SALEM, MASS.- The Peabody Essex Museum
presents Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art, an installation featuring a selection of more than 30 works spanning 3,000 years which have been drawn from the museum's renowned Chinese collection. Organized by Daisy Yiyou Wang, PEM's recently appointed curator of Chinese and East Asian art, this installation examines how festivals, ceremonies and celebrations have long inspired creative expression in Chinese culture. Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art is on view through mid-2015.
"Life in China is marked by a cycle of celebratory and commemorative events," Wang says. "The artworks on display -- from humble burial figurines to exquisite imperial ceramics -- evoke the occasions for which they were created: the opulence of a royal wedding, the liveliness of a drinking party, the sadness of a funeral procession and poetic evocation of spring."
Double Happiness is organized into five sections -- The Altar, Seasons, Weddings, Feasting and Reverence for the Dead -- and features ceramics, jewelry, jade, sculpture, glass and metalwork. Symbols from nature and myth, conveying messages of happiness, longevity, fertility and family harmony, embellish objects associated with weddings.
Daisy Yiyou Wang oversees the museum's Chinese, Japanese and Korean collections. Prior to this appointment, she served as Chinese art specialist at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, where she contributed to a number of exhibitions, including Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan (2011) and the artist Cai Guo-Qiang's Explosion Event on the National Mall (2012). Wang's publications cover topics ranging from Buddhist art to contemporary art and the history of collecting Chinese art.
With the goal to share the best practices and develop new partnerships, Wang founded the American Alliance of Museums' China Program, the largest annual U.S.-China museum professional exchange program. Her work was merited with a Smithsonian Scholarly Studies Award and a Valuing World Cultures Award. Wang was a Smithsonian Post-Doctoral Fellow, a Getty Museum Leadership Fellow, and a grant reviewer for the Getty Research Institute and the Smithsonian. She earned her Ph.D. in art history from Ohio University, and her M.A. in English literature and her B.A. in international law and affairs from the University of International Relations in Beijing.