Vibrant Bounty: Chinese Folk Art from the Shaanxi Region invites visitors on a journey through Shaanxi Province, one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. The capital city, Xi’an, was once the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, and is famous for its ancient ruins, most notably the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army. In an area outside of the city’s center lies Huxian (or Hu) County, where, since the 1950s, local artists have been producing objects similar to the twenty-five paintings and fourteen objects found in Vibrant Bounty. This tradition has achieved great renown in China, culminating in the state Ministry of Culture awarding Huxian the honorary title of a “Village of Chinese Modern Folk Painting” in 1988.
Online Exhibit Programming
- August 14 through October 17 - Exhibit open to the public. Please call in advance for reservations.
- Friday, August 21 - Virtual tour opens (link will be posted at the top of this webpage)
Experience a virtual tour within the gallery space. Use a keyboard or touchscreen to navigate through the space and click on hotspots with additional information and photographs of the artwork. This tour is also compatible with virtual reality applications.
- Thursday, September 17 - Coffee with Curators
Visit facebook.com/LittletonMuseum/videos to see a video with Littleton Museum Curator of Collections, Jenny Hankinson, and Curator of Exhibits, Moira Casey, as they talk about some of the artwork in the exhibit and compare it to objects from the Littleton Museum collection.
- Wednesday, September 23 - Family Program - Crafting
Visit facebook.com/LittletonMuseum/videos to see a video with Littleton Museum Curator of Exhibits, Moira Casey, as she guides you through an exhibit-related, kid-friendly craft. Families will be invited to explore the Chinese zodiac by finding their particular zodiac animal (some of which are featured in the exhibit), learning about them and creating crafts with simple at home supplies.
Download zodiac animal coloring pages
- Wednesday, October 7, 7pm - Art History Lecture with Julie Segraves
Visit facebook.com/LittletonMuseum/live to see a live stream video with art historian Julie Segraves. Segraves’ talk will explore the origins of China’s peasant paintings initially created during the 1958 political movement The Great Leap Forward. At that time, the Chinese communist government sent professional Chinese artists to the countryside to teach peasants the fundamentals of painting and drawing. Peasant painters from various provinces went onto fuse their own regional folk art influences (i.e., paper cuts, New Years prints, and textiles) with a selection of traditional Chinese painting techniques and Socialist Realist practices to establish this new school of painting.
Hu Xian peasant paintings, featured in this exhibit, became the Chinese model for peasant art and the school reached national and international prominence in the early to mid- nineteen seventies, and they paintings continue to be popular today. Folk textiles, papercuts and New Years prints and their impact on Hu Xian peasant paintings will also be discussed.
Segraves has a master’s degree in East Asian Studies with a major in Chinese art and language, and a minor in Japanese art and language. Segraves first worked as an Asian Art Consulting Curator for the Denver Art Museum, and as the Asian Art Curator for the University of Colorado Museum before becoming the Asian Art Coordinating Council Executive Director/Curator. Segraves is also a Foreign Expert at Beijing University’s Art and Archaeology department, a visiting scholar at Beijing’s Central Academy of Art Gallery, a professor at University of Denver’s University College, as well as an Asian art appraiser for Antiques Roadshow. Most recently Segraves worked as a consultant for Bonhams Auction House. She has given numerous lectures on art history, collecting, and appraising and she has expertise in both historical and contemporary Asian art, authoring articles on these topics for numerous Asian art publications and exhibit catalogues. To date Segraves has curated 53 Asian art exhibitions and has organized their travel to US museums and non-profit galleries. For more information please go to www.asianartcc.org.
Q&A can be accessed through Facebook messaging or by calling 669-900-6833 and when prompted enter webinar ID 951 8289 0053 and password 631253. Use *9 to raise your hand in order to be given access to ask your question.
- Wednesday, October 14, 1pm - Nonfiction Book Club at Bemis Library
Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang
It's 1966, and twelve-year-old Ji-li Jiang has everything a girl could want: brains, popularity, and a bright future in Communist China. But it's also the year that China's leader, Mao Ze-dong, launches the Cultural Revolution--and Ji-li's world begins to fall apart. Over the next few years, people who were once her friends and neighbors turn on her and her family, forcing them to live in constant terror of arrest. And when Ji-li's father is finally imprisoned, she faces the most difficult dilemma of her life.
Access the book and Join the discussion
Other Digital Exhibit Resources
Activity cards are a great way for people of all ages to engage with the exhibit. A small postcard provides prompts and questions to help people look more closely at the artwork and reflect upon the artist's intent as well as their own life experiences.
Zhihui Fan, The Pomegranate Reddens in August, 1985-1991, tempera on paper, private collection. © Zhihui Fan. Photo: E.G. Schempf.
The Chinese believe that most every living thing symbolizes or represents something else. Search for the following images in the exhibit:
Pomegranate . . . the pomegranate represents abundance and fertility - it might represent a wish for children.
Swallows . . . swallows symbolize that good news is coming and means good fortune.
The picture to the left depicts women picking fruit in August, which is the seasonal time to harvest pomegranates.