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Collection Asian art East Asia China

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The importance of ritual and ceremony, the scholar tradition, trade, the demanding taste of the imperial courts, and an enduring reference to the past are reflected in our collection and displays of Chinese art, which include, amongst other forms, the ‘Three Perfections’ – painting, calligraphy and poetry.

The Chinese collection presents a panorama of Chinese artistic invention from the Shang dynasty (c1700–1027 BCE) through to the present. It ranges from bronzes, jade and neolithic pottery, through the development of porcelain and the increasingly sophisticated application of coloured glazes, to Buddhist arts, painting and calligraphy. Textiles, bamboo carving and lacquer are represented along with a wide-ranging collection of 20th-century prints and modern and contemporary paintings by masters such as Wang Zhen, Qi Baishi and Wu Changshuo.