Space landscapes: Water, stones and the transcendence of matter

Exhibition March 16 − September 20, 2021
Art Institute of Chicago hosts an exhibition "Space Landscapes: Water, Stones and the Transcendence of Matter".

The exhibition introduces visitors to the works of the Chinese artist Tai Xiangzhou, who revived and improved the ancient Chinese technique of creating landscapes with blurred ink.

The Chinese Song Dynasty (960-1279) was rightfully recognized as the world's first Renaissance period, ahead of Europe by more than 300 years. It was during this period that realistic and compelling depictions of landscapes first emerged, as artists developed techniques to convey the visual effects of distance and relative scale, the hardness of objects and soil, and the lightness of the atmosphere. Landscapes - the Chinese word for shan shui, or "mountains and waters" - were often monumental, showing tiny figures amid vast, almost endless views. Sometimes they offered the opposite perspective in intimate scenes of nature. Among the latter, an album of 12 works by Ma Yuan (circa 1160 / 65–1225) is unique in that it focuses exclusively on water and waves. It was this album that inspired contemporary Chinese artist Tai Xiangzhou to create 36 Space Symphonies paintings.

Based on site materials Art Institute of Chicago.