June 21, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

Cheesecake anyone?

Actually not so much "cheesecake" but rather a celebration of feminine beauty through the works of a number of celebrated 20th century Chinese painters. This is the second of two volumes exploring the portrayal of female subjects in classical Chinese painting. Many of the subjects are on classical themes, but there are a few the show the influence of the "Shanghai Flower" calendar girl.

Thankfully, the book's text includes a competent English translation. If there is interest in other artful ventures (and Art IS Spirit and Spice in my life!) I will be happy to post more in the future.

Let me say this in my first post, so there is no misunderstanding: I AM a Sinophile. It is an amazing culture and a thrilling society - even today during their hyper-capitalist indulgence - as they dance with "Socialism with Chinese characteristics". While it is true, much (read ALL...) of the traditional arts are under siege by the marketplace - which has been far more lethal than the Cultural Revolution ever aspired - it is astonishing, and heartbreaking how much real beauty remains. Go into any reasonably well-inventoried bookstore in a large city in China, and when you reach the "Art Book" section (which is frequently a room independant of the rest of the store), you will see wall after wall, bookshelf after bookshelf of hundreds upon HUNDREDS of beautifully printed tomes depicting the oeuvre of hundreds of artists whom we in the west have NO knowledge of! I will not even mention the over-heated market for contemporary Chinese artists...

All that being said, beauty and its apprehension and appreciation are food for MY spirit. I hope my humble offerings can find a place on your plates as well!

Blesings to all!



1 comment:

  1. Dear Qi, the answer to your post you can see above :)

    There is so little we know, not just about China ...