Elegant Gifts
Social Networking through Chinese Painting and Calligraphy

from: 25.09.2012 to: 10.03.2013
Museum für Asiatische Kunst

Chinese literati, painters and calligraphers have always presented their essays, poems, and paintings as gifts to colleagues, relatives, pupils or teachers, as tokens of friendship or special attachment.

These elegant gifts often expressed gratitude for a service rendered commemorated special events such as farewells or birthdays, or recorded bonds of friendship. Sometimes, they just resulted from a whim. Whatever the circumstances, an inscription usually documented the circumstances of the gift.

This exhibition focuses on the special function of paintings and calligraphies as gifts, using selected masterpieces from the collection of the Asian Art Museum as examples. It shows how Chinese literati, painters and calligraphers used their art to build their social networks.

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