of the collection from the Shanghai Museum. It’s known that the Ming dynasty is a very significant period in Chinese history, which has a reputation for the advanced economy and great culture. It was the epoch when merchant marine sailed from China to the West seven times. It was during the Ming period when the relationships with Russia was established, and one of the very first sinologists N.Ya. Bichurin lived in China. In 2018 Russia and China celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the relations’ establishment. I sincerely wish great success for the exhibition and even more strong partnership between the Moscow Kremlin Museums and the Shanghai Museum.
The Ming dynasty for the Chinese is the symbol of the developed economy and flourishing culture, in that period the decorative and applied art full of humanistic spirit, reached a fantastic growth. The Ming intellectuals reflected their aspiration to the beauty in most diverse forms. It was not just the arousal of the Ming dynasty, but also a surprising combination of material and spiritual. The exhibited pieces reflected all the sides of the intellectual life of that period. The opening of this exhibition is not just one of the examples of successful inter-museum cooperation, but also a remarkable event in cultural cooperation of Russia and China. The exhibits from the Shanghai Museum collection can really delight to the eye of Russian visitor and familiarize him with the traditional art in Chinese culture. We are certain that through this exhibition, the Russian audience can better understand an intellectual life in China of the Ming dynasty and get an esthetic pleasure from viewing the exhibits.
The display represents the highest level of Ming works of art kept in the collection of the Shanghai Museum that is justly said to be a real treasure trove of traditional Chinese culture. Chinese and Russian cultural contexts certainly have differences, but the aspiration for artistic perfection and beauty is common. This exposition presents unique pieces that help Russian audience to form a correct estimate of delicacy and refinement of ancient Chinese culture and to familiarize with its rich inner meaning.
The exhibition “Ming Dynasty: The Radiance of Knowledge” is a significant event in Russian-Chinese relations that have been progressively developing for the past several years. This display and such level relationship became possible thanks to intensive contacts and kind partnership that the heads of our two countries have established. We have been looking forward to this exhibition—it is very special to us. The items from the Shanghai Museum presented here are absolutely unique. I’m confident that this show will be a wonderful event in the cultural life of Moscow and Russia in whole.
I liked the exhibition immensely. Here you have an opportunity to explore the culture that China is famous for. Being in China, I discovered the true Chinese culture. Everything is unbelievably dainty, fine, in restrained colours that blend into a person's perception and entire immersing into the beauty—that came back to me at the show in the Moscow Kremlin Museums.
Dina: Thanks to the Moscow Kremlin Museums for broadening the horizons—one could learn everything about the Great Geographical Discoveries or the Ming Dynasty, about amazing and rare things, without going out of Moscow.
Ilgiz: At this display, people that are into the arts can see a cultural layer of the Ming dynasty, its key elements. Here are practically all spheres of decorative art that flourished in the Ming period—bronze, porcelain, lacquer items, and even furniture is presented here. The exhibition turned out to be very informative and it reveals the Ming dynasty for the visitor in all its variety.
I really liked the exhibition and I’m amazed at the uniqueness of the techniques. You can’t stop admiring when seeing the dates. The guests of the Moscow Kremlin Museums will certainly enjoy the display very much — it is a success!
I was impressed by the silence at this display. Notwithstanding that it was the exhibition Opening Ceremony accompanied by ceremonial speech and talks of the guests. But when you enter the hall and see these exhibits, you hear nothing that doesn't concern these exhibits. It seemed to me that the invisible exhibit of the display was the silence. When you look at the brushes, at the scholar’s studio, at the table, bookcase, armchair, inscriptions on the walls—you clearly imagine Chinese scholars sitting in such silence making up their incredible works unbeknown to us; materialized silence. All these plates, statuettes, boxes… I always pay attention to the object chosen for an exhibition poster and each time I affirm the curator’s choice. A magnificent lacquer box with carved ornament in the shape of the litchi tree branches of dark-red blood colour — very beautiful. Lovely silence and lovely pieces representing this silence.
The exhibition in the Moscow Kremlin Museums makes a pleasant and an unusual impression on me because I’m not quite familiar with Chinese culture. I’m grateful to the Kremlin Museums for the opportunity to imagine the culture, everyday life and aspects of life in China as a whole. I will recommend my friends and acquaintances to visit this exhibition. Thank you very much for giving such pleasure.
A very atmospheric display. Very interesting conception and project, which influence me as a painter in the first place. Then you pay attention to the details and interesting items. The spirit of the olden times penetrates into all sense organs and fills with creative power and gives inspiration.
This is a splendid exhibition — the items presented here are rarely exhibited. I liked the statuettes, in particular, I’ve never seen them and this is an exclusive chance for the guests of the exhibition. Bravo to the Moscow Kremlin Museums!