Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Met: China through the looking glass/ Treasures of the Deccan Sultans of India

this looking glass into the art of the Deccan Sultan show was a beautiful metaphor. Just like The reflection of me waving to you in the background.

I happen to know the woman who curated the show, so that is why we came on our last day of the show, to see her work. But I would have been amazed by the show anyway, so I am so glad to have had a connection. Thanks Marika and Stephen. The other reason why the show was so great is because my wife is half Indian and half Chinese. Chindian we like to say. And this show, along with the China through the looking glass show we saw afterward, was the perfect way of looking into the history of the mother of my children. It was as if the aesthetic DNA, the highest aesthetic manifestation of 2 billion collected people, had distilled together to become these two shows, reflected in this one woman. So that was why this was a sacred day in my own family history. 

These works from the collections of the sultans were especially great to see because they were scattered after the sultans fell out of power. They have been collected together again, almost miraculously. And seeing all of it together truly gives us a flavor of a unique and spectacular flowering in human history.

This is Ibrahim, the main guy that made it all happen, the patron. He is the son of a military man, therefore very wealthy, but he maintains his Power through bribes, instead of military might, so that and is a patron of the arts. But without the military power and the kingdom is invaded.

They had magnifying glasses for everybody, which really brought the pieces to life.

A sculpture of the Koran as a bird of prey.

And excellent and trippy use of marbled paper.


This is an incense holder, and two  weights, to hold rugs down. All in the shape of temples. I think this detail is a good example of how well curated the show is.

This is and example of "far eye" and stippled, woven chest hair.

Nice color

And shape

At first I thought these were turkeys on this man's robe, but they are flowers.

Then on to the China through the looking glass show. This was fashion designer and artist interpretations of Chinese culture and style. Celebrating cultural appropriation instead of criticizing it. I love this first communist dress because I could imagine the main character in the book I am reading, "wild swans", wearing it.

I absolutely love this quote by Walter Benjamin about Mae Wong.

I am not so sure about this woman's bag though. Yes if you want something look for it, but doesn't this over-emphasize the wanting?

Nice use of plates. 

This is exactly how Lucia look at this point in the show.

Walking back to subway

This woman was just standing there, she had just gotten married that day but was showing off her address in hopes of selling it, apparently it is very expensive.

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