This groundbreaking re-installation of the Ackland’s Asia galleries will feature UNC’s superior collection of art from across the Asian continent, ranging from Neolithic burial urns and Imperial porcelains to contemporary Cambodian art and Japanese Art Deco screens. Eschewing the conventional geographic and chronological organization found at most museums, The Asian Galleries: Reimagined will present an unprecedented chromatic display, as well as thematic installations, to elucidate the interconnectedness of the cultures, traditions, and arts of Asia (and beyond).
More information about each may be found below:
Color across Asia (21 December 2016 – November 2020)
This gallery will showcase the Ackland’s extensive holdings of Asian Art in a new reconfiguration, with the entire gallery arranged by color. Proceeding through a literal rainbow of cultural influence, Color across Asia will traverse the history of trade throughout the world’s most populous continent, examining the material cultures of Asia and several millennia of imitation, innovation, and invention. From the pure white of Blanc de Chine porcelains to the rich blacks of Japanese lacquers―and all the colors in between―visitors to the Ackland will learn how pigments, precious metals, and new techniques made their way from the Grand Bazaars of Iran to the temples of India, the palaces of China, and the teahouses of feudal Japan.
Flora and Fauna (January 2017-June 2017)
A glorious display of the importance of animals and botany in Asian Art, Flora and Fauna will feature prayer rugs from the Middle East, statues from India, Chinese paintings, and much more. It will also mark the debut of the Ackland’s newly acquired pair of Japanese screens by the painter Kajino Genzan (1868–1939), dazzling with their gold leaf background, exquisite colors, and beautifully rendered flowers.
Religion and Ritual (July 2017-December 2017)
With this installation, the shared traditions and deities of Asian religions―including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and more―will be displayed alongside each other, enabling Ackland visitors to understand the transmission and adaption of diverse beliefs and art forms across Asia.
Court and Capital (January 2017-June 2018)
The courts and cities of Asia were (and are) some of the largest and most important in the world. With this installation, the customs and fashions of Asian capitals will be on display, with special focus given to their transition from feudal seats to modern megacities. From the splendor of the Mughal court to the bustling metropolis of 19th-century Edo to contemporary Hong Kong, Court and Capital is a whirlwind tour of the art some of the largest and greatest cities in the history of the world.