Viewing Nature in Chinese Art: A Special Exhibit of Select Artifacts from the Museum Collection to Celebrate the 2016 Tang Prize

  • Published by Taiwan National Palace Museum
  • Chief Editor: Liu Fang-Ju
  • Language: Chinese and English
  • ISBN:978-957-562-771-3
  • Paper Back: HK$450

To fear Heaven and Earth and emulate nature are the foundations of Chinese culture. The notion that everything originated from Heaven and Earth and people's views of the Universe are clearly detailed in the Thousand Character Classic, which states that "In the beginning, formless were Heaven and Earth, and the Universe was chaotic. Then, suns and moons appeared, which began to run circularly and stars started to twinkle in the vast space. When cold winter comes, the heat of summer is gone. In autumn, people are busy harvesting, whereas in the winter, everything has been done." The perfect, harmonious coexistence between Heaven, man, and Earth preached in Confucianism, the Classic of Changes, and the Doctrine of the Mean all originated from the observation of the Universe, which later evolved to become the basis of Chinese culture and religions and facilitated the birth of unique, awe-inspiring Chinese art.

The Tang Prize, established in December 2012, includes four categories, which are "sustainable development," "biopharmaceutical science," "sinology," and "rule of law." Laureates, regardless of their race and nationality, are selected from individuals who have put forth innovative ideas and have an influence on the world. In accordance with the topic of sustainable development advocated by the Tang Prize, the National Palace Museum (NPM) curated the Viewing Nature in Chinese Art: A Special Exhibit of Select Artifacts from the Museum Collection to Celebrate the 2016 Tang Prize to demonstrate the depth and essence of Chinese art, the wisdom that Chinese people have gained by coexisting peacefully with their environments over time, and the sustainable and harmonious coexistence between man and nature in the future.

This exhibition catalogue is based on the five themes of the aforementioned exhibition, which are "The Inspiration from Nature," "Description of Actual Scenes," "On the Subject of Seasons," "The World of Imagination," and "Humanity and Nature," from which representative NPM artifact collection such as antiquities, paintings and calligraphy, and literature are selected. By observing, imitating, and interacting with the environment, gaining wisdom by networking with and learning about oneself and his/her communities, creating Chinese art, carrying forward artifact craftsmanship and techniques, setting examples of the coexistence between man and nature, and connecting the artifacts displayed in the said exhibition, the unique views of nature in Chinese culture are illustrated. In addition, the NPM's fascinating cultural assets are used to lead Eastern cultural trends and enlighten people about the way to facilitate a sustainable coexistence between man and nature, exemplifying the importance of modern Chinese culture.