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Bu bai
Arranging the White

01.03.2022 to 22.08.2022
Humboldt Forum

“Bu bai” is a traditional Chinese calligraphy term. It refers to the concept of arranging the white background in relation to the black ink strokes. 

This method applies on three levels: a single character, a column or group of characters, and the entire layout. In Chinese philosophy the black and white, or solid and void areas, are two complementary forces, interlocking and interdependent – like yin and yang.

Bu bai is also an irreplaceable form of expression in Chinese painting, which has employed calligraphic brushwork since at least the Song dynasty (960–1279). This is especially the case in paintings of orchids, rocks and bamboo, but also landscapes.

This temporary presentation of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin was curated by Birgitta Augustin and is part of the permanent exhibition “Ethnological Collections and Asian Art”in the Humboldt Forum.

Buddha (Pakistan, 2--3. century) in the module "Buddhist Art in South Asia. Stupas, Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas" of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst in the Humboldt Forum
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst / Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss / Alexander Schippel

Permanent exhibition

Kano Chikanobu (1660 – 1728), Warriors beneath Cherry Blossoms, Japan, Edo/Tokugawa period, early 18th century, hanging scroll
© Museum für Asiatische Kunst – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, given by Marie Meyer and Ernst Grosse / Jürgen Liepe

30.03.2022 to 13.06.2022

Choi Jeong Hwa (b. 1961), The Moment of Memory (Sweat, Heart, Bread), Korea, 2020
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst / Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss / David von Becker

23.09.2021 to 18.07.2022

10178 Berlin

wheelchair accessible

U-Bahn: Friedrichstraße
S-Bahn: Friedrichstraße, Hackescher Markt
Tram: Am Kupfergraben, Hackescher Markt
Bus: Staatsoper, Lustgarten, Friedrichstraße

Low-carbon public transport connections
Local traffic
Long distance

Sun 10:30 - 18:30
Mon 10:00 - 18:30
Tue closed
Wed 10:30 - 18:30
Thu 10:30 - 18:30
Fri 10:30 - 18:30
Sat 10:30 - 18:30

Opening times on public holidays Opening Hours