Asia Week New York zooms in on China's Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta
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Asia Week New York zooms in on China's Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta
The Thousand Buddha Hall and the Pagoda of the "Cloudy Cliff" Monastery, from Twelve Views of Tiger Hill, Suzhou, after 1490. Shen Zhou (Chinese, 1427–1509). Album leaf; ink on paper or ink and slight color on paper; image: 31.1 x 41 cm (12 1/4 x 16 1/8 in.); overall: 36.5 x 49.9 cm (14 3/8 x 19 5/8 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 194.

NEW YORK, NY.- Asia Week New York, in collaboration with The Cleveland Museum of Art, is delighted to present the webinar: From a Land of Pestilential Vapors to Paradise on Earth, featuring guest speaker Dr. Clarissa von Spee, the James and Donna Reid Curator of Chinese Art and Interim Curator of Islamic Art, Chair of Asian Art. China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta, curated by Dr. von Spee, is the first exhibition in the West to focus on the artistic production and cultural impact of a region called Jiangnan, located in the coastal area south of the Yangzi River. To register click here:

Dr. von Spee will explore how this region gained a leading role in China’s artistic production and how it succeeded in setting cultural standards and will present works of art from private and public collections and museums in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan. Jiangnan has throughout large parts of its history been one of the wealthiest, most populous, and most fertile lands. For millennia, it has been an area of rich agriculture, extensive trade, and influential artistic production. Art from Jiangnan—home to such great cities as Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Nanjing, as well as to hilly picturesque landscapes interspersed with rivers and lakes—has defined the image of traditional China for the world.

The exhibition at The Cleveland Museum of Art features more than 200 objects from Neolithic times to the 18th century, ranging from jade, silk, prints, and paintings to porcelain, lacquer, and bamboo carvings. Jiangnan’s lush, green scenery inspired artists to conceive it as heaven on earth.

The moderator, Dessa Goddard, Vice-President, US Head of the Asian Art Group at Bonhams and former Chairman of Asia Week New York, oversees all company specialists and consultants in the fields of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Himalayan, Indian and Southeast Asian Art in North America at Bonhams and is the Senior North American Chinese Specialist in charge of acquiring consignments for the company's auctions in New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.

Dr. Clarissa von Spee

Dr. Clarissa von Spee brings more than a decade of museum experience to the Cleveland Museum of Art. From 2008 until 2016, von Spee served as curator of the Chinese and Central Asian Collections, Department of Asia, at the British Museum in London. She organized exhibitions including The Printed Image in China from the 8th to the 21st Centuries (2010); Modern Chinese Ink Paintings (2012); and Gems of Chinese Painting: A Voyage along the Yangzi River (2014).

In 2013, Dr. von Spee became a Fellow of the Center of Visual Studies at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. Previously, she was assistant professor at the Institute for East Asian Art History, Heidelberg University, and curator at the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst in Cologne.

Dr. von Spee received her PhD from Heidelberg University, having also studied in Taipei, Shanghai, and Paris. In 2016, she was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to conduct research on the art of the Jiangnan region of China. In 2019, she curated the exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: Cuyahoga River Lightning, followed by China through the Magnifying Glass: Masterpieces in Miniature and Detail in 2022, both on display in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Julia and Larry Pollock Focus Gallery.

Her recent publications include Modern Chinese Ink Painting: A Century of New Directions (2012); Modern Chinese Painting and Europe New Perceptions, Artists Encounters, and the Formation of Collections, coedited with Michaela Pejčochová (2017); and Cai Guo-Qiang: Cuyahoga River Lightning (2019).

Asia Week New York
The collaboration of top-tier international Asian art galleries, the major auction houses-Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, iGavel, and Sotheby’s–and numerous museums and Asian cultural institutions, Asia Week New York is a week-long celebration filled with simultaneous gallery open houses, Asian art auctions as well as numerous museum exhibitions, lectures, and special events. Participants from the United States and countries abroad unveil an extraordinary selection of museum-quality treasures from China, India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Japan, and Korea.

Asia Week New York Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade membership organization registered with the state of New York.

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