detail: Korea, Portrait of a Confucian scholar-official (yangban) 19th century, Korea, Bequest of R.H. Longden 1994, 947A51

ELEGANT PURSUITS: ART OF THE EAST ASIAN SCHOLAR 

Now showing until 7 December 2014
Gallery 20
Free admission

Elegant pursuits: Arts of the East Asian scholar presents the cultivated environment of the scholar-artist filled with the implements for his aesthetic, moral and spiritual cultivation such as flowing brushstrokes of calligraphy, austere ceramics used for tea, lacquerware and sculpture.

For cultures which adopted Chinese language and cultural elements such as Japan, Korea and northern Vietnam, the ideal of the scholar-artist represented an enduring paragon of social and cultural success whose intellectual, moral and aesthetic sensibilities were the result of studying the Confucian canon and artistic traditions such as the Three Perfections (calligraphy, paintings and poetry).

Essential to the scholar’s practice were the Four Treasures (brush, ink, inkstone and paper) which were believed to reveal his true character. The dynamic qualities of the brush and ink pervade the display on screens and hanging scrolls.


Detail: Korea, Portrait of a Confucian scholar-official (yangban) 19th century, Korea, Bequest of R.H. Longden 1994,947A51

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