Idealism and Ideology: Orchids in East Asian Ink Painting

with Rhiannon Paget

December 18 2019 · 12:00pm  – 1:00pm


Orchids have been a favourite subject in East Asian literati-style ink painting for hundreds of years. As one of the “Four Gentlemen,” they are among the first subjects budding artists were expected to master. As well as providing a technical foundation to this art form, orchids also symbolised virtues upheld by the educated elite and conveyed political messages. This talk will discuss the methods of painting orchids and the changing significance they held at different times and places, with particular reference to a set of teaching materials published during wartime Japan on view in the exhibition.

Rhiannon Paget is the curator of Asian Art at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. She received her doctorate from the University of Sydney, Australia, with a dissertation examining the relationship between neo-traditional Japanese-style painting (nihonga) and state policy during imperial and wartime Japan. She has published research on Japanese prints, paintings, textiles, and popular visual culture, and curated numerous exhibitions.

FREE with general admission. Please RSVP at the “register” link.

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