For Students

Past Exhibitions: 2003

Japanese Visions of China

September 21, 2002-January 26, 2003
Asian Galleries

Japanese Visions of China
Hine Taizan (1813-1869),
Landscape after Shen Zhou, dated 1849
Handscroll, ink on paper
Museum purchase, 1962/1.106

During the latter half of the eighteenth and most of the nineteenth centuries, Chinese culture held tremendous attraction for many Japanese intellectuals - especially those outside the circles of political power. A ban on overseas travel meant that no experience of reality could dull the utopian visions of those Japanese poets, physicians, and entrepreneurs who eagerly imported Chinese books, wrote poetry in Chinese, and took up painting in the Chinese literati style. This exhibition will feature twenty works of Japanese painting and calligraphy executed in self-consciously Chinese styles. On view simultaneously with the exhibition, Masterworks of Chinese Painting: In Pursuit of Mists and Clouds, Japanese Visions of China will allow viewers to see for themselves both what Japanese artists learned from their supposed models, and how they departed from them to arrive at a new and highly creative vision. The exhibition explores questions about what China meant, and to whom, in early modern Japan.

Support for Japanese Visions of China has been provided by the Blakemore Foundation and the University of Michigan's Office of the Provost and the Center for Japanese Studies.