The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Minneapolis Institute of Art and theater artist Robert Wilson collaborate to create immersive experience
China, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Imperial Throne, Qianlong period (1736–1795). Polychrome lacquer over a softwood frame. Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton 93.32a-d.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- The Minneapolis Institute of Art collaborated with celebrated theatre director and visual artist Robert Wilson to organize a first-of-its-kind exhibition highlighting the drama, rituals, and opulence of the Qing Empire, the last imperial dynasty of China. The exhibition presents objects from Mia’s renowned collection of Chinese art, including rare court costumes, jades, lacquers, bronzes, gold ornaments, paintings, and sculpture, displayed in an immersive, experiential environment conceived of by Wilson. "Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty: Concept and Design by Robert Wilson,” presented by Sit Investment Associates, is curated by Liu Yang, Mia’s Curator of Chinese Art, and is on view February 3 through May 27, 2018.

“The staging and storytelling involved in this exhibition speak to Mia’s belief in art’s ability to inspire wonder and fuel curiosity,” said Matthew Welch, Mia’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator. “Through the use of the theatrical elements of lighting, sound, and progression, we examine the layers of imperial life—from the external presentation of the court to the internal, private life of the emperor. We want visitors to feel as though they are part of this closed, ritualized, and sometimes even dangerous world.”

During the Qing (pronounced “ching”) court’s reign (1644–1912), the arts flourished—rivaling that of Europe’s great kingdoms. This backdrop of opulence served to affirm imperial power and prestige, and acted as stagecraft to enhance the emperor’s leading role as the “son of heaven.”

Costumes worn at court are given particular attention in the exhibition, including the display of exquisite robes heavily embroidered or woven with symbolic designs such as roiling waves and faceted rocks that evoke the earth’s oceans and mountains, or stylized clouds that suggest the heavens. Dragons, a longstanding symbol of imperial authority and might, often cavort in the clouds, suggesting the emperor’s rule of heaven and earth. These symbols are also repeated on other objects throughout the exhibition and help reinforce the sense of the imperial family’s rule as mandated from heaven.

“Mia has one of the world’s great collections of Chinese art outside of China,” said Liu Yang, Mia’s curator of Chinese Art and head of China, South, and Southeast Asian Art. “Our collection of Qing dynasty textiles is one of the most comprehensive in the West, and we have many other important objects associated with the Qing emperors and their courts. It is personally very exciting for me to be able to highlight these objects in an unexpected and fresh manner by working with Robert Wilson.”

Exhibition Experience
The exhibition progresses through a series of ten galleries that lead visitors from the performative, external world of the imperial court to the intimate, interior world of the emperor. The sequence of galleries explores different aspects of imperial life, from the almost bureaucratic devotion to hierarchy and the emperor’s omnipotent control of the court to the politically expedient splendor of religious devotional objects.

Each gallery also features an original soundscape created by Wilson, in collaboration with sound designer Rodrigo Gava, and dramatic lighting by designer A.J. Weissbard.

To set the stage, visitors enter a small, darkened gallery with a single illuminated object and a subtle soundscape, encouraging them to settle their minds and leave behind the 21st century as they enter the world of the emperor. In juxtaposition, the second gallery embraces the extreme of opposites. Brightly lit and displaying approximately 200 objects including: carved lacquer boxes, bronze altar pieces, jades, gold ornaments, gilt bronzes, porcelains, and furniture—the gallery emphasizes the range of artistic creation throughout China’s long history and the force of this tradition on the Qing emperors.

An adjacent gallery seeks to recreate the sense of authority and awe inspired by meeting the emperor in his throne room. In this room with gold-leafed walls that evoke the opulence of the Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe dian) in the Forbidden City in Beijing, an imperial throne from the Qianlong period (1736-95) has been raised on a dais with stairs on three sides, four large pillars surrounding it, and a large dragon painted on the wall behind it. The soundscape emphasizes the fearsomeness of the emperor’s power by relying on percussion instruments performing ceremonial music, punctuated by intermittent screams.

Another gallery focuses on the court life of noblewomen. This room highlights the artistry developing in gold and silver production in the Qing period and the development of sophisticated technology for clothing manufacture, which created a remarkable material culture of garments and adornments. The aluminum-foil wallpaper of the gallery is designed to suggest a lavish and extravagant lifestyle, yet with a poignant soundscape that undercuts the display. A sad, bitter melody is being played on the erhu (a twostringed instrument), but unexpectedly interrupted from time to time by the sound of female giggling—a symbolic reference to the destiny and experience of Chinese women in the imperial court.

Together, the galleries vividly bring to life an intimate and dramatic sense of the imperial court during China’s last dynasty.

“Mia could not be more delighted to work with Robert Wilson on the creation of this exhibition,” said Kaywin Feldman, Mia’s Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President. “His unique approach to exhibition design and his willingness to push the boundaries make him an ideal collaborator. His style often involves dramatic contrasts—brightness and darkness, fullness and emptiness—which bring a new perspective to these historic objects.”

Today's News

February 4, 2018

Egyptian archaeologists unveil tomb of Old Kingdom priestess Hetpet

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum showcases modern and contemporary prints

First exhibition to explore Eduardo Chillida's multitude of media opens at the Meadows Museum

The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Takashi Murakami's works in first ever retrospective to be presented in Canada

Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao covers sixty years of Henri Michaux's creative activity

Exhibition brings together recent work with earlier paintings from the 1970's and 80's by Edwina Leapman

Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger opens exhibition of works by Mark Tobey

Preserved in time: WWII bunker hidden under Paris train station

Turner Contemporary explores the relationship between T.S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land' and the visual arts

Minneapolis Institute of Art and theater artist Robert Wilson collaborate to create immersive experience

First solo exhibition of Italian abstract painter Giorgio Griffa in the United Kingdom on view at Camden Arts Centre

From homemakers to makers: The history of University of Georgia's craft programs

National Postal Museum opens exhibition celebrating women's duty and service in World War I

Spertus Institute commissions site-specific installation by Chicago artist Ellen Rothenberg

Erte serigraph, Majolica pitcher, Meerschaum pipes, more at Feb. 17 auction in Florida

Museum Ludwig exhibits works by photographer couple Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch

Foam in Amsterdam opens exhibition of photographs by Lucas Foglia

Book culture returns to Iraq's post-jihadist Mosul

Banca di Bologna exhibits photograms by artist Elia Cantori

Exhibition explores the history of birds' nests and egg collecting through art

Heritage Auctions' Make Offer to Owner program hits $10 million record

Dallas Museum of Art appoints Sarah Schleuning as Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design

Fiumano Clase opens exhibition of works by recently graduated emerging artists

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Rare 1943 Lincoln Cent sells for $204,000 at Heritage Auctions

2.- Exhibition is the first to shed light on the phenomenon of the princely painter

3.- Nathaniel Silver named new Curator of the Collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

4.- Rijksmuseum van Oudheden explores the mystical world of the ancient Egyptian gods

5.- Media error draws misleading reports on sale of 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent

6.- Four men deny giant gold coin heist from Berlin's Bode Museum

7.- Tanya Bonakdar Gallery presents an immersive installation by Charles Long

8.- Egypt says stolen pharaonic tablet repatriated from United Kingdom

9.- Israeli museum under fire over 'McJesus' exhibit

10.- Claremont Rug Company founder Jan David Winitz reveals major shifts in high-end antique Oriental rug market

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful