Guardians of time. Ceramic sculpture of ancient China 27/11/2018 automatic translate
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Главное здание ГМИИ им. А.С. Пушкина
ул. Волхонка, 12
Pushkin Museum to them. A.S. Pushkin to the end of 2018 presents an exhibition of ceramic sculptures of ancient China "Guardians of Time." The exhibition includes rare items - figurines of animals-symbols of the Chinese calendar, referring to the period from II. BC. until the XVII century. AD
The name of the exhibition is associated with the traditional Chinese calendar cycle, which is popular all over the world. It is divided into five twelve-year periods. Each year has a symbol animal: Mouse, Bull, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog, Pig. Day also divided into twelve gaps - "custody", which are under the auspices of these same animal symbols.
Traditional ritual ceramic sculptures of dogs, pigs, boars and compositions of 12 animal symbols of the Chinese calendar date back to the Han, Tang and Ming dynasties in China. Such ritual sculptures are rarely exhibited in Russia, therefore, of course, they will arouse interest and broaden the Russian viewer’s ideas about the art of the Far East.
According to the Eastern lunar-solar traditional calendar adopted in China and some other countries, 2018 is the year of the Dog. In the Middle Kingdom on February 16, the year of the Earthen Yellow Dog was replaced by the year of the Fiery Red Chicken, and the year of the Earth Yellow Pig will replace him on February 5, 2019. That is why the exhibition mainly exhibits sculptures of dogs and several figures of boars and pigs.
Archaeological discoveries in China provide us with rich artistic material illustrating the traditional life and life of the Chinese from ancient times. Belief in the existence of life after death, the cult of ancestors, gave rise to the idea that a person in the other world should be accompanied by objects surrounding him during his life.
Already in the 3–2 millennium BC conditional rituals and the cult of ancestor worship fundamental to the Chinese tradition are gradually formed. The Chinese believed that the souls of people are immortal. The descendants who remain on the earth should glorify their ancestors by their deeds. --- From antiquity, a large number of sacred objects were placed in burials, many of which have survived to the present day: mainly, these were products made of durable materials - bronze and jade, which were considered sacred, and also from ceramics.
By the middle of the 1st millennium BC the Chinese have stopped sacrificing the ancestors of people and animals. They began to be replaced with objects created from ceramics, wood and other materials, which were called mintsi - “bright things”, “models”. Craftsmen made models of people, animals, household items, uniforms, etc. The most striking example of the implementation of these ideas is the burial of Emperor Shihuan (ruled 221-210 BC) of the Qin dynasty (221-207 BC). The construction of this complex, the reconstruction and construction of a model of the universe in it - the sky with luminaries, earth with gardens, trees and rivers of mercury, palaces with security mechanisms and many other details - is described in the “Historical Notes” by Sima Qian (c. 146–86 up to AD) - the famous historiographer of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC –9 AD). Sima Qian mentioned in particular that Qin Shihuang was buried with an army. It seemed fiction, hyperbole. However, after the discovery in 1974 of parts of the complex, in which several thousand ceramic figures of soldiers of human height and horses were already excavated; as well as two carriages with sculptures of ladies’ and fours bronze horses; and many other products - that is, after the discovery of the "eternal army" there is no doubt that the description of Sima Qian corresponds to reality. Never again in Chinese history has such a recreation been such a sweep, but the tradition has remained in a simplified form. Sculptures of people, animal figurines, models of buildings, utensils continued to be made of metal, varnish, wood and clay, depending on the wealth of the customer, but they became much smaller.
The need to create a large number of sculptures for altars and ritual purposes led to the development of crafts. Many new techniques were used in the manufacture of mints: the use of colored clays, molds, prints; special surface treatment of ceramic products, the use of different firing temperatures, the use of monochromatic and colored low-temperature glazes.
Among the ritual statuettes, a special place is occupied by figurines depicting animals: horses, dogs, pigs, birds and other creatures, as well as animal symbols of the twelve-year calendar cycle. For example, sculptures of dogs were found already in the graves of the Neolithic time. They were placed near the owners, usually in the legs, sometimes near or under the body of the owner. Judging by the artifacts found, such figurines-symbols were highly appreciated.
Marina Loshak, director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. A.S. Pushkin: “The Russian audience traditionally with great attention treats the art of the countries of the Far East and especially the centuries-old culture of China rich in its traditions. Without a doubt, a lot of new and interesting can be found in the chamber, but deep in meaning and elegant in form exhibition. Works bribe mastery of the technique of molding and modeling, color painting and polychrome glaze, and at the same time they reflect the keen interest of Chinese artists to the world, their observation and ability to notice the details that fascinate the modern viewer with their sharpness and expressiveness. The works on display, and there are about forty of them, belong to several Moscow collectors, who largely initiated the exhibition. ”
State Museum of Oriental Art
Collection of Cyril Danelia
Collection of Mikhail Aldushenko
Collection of Katya Arshavskaya
Collection of Alexey Golubovich
Collection of Alexandra Ivanova
Natalia Lebedeva collection
Dates: December 6, 2018 - February 10, 2019
Venue: Main Building (Volkhonka, 12), Hall No. 31
The curators of the exhibition are: Maria Menshikova, senior researcher, curator of the collection of Chinese applied art of the Oriental Department of the State Hermitage Museum; Kira Vyazovikina, Senior Researcher, Department of the Ancient East, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts A.S. Pushkin