Chinese Art


Chinese Art

Hammer Building, Level 2: Artworks on view

LACMA is pleased to announce that works from our Chinese art collection are now on view for the first time in more than five years.

Chinese art was one of the first areas collected by the museum. Our collection spans more than four thousand years and features extraordinary works ranging from ancient jade carvings to contemporary video and photography.

The new installation presents approximately forty works, ranging from the Neolithic period to modern times. 

Probably Shakyamuni (Shijiamouni), the Historical Buddha
c. 700–800
Shanxi Province
Lidded Ritual Food Cauldron with Interlaced Dragons
c. 500–450 B.C.
Jiangxi Province, Jingdezhen
Foliated Platter with the Eight Buddhist Symbols, Flowers, and Waves
c. 1340–1368
Oval Tray with Pavilion on a Garden Terrace
c. 1279–1368

2014: The Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year begins tomorrow, January 31, 2014. To celebrate, we will talk about several pieces from LACMA’s permanent collection of Chinese art that feature the auspicious horse, which is this year’s zodiac. For thousands of years, equines have been one of the most popular animals depicted in Chinese art, and the following examples only provide a glimpse into the rich historical and symbolic significance of horses…

Equine Power, Myth, and Beauty

I am in constant wonder of the Tang horse. It sits in the middle of the Chinese art gallery, its glistening glaze somehow indicative of motion. The caramel color of the form runs over, like rain streaking the muscular frame and darkening to an almost black, rendering the hooves a pale clay color. The harness, bridle, and saddle are blotched green and pale clay, melting as it were, as if the steed was merely a manifestation of paradise, a vision in an afterlife…