China’s contributions to the history of art have influenced cultures the world over. Since the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E.–220 C.E.), developments such as the cross-cultural porcelain trade and the circulation of distinctively Chinese aesthetic forms like calligraphy have brought the country’s cultural traditions around the globe. Among the symbols featured on the objects in this exhibition, the dragon and the iconic Chinese landscape have had particularly strong resonance in China and beyond. Collection in Focus: China presents artworks and artifacts from the collections of the MSU Broad, the MSU Museum, and MSU Library Special Collections that represent the array of traditional Chinese art forms and practices referenced in the works on view in Future Returns: Contemporary Art from China (Oct. 30, 2014 – Mar. 8, 2015) on the museum’s second floor. While the objects in this display are but a small selection from the rich historical collections housed across Michigan State University’s vibrant campus, their presentation highlights the MSU Broad’s mission to contextualize contemporary art within the language of art history in order to create dialogues that span centuries of artistic innovation.
Collection in Focus: China is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Yesomi Umolu, Assistant Curator, with Jennifer Carty, Curatorial Assistant. Support for this exhibition is provided by the MSU Broad’s general exhibitions fund.