China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta will be the first exhibition in the West that focuses on the artistic production and cultural impact of a region located in the coastal area south of the Yangzi River.
Called Jiangnan, this region has throughout large parts of its history been one of the wealthiest, most populous, and fertile lands. For millennia it has been an area of rich agriculture, extensive trade, and influential artistic production. Art from Jiangnan—home to such great cities as Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Nanjing, as well as to hilly picturesque landscapes stretched along rivers and lakes—has defined the image of traditional China for the world.
The exhibition features about 200 objects from Neolithic times to the 18th century, ranging from jade, silk, prints, and paintings to porcelain, lacquer, and bamboo carvings. Jiangnan’s lush, green scenery inspired artists to conceive it as heaven on earth. Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta will explore how this region gained a leading role in China’s artistic production and how it succeeded in setting cultural standards. This international exhibition will present works of art from private and public collections and museums in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan.