Initially setting its foundation with classical Chinese art, Deji Art Museum has spent over two decades building up its collection, research, and exhibition programs.
Over the past five years, we have also gradually assembled a significant body of collections, research, and exhibitions focused on international and Chinese contemporary art —— an attempt to contrast and transcend across ancient and modern, Chinese and international cultural spaces, and to highlight mutual appreciation and comparisons between Chinese and Western cultures and civilizations.
Drawing from its international and Chinese contemporary art collections and research to mark the fifth anniversary of Deji Art Museum in June this year, the Galleries for Modern and Contemporary Art will launch the modern and contemporary collections series with the exhibition “World of Flowers”Exhibition Series Drawn from the Modern and Contemporary Art Collection⸺“ Nothing Still About Still Lifes: Three Centuries of Floral Compositions” , curated by art historian and former curator of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Professor Joachim Pissarro.
The exhibition “World of Flowers” Exhibition Series Drawn from the Modern and Contemporary Art Collection⸺ “Nothing Still About Still Lifes: Three Centuries of Floral Compositions” uses the subject of still life flowers as a connecting thread to select works by more than 80 of the greatest figures in art history—both Eastern and Western—since the Impressionist era. The exhibition covers critical art historical movements and genres from the 19th century to the present.
Entitled “Nothing Still About Still Lifes: Three Centuries of Floral Compositions” , the exhibition explores stillness and movement, the momentary and the eternal, through philosophical dialectics. Curator Joachim Pissarro breaks away from a purely art historical context and inquires with a fresh, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary perspective to examine why the “stillness” of plants (still life) is able to embody the vitality and possibility of “movement.”
In addition, the thematic narrative of “still movement” unfurls into four other threads: with respect to time and space, the shifting forms of the relationships between flowers and humans throughout history; with respect to species, the global migration of flower varieties and species over the centuries; with respect to change, the floral still life as a vehicle for artists to hone their skills and transform their styles; and with respect to philosophical symbolism, the dynamic roles flowers continually play in human life to signify different meanings.