For Collectors of the Fine and Decorative Arts

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Features From Previous Issues

Think in Ink

Liu Dan, Unfolding Time

A dedicated group of Chinese artists have revitalized the centuries-old tradition of ink-and-brush painting, giving it a distinctly contemporary aesthetic. Continue reading

Dynamic Ceramics

A rust-splashed black-glazed ovoid bottle-vase, Song Dynasty (960–1279)

With changing tastes, growing interest from China’s middle class and ancient objects emerging from the ground, there are some new opportunities in the hugely diverse realm of Chinese earthenware. Continue reading

Otherworldly Masquerade

There is something inherently uncanny about masks. The placement of a false face over a real face, the displacement of identity, the fixed expression, all conspire to unsettle or even frighten the beholder. The sense of the weird is especially strong in masks that were intended to represent unearthly beings and to allow humans to temporarily assume the identity of denizens of the spirit world during religious or magical ceremonies. Continue reading

Critic’s Notebook: Conceptualizing Tradition

In 1997, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei published a photograph showing Tiananmen Square blocked out by his middle finger. He titled his image Study in Perspective, in a phrase making a provocative statement out of an obscene gesture. Formulating his contempt for power in a manner akin to a classical painter extending a digit to reckon proportions, Ai suggested that the individual artist might eclipse even the most oppressive government. Continue reading