Duan Jianyu, Detail of Beautiful Dream 4, 2008, Ink on cardboard, 23 1/2 × 20 in., Sigg Collection, Hong Kong, Photo by pburka via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License. Duan Jianyu, Detail of Beautiful Dream 4, 2008, Ink on cardboard, 23 1/2 × 20 in., Sigg Collection, Hong Kong, Photo by pburka via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.

Make the Time: Contemporary Chinese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Currently on view through April 6th at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the fascinating exhibition, “Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China.”  All of the works of art exhibited continue the Chinese artistic tradition of using pen and ink in a way that both questions the established paradigms and finds new modes of expression by reinterpreting the principal medium of Chinese painting and calligraphy.

Among other important works of art, visitors will see Duan Jianyu’s Beautiful Dream 4, a lovely landscape painting of the Li River flowing in front of the karst hills in Guilin – a type of image that has become cliché, or a brand in itself.  That the artist painted the scene on corrugated cardboard indicates literally how such an idyllic China today is packaged for distribution and sale.