China Seminar

Shawn Eichman

Shawn Eichman

15 April 2015

Clay Alchemy: Daoist Subjects in 17th Century Chinese Porcelain

The 17th century represents a highlight in the long history of Chinese ceramics. Often known as the “Transitional Period,” since it saw the end of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and the beginning of the following Qing dynasty (1644-1911), this century is unique in that the Imperial kilns were without court patronage for several decades, resulting in the dissemination of the highest quality porcelain to new markets with diverse needs and interests.

13 December 2012

An Introduction to the Buddhist Cave Chapels of the Ancient Kizil Kingdom

Although less well-known than their counterparts at Dunhuang, the Buddhist cave chapels of the ancient Kizil Kingdom, situated near modern Kuqa in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, represent one of the primary resources for understanding the development of Buddhist art in Central Asia. With more than 200 surviving caves in several different sites, they provide a treasure trove of information concerning the spread of Buddhism along the Silk Road towards China, and further suggest a source of inspiration for the development of the earliest caves at Dunhuang during the 4th-6th centuries.

10 February 2011

Fragments of Lost Perfection: The Buddhist Caves at Tianlongshan, The Early Caves (Eastern Wei Period, 534-550)

As the imported religion of Buddhism spread through China, it brought about dramatic changes in the arts. From the passes into Central Asia to the Chinese heartland, monumental cave chapels were carved into living stone, as testaments of faith, symbols of political power, and acts of filial piety. One of the most distinctive groups of Buddhist caves was located on Tianlongshan (TLS), the “Mountain of the Celestial Dragon”. While the caves are largely destroyed today and only exist in a fragmentary state, over a thousand years ago they were one of the crowning glories of Chinese Buddhist art.

14 May 2009

Treasures at Hand: Honolulu Academy of Arts' Chinese Collection

The Honolulu Academy of Arts has one of the premier collections of Chinese art in the United States. Beginning with just over two hundred items given to the Academy by its founder, Anna Rice Cooke, when the museum opened to the public in 1927, the collection has grown to over four thousand works of art ranging from the Neolithic period to the 21st century. The Academy is world-renowned for Chinese paintings from the Ming and Qing dynasties, but also has many hidden treasures of ceramics, sculpture, furniture, lacquer, bronzes, jades, and other objects.