Mirroring while Wandering: Chinese Reverse Glass Paintings in the 18th and 19th Centuries

  • Dates:2020-11-01 - 2020-12-31
  • Location:CAFAM Virtual Gallery
  • Opening:
  • Organizer(s): CAFA Art Museum
  • Supporting Organizations: Chinese Museum of Women and Children Guangdong Museum Canton Thirteen Hongs Museum MOCA Yinchuan CAFA Virtual Curatorial Lab
  • Art Director: Zhang Zikang
  • Exhibition Manager: Gao Gao
  • Academic Consultant: Li Jun
  • Exhibition Consultant: Zheng Yikan
  • Academic Supporters: Luan Zhichao, Ma Jiawei, Li Yaochen
  • Curator: Liu Xiyan

Details

Supported by the 2019 National Art Museum Youth Curators Support Program of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of ChinaMirroring and Wandering: Chinese Reverse Glass Paintings in the 18th and 19th CenturiesTime: Nov-Dec, 2020Venue: CAFAM Virtual GalleryOrganizer: CAFA Art MuseumSupporting Organizations: Chinese Museum of Women and Children, Guangdong Museum, Canton Thirteen Hongs Museum, MOCA Yinchuan, CAFA Virtual Curatorial LabPromotional videoOnline seminarExhibitionVolume 1. The Journey: From Glass to PaintingVolume 2. Her "Chinese Room": From Oriental Appearance to Western TasteVolume 3. His Garden and Her: From "Chinoiseries" to Local Taste* Exhibition guide: Visitors may tour around the virtual exhibition galleries, and click on the paintings or archives for details; or click on the "list of works" on the lower left corner for description of specific works directly.

Supported by the 2019 National Art Museum Youth Curators Support Program of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China

Mirroring and Wandering: Chinese Reverse Glass Paintings in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Time: Nov-Dec, 2020

Venue: CAFAM Virtual Gallery

Organizer: CAFA Art Museum

Supporting Organizations: Chinese Museum of Women and Children, Guangdong Museum, Canton Thirteen Hongs Museum, MOCA Yinchuan, CAFA Virtual Curatorial Lab


Promotional video


Online seminar


Exhibition

Volume 1. The Journey: From Glass to Painting

Volume 2. Her "Chinese Room": From Oriental Appearance to Western Taste

Volume 3. His Garden and Her: From "Chinoiseries" to Local Taste


* Exhibition guide: Visitors may tour around the virtual exhibition galleries, and click on the paintings or archives for details; or click on the "list of works" on the lower left corner for description of specific works directly.

Preface

In Chapter 32 of Flowers in the Mirror, a Qing Dynasty Chinese novel, the protagonist Tang Ao and his crew arrive at the Country of Women during their journey. This foreign land, appearing in the fantasy and reality, is just like a mirror, in which women govern the country and can do just about anything they desire, and the travelers feel they enter into an illusionary world. Over the same period, Chinese reverse glass paintings also came into view of Westerners, arousing their imagination and yearning for the foreign parts, and forming a "Country of Women" full of Oriental atmosphere.

Reverse glass painting is an art form consisting of applying oil paints and gouache on the backside of glass (mirror) by painting in reverse order, which was introduced into China during the reign of Emperor Kangxi in Qing Dynasty. Compared with porcelain, ivory ware, ricepaper plant pith painting and oil painting on canvas that were popular around the same time, reverse glass painting, with its light and luxuriant, crystal and smooth texture, brought a new sensory experience and favored by the upper class both in the East and the West. A subtle intimate relationship was also taking form between glass painting and women. Because of its mirror effect, painting on glass renders an exquisite and refined style even more in the performance of female subjects. When the viewer takes a stroll down and catches the woman's eye in the picture, it seems like an encounter beyond time and space.

