Chinese Paintings from Japanese Collections

Resnick Pavilion
May 11, 2014–July 6, 2014

This is the first major exhibition in the United States to explore the story of Chinese paintings in Japan over the course of six hundred years, featuring nearly forty masterpieces of the Tang (618–906), Song (960–1279), Yuan (1260–1368), and Ming (1368–1644) dynasties. Most of these paintings, owned by Japanese museums, have never been displayed outside of Japan.

The exhibition demonstrates Japan’s role in preserving a large part of China’s cultural and artistic heritage during three key phases in Japanese history: the Kamakura and Muromachi period (14th–16th centuries); the Edo period (17th–19th centuries); and the Meiji, Taishô, and early Shôwa periods (early 20th century). Chinese paintings functioned in Japan as symbols of Chinese culture, indicators of social status, and models for styles of Japanese painting, such as Zen and Kanô School painting.

Please note: Due to the light-sensitive nature of the art, the exhibition takes place in two parts.
Part I  May 11–June 1, 2014
Part II  June 7–July 6, 2014

This exhibition is included in General Admission.
Join now and see it free, or reserve a ticket.

See the exhibition checklist.


This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was made possible in part by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Blakemore Foundation. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

LACMA is grateful for the special cooperation of the Tokyo National Museum.

Additional support is provided by Bonhams.

Image: Lü Ji, China, Birds and Flowers of the Four Seasons, Ming dynasty, 15-16th century, Set of four hanging scrolls; ink and colors on silk, Tokyo National Museum, image courtesy of TNM Image Archive.

High Wind on a Snowy Pass
Wang E
China, Ming dynasty, late 15th century
Wangchuan in Mist and Clouds
Xie Shichen
China, Ming dynasty, 16th century
The Knick-knack Peddler
Lü Wenying
China, Ming dynasty, 14-15th century
The Hermit Xu You and the Oxherd Chaofu
Wu Wei
China, Ming dynasty, 15th century
The Pan'gu Farewell
Dong Qichang
China, Ming dynasty, early 17th century
Misty Rivershore Landscape
Xia Gui (attributed to)
China, Southern Song dynasty
Hanshan and Shide
Yan Hui
China, Yuan dynasty
The Four Sleepers
China, Yuan dynasty, before 1351

A Curators Point of View

In one painting, a dragon’s powerful body writhes in space as it hurtles through clouds and mist. In another, a Zen master leans on his pet tiger; both the monk and the tiger are sound asleep. In a third, two Zen eccentrics sit on the exposed roots of a pine tree and cackle with laughter in a mountain forest. Dating to the 13th and 14th centuries, these three paintings are among the many masterpieces included in the first...