Orientations is a bimonthly print magazine published in Hong Kong and distributed worldwide since 1969. It is an authoritative source of information on the many and varied aspects of the arts of East and Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, from the latest scholarly research to market analysis and current news.
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The Shanghai Museum celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2022. Built in the shape of an archaic bronze ding, the museum has become one of the most important institutions of Chinese art in the world, with over one million objects. This issue was originally planned not only to mark the anniversary but also to highlight the opening of a second branch of the museum in the Pudong district. However, construction has been delayed due to the Covid pandemic. Thus, a later issue will spotlight the new branch, and we focus here on the anniversary with three articles on special exhibitions.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, which reopened in 2019 after several years of refurbishment. In the exhibition ‘In-Between’, a small selection of works that embody key moments in the history of the museum is presented.
In the early 20th century, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of
Art each acquired a hanging scroll painting of misty mountain scenes from the dealer V. G. Simkhovitch (1874–1959); the painting in the former is currently dated to the Joseon era (1392–1910), while the one in the latter is labelled as of either Korean or Chinese origin. An article argues that the two paintings were originally a pair meant to be viewed together. Another article examines the development of the imperial mounting style of painting and calligraphy under the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736–95), an enthusiastic art patron who was actively involved in every step during the production of imperial works.
Earlier this year, the National Gallery of Prague opened ‘Zenga–Japanese Zen Paintings from the Kaeru-An Collection’, an exhibition of a newly donated collection of Japanese Zen art from Dutch collector and artist Felix Hess (b. 1941). An article presents highlights and shares the artistic, philosophical, and practical dimensions of Zen art.