CAFA Art Museum collected a batch of reverse glass paintings of the Qing Dynasty about women and and related oil paintings on canvas in the 1960s. Starting with these works and by combing the history of glass painting techniques, this exhibition aims to focus on the shaping of female images in the glass paintings of Guangzhou in the 18th and 19th centuries. They reflect a shift in glass painting from "Chinoisierie" to local taste, witness the rise and decline of Chinese export art, and demonstrate the exchange and collision between China and the West in material, cultural and ideological aspects. Due to the COVID-19 in 2020, the originally planned exhibition will be presented online. This unexpected change, however, opens up new possibilities for the exhibition, as the "fantasy" created by the virtual show, to some extent, echoes the world of glass painting, between reality and imagination.

The exhibition is held with the support of the Museum of Chinese Women and Children, Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou Thirteen Hongs Museum, MOCA Yinchuan and other organizations. This also testifies that a number of farsighted institutions have already paid attention to the unique art history and historic value of reverse glass paintings, and gradually started to collect and study them. CAFA Art Museum is honored to be able to join in this research circle and takes a small step forward. Let us look forward to their achievements in the research and presentation of Chinese reverse glass paintings.

In Chapter 32 of Flowers in the Mirror, a Qing Dynasty Chinese novel, the protagonist Tang Ao and his crew arrive at the Country of Women during their journey. This foreign land, appearing in the fantasy and reality, is just like a mirror, in which women govern the country and can do just about anything they desire, and the travelers feel they enter into an illusionary world. Over the same period, Chinese reverse glass paintings also came into view of Westerners, arousing their imagination and yearning for the foreign parts, and forming a "Country of Women" full of Oriental atmosphere.

Reverse glass painting is an art form consisting of applying oil paints and gouache on the backside of glass (mirror) by painting in reverse order, which was introduced into China during the reign of Emperor Kangxi in Qing Dynasty. Compared with porcelain, ivory ware, ricepaper plant pith painting and oil painting on canvas that were popular around the same time, reverse glass painting, with its light and luxuriant, crystal and smooth texture, brought a new sensory experience and favored by the upper class both in the East and the West. A subtle intimate relationship was also taking form between glass painting and women. Because of its mirror effect, painting on glass renders an exquisite and refined style even more in the performance of female subjects. When the viewer takes a stroll down and catches the woman's eye in the picture, it seems like an encounter beyond time and space.

CAFA Art Museum collected a batch of reverse glass paintings of the Qing Dynasty about women and and related oil paintings on canvas in the 1960s. Starting with these works and by combing the history of glass painting techniques, this exhibition aims to focus on the shaping of female images in the glass paintings of Guangzhou in the 18th and 19th centuries. They reflect a shift in glass painting from "Chinoisierie" to local taste, witness the rise and decline of Chinese export art, and demonstrate the exchange and collision between China and the West in material, cultural and ideological aspects. Due to the COVID-19 in 2020, the originally planned exhibition will be presented online. This unexpected change, however, opens up new possibilities for the exhibition, as the "fantasy" created by the virtual show, to some extent, echoes the world of glass painting, between reality and imagination.

The exhibition is held with the support of the Museum of Chinese Women and Children, Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou Thirteen Hongs Museum, MOCA Yinchuan and other organizations. This also testifies that a number of farsighted institutions have already paid attention to the unique art history and historic value of reverse glass paintings, and gradually started to collect and study them. CAFA Art Museum is honored to be able to join in this research circle and takes a small step forward. Let us look forward to their achievements in the research and presentation of Chinese reverse glass paintings.

Artworks

Artworks

Quick loginAccount login
  • Mobile phone number will be your login ID
  •  
Use Artron membership to login

Child Public Education Reservation Form

I agree to the Group Visit Agreement and Statement Please agree to the Group Visit Agreement.
Submit

Adult Public Education Event Reservation Form

I agree to the Group Visit Agreement and Statement Please agree to the Group Visit Agreement.
Sumbit

Group Public Education Event Reservation Form

I agree to the Group Visit Agreement and Statement Please agree to the Group Visit Agreement.
Submit

