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Tags for: To the River’s South in Japanese Painting
  • Gallery Rotation

To the River’s South in Japanese Painting

Friday, December 15, 2023–Sunday, June 2, 2024
Location:  235A–B Japanese
Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Japanese Art Galleries

About The Exhibition

The Chinese words jiang, or “river,” and nan, or “south,” together form the region name Jiangnan, or “river’s south.” The river is the Yangzi River, or “Long River,” that flows from west to east across China, emptying into the sea near the city of Shanghai. The “south” is a constellation of cities, mountain ranges, lakes, and rivers reaching as far west as Mount Lu, about eight hours from Shanghai by car (684 kilometers, or 425 miles). Core episodes in Chinese history and literature were set in or inspired by these sites. Transmitted through text and image, records and representations of Jiangnan occupied a significant position in the lives of creators and consumers of culture across East and Southeast Asia in the centuries leading up to the present. Some of the paintings and painted ceramics in this gallery show how Japanese artists of the past portrayed two landmarks in Jiangnan, Mount Lu and West Lake, and Xiao-Xiang, a place located physically west of Jiangnan but an important touch point in artistic productions from that region.