Posts tagged ‘china’
Hi there! I’m Steven and I am currently interning here at the Newark Museum. I will be here throughout the summer giving you my take on the different works of art, as well as a peek into some great events and happenings.
There are times I wish that I was born in a different time period. The allure of wielding a katana while wearing samurai armor; of the battlefields and warring eras along with the glory that came from an honorable life in Japan long ago; the simple and romanticized life of the samurai has always captured my attention. That being said, I find everything inspired by those time periods is worth experiencing. The teapot Behind Quiet Veils of the Blue Willow, created in 2000 by artist Red Weldon Sandlin, incorporates a story of star-crossed lovers — an idea that we’ve all heard about — that originated in the 1700s by Josiah Spode in order to market his mass-produced imitation tableware by illustrating traditional Chinese customs. Romanticized views of ancient Chinese legends, such as the story of Spode, grabbed the attention of Westerners and created a market for blue and white porcelain especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. Sandlin uses this story to not only incorporate Chinese customs, but also to instill the notion that change is inevitable.
The illustrations on this teapot come from the above-mentioned story, the story of the Blue Willow. The star-crossed lovers being from different social classes were not allowed to be together, so they hid. Their secret meetings under a willow tree kept them alive and more importantly, near each other. As they saw no end to their forced separation, they did something that is more common today — they eloped, in order to live together happily. This act of defiance was the beginning of change for the couple. Followed by more change the couple achieved what they always wanted, eternity together. They received this gift from their gods by being turned into doves and allowed eternal lives at their willow tree.
– Steven – Marketing Intern
Wei Zhou is the Marketing Manager at the Newark Museum
This is the 4th year that the Newark Museum is hosting the Harvest Moon Family Day, and this is the second most important holiday in China, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. It’s very similar to Western culture’s Thanksgiving.
People gather and are thankful to each other and also think about their relatives far away. One of the traditions is to taste the moon cake that is round, which symbolizes the moon and family unity. We also taste tea, and for the adults, wine. This holiday also signifies the harvest after many months of hard working in the fields.
For me, this holiday is especially significant because the Museum recognizes this important time in East Asian culture. I was born in China, and my daughter in the United States, and we look forward to this event yearly. She enjoys making lanterns, origami animals, traditional paper-cutting, and she loves getting dressed up in the traditional Chinese clothing. Her favorite part of the day is listening the Harvest Moon story.
The Museum’s Harvest Moon Day is essentially a big party! Hundreds of people attend including my friends and family, and it’s a joyful time. For children who are descendants from Asian countries, and for families interested in learning about other cultures, it is a wonderfully, unique experience to learn about traditional East Asian customs. We invite everybody to experience this celebratory day, which involves performances, music and even a taste of moon cakes and a sip of tea!
For more information about the Newark Museum, visit newarkmuseum.org.