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Rubbings from China and their Stories

Rubbings from China and their Stories / Heiseikan Thematic Exhibition Room   March 15, 2011 (Tue) - May 15, 2011 (Sun)

 Image of "Preface to the Lanting Pavilion, Dingwu version, Ink rubbings (Dugu version), By Wang Xizhi, Stele: Eastern Jin dynasty, dated 353, China (Gift of Mr. Takashima Kikujiro)" 
Preface to the Lanting Pavilion, Dingwu version, Ink rubbings (Dugu version), By Wang Xizhi, Stele: Eastern Jin dynasty, dated 353, China (Gift of Mr. Takashima Kikujiro)

In ancient China, ink rubbing developed as a convenient method of making reproductions. The oldest surviving rubbing is Fountain Memory from the Tang dynasty, found in Cave 17 at Dunhuang, however the origin of ink rubbing is thought to date back to even earlier times. Very few ink rubbings from as early as the Tang dynasty survive today.

Stone inscriptions with historical importance are known as "steles." Steles often incorporate stately and orderly calligraphic styles such as seal script, clerical script, and regular script. Calligraphic models known as "copybooks," another category of inscriptions, were also engraved on wood and stone. The majority of these models were produced in styles used in everyday life, such as running and cursive scripts. In the Song dynasty, many high-quality types of paper and ink came to be manufactured, leading various techniques of ink rubbing to evolve. Rubbings produced using sophisticated techniques were highly admired by collectors for their prestige and beauty.

This year's annual joint project between Tokyo National Museum and the Taito City Calligraphy Museum focuses on renowned ink rubbings from China. Rubbings comprise the foundation of the study of calligraphy. As we extend our view to the stories behind them, this exhibition introduces the appeal of ink rubbings, along with stories of their owners and their transmission through history. We hope you enjoy the world of ink rubbings represented here through famed writings of Wang Xizhi and other masterpieces from Tang and Song China, the original inscriptions of which are now lost.

 Major works in this exhibition

* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Confucius Mausoleum Stele, Ink rubbings, By Yu Shinan, Stele: Tang dynasty, dated 628, China (Lent by Mitsui Memorial Museum, Tokyo)
Meng Fashi Bei Stele, Ink rubbings, By Chu Suilang, Stele: Tang dynasty, dated 642, China (Lent by Mitsui Memorial Museum, Tokyo)
Shancaisi Temple Stele, Ink rubbings, By Wei Qiwu, Stele: Tang dynasty, dated 725, China (Lent by Mitsui Memorial Museum, Tokyo)
Preface to the Lanting Pavilion, Dingwu version, Ink rubbings (Dugu version), By Wang Xizhi, Stele: Eastern Jin dynasty, dated 353, China (Gift of Mr. Takashima Kikujiro)
Huashian Temple Stele, Ink rubbings (Shunde version), Stele: Later Han dynasty, dated 165, China (Lent by The Art Museum, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Xia Cheng Bei Stele, Ink rubbings, Stele: Eastern Han dynasty, dated 170 (Lent by The Art Museum, Institute of Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Tian Fa Shen Chen Bei Stele, Ink rubbings, Stele: Wu dynasty, dated 276, China (Lent by Osaka Municipal Museum of Art)
Preface to Lanting Pavilion, Dingwu version, Ink rubbings (Hanzhuchuan version), By Wang Xizhi, Stele: Eastern Jin, dated 353, China (Lent by the Calligraphy Museum, Taito city, Tokyo)
Shiquitie Copybook, Ink rubbings (Ueno version), By Wang Xizhi, Stele: Eastern Jin dynasty, 4th century, China (Lent by Kyoto National Museum)

 

 Cooperative project

The Calligraphy Museum (http://www.taitocity.net/taito/shodou/) (in Japanese)
Rubbings from China and their Stories
Tuesday, March 15 - Sunday, May 15, 2011

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Heiseikan Auditorium  March 19, 2011 (Sat)   13:30 - 15:00   RESERVE_FINISH
Heiseikan Thematic Exhibition Room  March 29, 2011 (Tue)
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