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Mountains and streams

Flute in pine forest  Pines  Daoist priests

“The wise find pleasure in water; the virtuous find pleasure in mountains.”
- The Analects of Confucius, c. 6th – 5th century BC

Drawing on works from the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection of Chinese art and paintings, Mountains and Streams: Chinese Paintings from the Asian Collection will open at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on 29 November 2007.

China’s magnificent scenery of mountains and streams has inspired Chinese scholars, poets and painters for thousands of years.

This exhibition will look at the period from the 14th century until the present day and will examine the worship of mountains as sacred places in China, an idea that originated in pre-historic times. Mountains were believed to be the pillars of the Universe, connecting heaven and earth; streams were considered to be the arteries of these mountains.

This is a special opportunity to see the historical and spiritual importance that landscape painting has always represented for Chinese artists.

The practice of seeking out places of scenic beauty first became popular with Daoist poets and painters. Landscape was a fundamental aspect of Chinese painting, serving as a substitute for nature, as most Chinese artists during this period painted from memory and experiences, rather than nature itself.

In times of political turmoil, mountains and streams became a spiritual refuge where scholars could find solace.

The exhibition will include more than 40 works, including paintings, objects, works on paper and works on silk.

A national Gallery of Victoria Touring Exhibition


On view:29 November 2007 � 10 February 2008
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain
Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone:(02) 9225 1744
(02) 9225 7400 Recorded information
1800 679 278 National toll-free
Hours:Open 7 days 10am until 5pm
Open until 9pm every Wednesday for Art After Hours
Media Information and Interviews:Susanne Briggs
(02) 9225 1791 or 0412 268 320

IMAGE CREDIT: Kim Ho TRAM, Playing flute in a pine forest, the joy of quietude, 2000; Pines and cranes dancing in the snow, dance in motion, (detail) 2000. Both purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of the Marjory and Alexander Lynch Endowment, Governors, 2001 © the artist; Hedda Morrison, untitled, (Two Daoist priests below the fairy palm cliff) 1935, purchased 1976.