2014 / LACMA /Chinese Paintings from Japanese Collections / May 11 – July 6

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Chinese Paintings from Japanese Collections

On View: May 11­—June 6
Rotation 1: May 11—June 1
Rotation 2: June 7—July 6
Location: Resnick Pavilion

Lu Jin "Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons" 15th - 16th century

Lu Ji “Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons” China, Ming dynasty, 15th – 16th century, (On view: June 7 – July 6), Set of four hanging scrolls: ink and colors on silk. Image: 68 11/16 x 39 1/4 in. each. Important Cultural Property of Japan. Tokyo National Museum. Photo courtesy of TNM Image Archives.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents the first major exhibition in the United States to explore 700 years of collecting and preserving paintings from China in Japan. Chinese Paintings from Japanese Collections features more than 30 rare masterpieces—both hanging scrolls and handscrolls—that depict ethereal landscapes, detailed flora and fauna, portraits, and scenes from key Buddhist narratives.

The works featured in the exhibition rarely travel outside of Japan, and many have never before been seen in the United States. The exhibition includes a National Treasure, fourteen Important Cultural Properties, and three Important Art Objects, all masterpieces registered with the Japanese Ministry of Culture.

Chinese Paintings from Japanese Collections explores the ways in which these objects functioned in Japan as symbols of Chinese religious and secular culture, social status, and as models for such traditions of Japanese painting (for example, Zen, Kanō, and Nanga painting).

Furthermore, the presentation examines aspects of Japanese identity that derive from traditional Chinese culture, including paintings as embodiments of Chinese cosmology, historiography, mythology, and religion.

“This exhibition presents some of the most famous Chinese paintings in the world, many of which have rarely been seen outside of Japan since their arrival in that country many centuries ago. Today, these Japanese collections are valued not only for having preserved rare Chinese paintings, but also for the ways in which their contents illuminate shifting trends in Japanese culture,” said Stephen Little, department head and curator of Chinese and Korean art at LACMA. “These works are exceptional, and this is an incredibly rare opportunity to see these masterpieces in Los Angeles.”

Due to the light-sensitive nature of the works of art, the exhibition will take place in two parts:First Rotation, May 11–June 1; Second Rotation, June 7–July 6.

The exhibition will be closed to the public for a brief period, between June 2 and 6, to accommodate the rotation of works on view.

This exhibition is organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and is made possible in part by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Blakemore Foundation. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

LACMA is grateful for the special cooperation of the Tokyo National Museum.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. (323) 857-6000 www.lacma.org  Closed Wednesday.