"Pt. 1. Symbolism from nature: Flowers and plants. Fruits, vegetables, kernels, and seeds. Minerals. Real and imaginary birds. Insects, reptiles, fish, and amphibians. Real and imaginary animals -- pt. 2. Mortals and religious beings: Children. Single male figures. Group figures. Buddhist deities and figures. Female figures -- pt. 3. Inanimate objects: Borders and other repeated patterns. Chinese characters. Colors. Numbers. Religious images and symbols. Inanimate objects."
The Eight Immortals, the five elements, the dragon and the phoenix, yin and yang--representations of these important cultural symbols are pervasive in Chinese literature, art and architecture. This book not only explains essential cultural symbols, accompanied by their Chinese characters, but also contains many articles on Chinese beliefs, customs, arts and crafts, food, agriculture, and medicine. Illustrated.
"This book begins with the understanding that, in addition to its aesthetic qualities, Asian art and material artifacts are expressive of cultural realities and constitute a 'visible language' with messages that can be read, interpreted, and analyzed. Asian art and artifacts are understood in their contexts, as 'windows' into cultures..."
"Splendidly illustrated with works ranging from Bronze Age vessels to twentieth-century conceptual pieces, this volume is a wide-ranging look at zoomorphic and anthropomorphic imagery in Chinese art... The contributors...pursue in depth, in complexity, and in multiple dimensions the ways that Chinese have used animals from earliest times to the present day to represent and rhetorically stage complex ideas about the world around them, examining what this means about China, past and present."
Grove Art Online provides broad national and regional overviews and shorter essays on individual artists, kinds of art, and significant, individual works of art and architecture. Most entries include basic bibliographies. You need to copy/paste book titles in BULS to see if the books are available online.
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