Exquisite Chinese Jades Throughout the Ages

December 2, 2017

On September 20th, 2017 Poly Culture Art Center will be opening the “Exquisite Chinese Jades Throughout the Ages” Exhibition. This unprecedented exhibition will feature over 60 jade carvings from the millennium of the Song Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. The exhibition is organized by Beijing Poly Art Center and Beijing Renaissance Investment Management Limited, co-organized by Poly Culture Art Center and the supported by Poly Culture North America Investment Corporation Limited.

The traces of Chinese Jade can be found as early as the Neolithic Period. From the Hongshan culture of the Liaohe River Basin to the Longshan culture of the middle and lower Yellow River valley to the Shijiahe culture centered on the middle and lower Yangtze River region and from Lingjiatan culture to Liangzhu culture, marking the beginning of Neolithic culture. Spanning the Shang, Zhou, Qin, and Han dynasties all the way until the Ming and Qing dynasties, Chinese jade culture has transcended each dynasty and is representative of Chinese civilization as cultural relics. Confucius writes in the Book of Verse that when thought of a wise man, “his merits appear to be like jade” and that “Jade’s beauty embodies five virtues. Chinese artisans’ love of jade not only includes aesthetic beauty, but also represents terms of social values. This exhibition not only features jade ornamental works, but also will offer a range of smaller jade carvings and crafts so the audience can enjoy a closer interaction with the pieces and experience the exhibition in closer detail.

This exhibition will run from September 20th to December 2nd at Poly Culture Art Center located in downtown Vancouver. We hope to see you soon!



Featured Exhibits

Qianlong White Jade Carp

From this exhibition, a prominent piece is the White Jade Carp that was once part of renowned late Qing collector Duanfang’s personal collection. The carp is carved out of a single piece of jade and offers a green and white coloration. The head is flat yet round with a yellow hue on the top portion. The carp is full-bodied with engraved fish scales and a narrow-tipped tail. The belly of the fish features a detailed water wave pattern with waves rolling freely. The delightful carp floats on top of the waves in a combination of static yet dynamic representation. Round carvings of carp are considered rare and one of such notable size is extremely rare. This piece was produced by the Ministry of Works of the Qianlong period and was part of the personal collection of renowned late Qing collector Duanfang. Most notable from Duanfang’s collection is a set of Shang dynasty bronzes currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the United States.


Qing Dynasty Qianlong Period Green and White Jade Live and Work in Peace and Contentment Figure Ruyi

Last year’s “The Antiques of the Qianlong Period – A Mirror Reflecting a Chinese Emperor’s Attitudes towards the Past and the West” Exhibition at Poly Culture Art Center in Vancouver featured the “Ruyi Charm Inscribed with Emperor’s Poem”, a highly valued item from Emperor Qianlong’s collection. The upcoming exhibition will feature the “Qing Dynasty Qianlong Period Green and White Jade Live and Work in Peace and Contentment Figure Ruyi”, which may also hold a special place in the emperor’s heart as it was produced by the Ministry of Works in the Qianlong imperial courts. The material is large and uniform with a green coloration and contains no imperfections, further adding to the rarity. The head of the Ruyi is large and round with curved lines forming the elegant handle. Auspicious motifs of quails are depicted on the head of the Ruyi in finely carved relief.


Kangxi Grey Jade Cloud Dragon Brush Basin

Stationary found within the imperial study are an important part of jade works. Although not many have made it through the periods, however each piece is remarkably ornate and extremely rare. The “Kangxi Grey Jade Cloud Dragon Brush Basin” features a heavy and dignified jade material in a grey color with flashes of white. The interior of the basin is clean and white. The bottom includes motifs of waves in rotation with unconstrained smooth lines. The wall of the outer body features a highly embossed rippled pattern and the higher portions features a highly detailed relief of a single dragon. This exquisite jade demonstrates the craftsmanship, elegance, and attention to detail demanded of items inside the imperial study.


White Jade Mandarin Fish

Small carvings of white jade from the Song and Yuan dynasties are quite dazzling, especially the white jade mandarin fish. The body is clean and white with a delicate texture. The eyes and mouth of the carving are flattering and alluring in form. The smooth and intricate scales breaths life into the jade material. Jade material from the Song and Yuan dynasties are rare and the craftsmanship is refined and meticulous making the piece extremely rare.