Infatuation with Nature

Landscape and nature paintings have long been an essential staple of classical Chinese art. By exploring the abundant symbolism in rivers, flowers, mountains, and other natural elements, artists and poets express infatuation with nature’s infinite possibilities. This cultural fixation on the effortless beauty of the natural world manifests itself through powerful odes to nature, celebrating it as a source of endless inspiration.

The pairings of paintings and poetry in our exhibition facilitate a dialogue between visual and literary works. Through their union we gain a deeper understanding of nature’s role in shaping human reality. This exhibition showcases the many forms that nature takes on in relation to the human experience. Beyond symbolizing human suffering and joy, it represents a sanctuary from worldly affairs.

The paintings are ordered from the most general view of nature to the most specific. From an abstract, distant view of majestic mountain ranges to a study on a peony’s elegance, this exhibition showcases numerous perspectives and vantage points on nature. Regardless of era or dynasty, each piece is a timeless love letter to the natural world, a reminder of belonging that erases our differences.

Online Student Curatorial Team:
Ava Friedlander ’20, Kela Harrington ’19, Lucy Liang ’17, and Yuxiao Meng ’19

Ava Friedlander ’20, Kela Harrington ’19, Lucy Liang ’17, Yuxiao Meng ’19
Photographs by Lynne Graves for SCMA.