Celestial Chaos No. 3
On View: Asian Galleries, Southwest, 2nd floor
Celestial Chaos embodies the basic ideas of Chinese cosmology, in which the ever-moving cyclical universe continues to change according to a consistent pattern that is discernible by human beings. People can understand the patterns of the universe as a whole by focusing on the changes taking place within its parts: observing the celestial realms and the seasons, practicing dream divination, and manipulating the hexagrams of the I Ching (Classic of Changes). In Tai Xiangzhou’s turbulent cosmos, surging meteorites enter the Earth’s atmosphere, as surrounding gases cause them to glow brightly. Tai uses antique ink from the Qianlong period (1736–95) in his masterful monochromatic play on silk. While the artist makes references to earlier traditions of Chinese painting, with his materials and techniques, the dynamic combination of light and dark ink with layers of ink wash conveys the high-pressure air in front of the meteors as they come hurtling toward Earth through mist and clouds.
Ink on silk
image: 38 3/4 × 77 3/16 in. (98.4 × 196.1 cm)
mount: 46 13/16 × 86 5/8 in. (118.9 × 220 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Kathleen Yang in memory of Denis C. Yang
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Tai Xiangzhou (Chinese, born 1968). Celestial Chaos No. 3, 2014. Ink on silk, image: 38 3/4 × 77 3/16 in. (98.4 × 196.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Kathleen Yang in memory of Denis C. Yang, 2018.26. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2018.26_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2018.26_PS9.jpg., 2019
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