A 15th-century life-sized bronze and Chinese ceramics dating from the second century BCE to contemporary times are among the highlights.
New Asian Collection Installation
A new perspective on the BMA’s Asian art collection debuts this fall with the addition of works from India, Indonesia, Iran, and Türkiye displayed alongside works from East Asia, resulting in new insights into materials, cultural and technological influences, and exchange and trade. From feasting to writing, the traditions associated with daily life are explored in the first gallery’s variety of ceramics, prints, and textiles.
The Museum’s strong holdings in Chinese works of art are showcased in the second gallery with metal and earthenware objects, as well as export porcelain that reveal China’s importance in world trade, its place within Asia’s diverse philosophical and religious systems, and its belief in continued existence beyond a human lifetime.
This installation is made possible by the Victor J. Schenk Trust, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and Amy L. Gould and Matthew S. Polk, Jr.
The Asian collection is located in the Julius Levy Memorial Gallery.
The BMA’s collection of Asian art includes more than 1,000 objects comprised of works from China, Japan, India, Tibet, Southeast Asia, and the Near East.
The strength of the collection resides in Chinese ceramics, with a particular depth in mortuary wares from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and utilitarian stonewares from the 11th through the 13th centuries.
Highlights from China
- a 15th-century life-sized bronze Water-Moon Guanyin
- a 2nd-3rd century Tripod Vessel with two acrobats performing handstands balanced on the rim
- an early 8th-century Figure of a Striding Camel
- a 13th-century vibrant green Covered Wine Jar
- an 18th-century Serving Plate composed of 12 dishes that fit together in the form of a flower, made for the 60th birthday of China’s Kangxi Emperor. Check out the extraordinary history of this rare object on BMA Stories!
Asian art is also represented in other areas of the BMA’s collection, including 475 Japanese prints and 1,000 textiles from across Asia.
Time Frames: Contemporary East Asian Photography
Drawn primarily from the BMA’s collection, the exhibition’s photographs, books, prints, and a hand scroll feature artists born or working in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Many of the photographers began their careers in another field, such as photojournalism, commercial photography, architecture, sculpture, or filmmaking, but they all share a similar engagement with time as a visual reference or part of their creative process.
Kimono & Obi: Romantic Echoes From Japan's Golden Age
On view for the first time when the exhibition opened in 2016, these stunning garments were made after the lifting of sumptuary laws during Japan’s Edo period (1603–1867) when commoners were forbidden to wear showy clothing with colors like red or purple.