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Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China

December 11, 2013–April 6, 2014

Beyond the Brush

Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China

Huang Yongping. Long Scroll. China, 2001. Handscroll; watercolor, pencil, colored pencil, and ink on paper. Overall: 13 1/4 in. × 50 ft. 3 in. (33.7 × 1531.6 cm). Lent by The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Some works in the exhibition defy easy categorization, but all display what might be termed an "ink aesthetic" through their selective revival of past models. One group is made up of conceptual or performance-based pieces that nevertheless make use of traditional media or formats to create permanent records of ephemeral installations or events. A second group includes three-dimensional works that do not use ink itself as a medium, but that embody an ink aesthetic in so far as their forms are inspired by traditional artworks that derive from Chinese literati pastimes or patronage.

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