“Elegance and Grandeur: The Memory of Song Dynasty Artistic Life” Exhibition on Song-style Aesthetics Research Opens

HANGZHOU, China, July 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On July 3, the “Elegance and Grandeur: The Memory of Song Dynasty Artistic Life” Exhibition on Song-style Aesthetics Research opened at the Deshou Palace Ruins Museum of the Southern Song Dynasty in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Co-hosted by the China Academy of Art (CAA), the exhibition aims to advance the study of Song-style aesthetics, preserve and promote the elegant and refined cultural legacy of the Song Dynasty, and highlight its value on a global scale.

The narrative and layout of the exhibition space, designed around the theme of “Seeking Authenticity through Curved Realms”, are crafted to create a flowing, serpentine path for visitors. The exhibition is divided into four major thematic sections: “Admiring Lofty Peaks”, “Wandering into the Realm”, “Twisting Mountain Paths”, and “A Grand View”. Through immersive scenic settings, key visual elements, and an introductory message amidst a backdrop of layered mountain ranges, it portrays the majestic beauty, delight, and epiphanies of Song-style aesthetics. Each section presents a unique narrative and curatorial concept, leading visitors progressively deep into the exhibition’s rich motifs.

The exhibition is structured into eight sub-thematic segments, arranged across a hall, gallery, courtyard, and cave-like setting, showcasing the multifaceted charm of Song-style aesthetics. The themes cover Song Dynasty paintings, calligraphy, furniture, and architecture, offering a comprehensive view of the era’s artistic expressions. The painting segment illustrates the artists’ ethos of “investigating things for self-enlightenment”, presenting richly detailed landscapes, flora and fauna, and bustling city scenes. The calligraphy segment shows works that emphasize “connotation” at their core, where master calligraphers display diverse artistic charm and styles, showcasing the varied aesthetics of calligraphy. The furniture theme reveals how Song furniture, while inheriting traditional elements, inspired new patterns of living and aesthetic trends. The celadon theme underscores the exquisite craftsmanship and cultural significance of Song celadon. The architectural theme employs remnants of Song structures to recreate the interplay between landscape and architecture. The garden theme traces the evolution from the management of Hangzhou’s West Lake to the poetic designs of gardens, reflecting the natural beauty and cultural intelligence of the Southern Song gardens. The pattern theme features the minimalist yet deeply emotive designs typical of the Song Dynasty, rooted in everyday life, encouraging contemplation of the aesthetic dialectic between nature and human culture. The attire theme examines Song garments through the lens of contemporary aesthetics, presenting an innovative reinterpretation of Song-style aesthetic principles in modern fashion design. Additionally, the exhibition features four scenic animated game settings within the courtyard, which integrate with and reflect the indoor themes, further enriching the presentation and immersive experience of Song-style aesthetics.

Throughout the exhibition, experts and scholars from diverse disciplines will engage with the public through forums, lectures, and elegant assemblies centered on Song culture. Through a series of meticulously planned events, the exhibition unfolds the rich layers of Song-style cultural meanings, aimed at fostering deep interactions and exchanges with a wide audience, both domestically and internationally.

The exhibition will run until August 3, 2024.


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