Ming Dynasty "Art of Dissent" Debuts at the Met

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And now something for art lovers, especially if you are interested in how art can be used as a form of self-expression for silent resistance. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is opening an exhibition titled "Art of Dissent" showing 17th-century Chinese art. NTD's Margaret Lau reports.

Starting today, visitors to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art will have the chance to feast their eyes on some of the finest 17th century Chinese art.

The "Art of Dissent" exhibition will showcase more than 60 landscape paintings and calligraphies from a private collection from Hong Kong.

It highlights the intense personal styles of some of the most prominent artists during the traumatic transition of the Ming to Qing Dynasty in 17th century China.

The fall of the Ming and the conquest of China by the Manchus in the 17th century is a period of turmoil in Chinese history. This transition triggers a tremendous outpouring of artistic works.

Many Ming artists withheld their support for the Qing ruler—asserted their quiet defiance and moral virtue through their artwork.

[Maxwell Hearn, Met Museum Curator-in-Charge, Dept. of Asian Art]:
"The artists represented in the exhibition are those men who remained loyal to the Ming Dynasty and they express their loyalty by withdrawing into the landscape, by painting images of desolation in the natural world, they convey the sense of their own withdrawal of support for the Manchus."

Museum Curator, Maxwell Hearn says it's the not the content of the paintings, but the style that's striking.

These Ming artists resisted the Qing rule by using art as a form of silent or passive resistance.

Margaret Lau, NTD News, New York.