Group Visit Agreement
and Statement

CAFA Art Museum Publication Authorization Agreement

I fully agree to CAFA Art Museum (CAFAM) submitting to CAFA for publication the images, pictures, texts, writings, and event products (such as works created during participation in workshops) related to me from my participation in public events (including museum member events) organized by the CAFA Art Museum Public Education Department. CAFA can publish these materials by electronic, web, or other digital means, and I hereby agree to be included in the China Knowledge Resource Bank, the CAFA Database, the CAFA Art Museum Database, and related data, documentation, and filing institutions and platforms. Regarding their use in CAFA and dissemination on the internet, I agree to make use of these rights according to the stated Rules.

CAFA Art Museum Event Safety Disclaimer

Article I

This event was organized on the principles of fairness, impartiality, and voluntary participation and withdrawal. Participants undertake all risk and liability for themselves. All events have risks, and participants must be aware of the risks related to their chosen event.

Article II

Event participants must abide by the laws and regulations of the People’s Republic of China, as well as moral and ethical norms. All participants must demonstrate good character, respect for others, friendship, and a willingness to help others.

Article III

Event participants should be adults (people 18 years or older with full civil legal capacity). Underage persons must be accompanied by an adult.

Article IV

Event participants undertake all liability for their personal safety during the event, and event participants are encouraged to purchase personal safety insurance. Should an accident occur during an event, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for the accident, but both have the obligation to provide assistance. Event participants should actively organize and implement rescue efforts, but do not undertake any legal or economic liability for the accident itself. The museum does not undertake civil or joint liability for the personal safety of event participants.

Article V

During the event, event participants should respect the order of the museum event and ensure the safety of the museum site, the artworks in displays, exhibitions, and collections, and the derived products. If an event causes any degree of loss or damage to the museum site, space, artworks, or derived products due to an individual, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for losses. The event participant must negotiate and provide compensation according to the relevant legal statutes and museum rules. The museum may sue for legal and financial liability.

Article VI

Event participants will participate in the event under the guidance of museum staff and event leaders or instructors and must correctly use the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities provided for the event. If a participant causes injury or harm to him/herself or others while using the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, or causes the damage or destruction of the tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, the event participant must undertake all related liability and provide compensation for the financial losses. Persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for personal accidents.

CAFA Art Museum Portraiture Rights Licensing Agreement

According to The Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China, The General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and The Provisional Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Some Issues Related to the Full Implementation of the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and upon friendly negotiation, Party A and Party B have arrived at the following agreement regarding the use of works bearing Party A’s image in order to clarify the rights and obligations of the portrait licenser (Party A) and the user (Party B):

I. General Provisions

(1) Party A is the portraiture rights holder in this agreement. Party A voluntarily licenses its portraiture rights to Party B for the purposes stipulated in this agreement and permitted by law.

(2) Party B (CAFA Art Museum) is a specialized, international modern art museum. CAFA Art Museum keeps pace with the times, and works to create an open, free, and academic space and atmosphere for positive interaction with groups, corporations, institutions, artists, and visitors. With CAFA’s academic research as a foundation, the museum plans multi-disciplinary exhibitions, conferences, and public education events with participants from around the world, providing a platform for exchange, learning, and exhibition for CAFA’s students and instructors, artists from around the world, and the general public. As a public institution, the primary purposes of CAFA Art Museum’s public education events are academic and beneficial to society.

(3) Party B will photograph all CAFA Public Education Department events for Party A.

II. Content, Forms of Use, and Geographical Scope of Use

(1) Content. The content of images taken by Party B bearing Party A’s likeness include: ① CAFA Art Museum ② CAFA campus ③ All events planned or executed by the CAFAM Public Education Department.

(2) Forms of Use. For use in CAFA’s publications, products with CDs, and promotional materials.

(3) Geographical Scope of Use

The applicable geographic scope is global.

The media in which the portraiture may be used encompasses any media that does not infringe upon Party A’s portraiture rights (e.g., magazines and the internet).

III. Term of Portraiture Rights Use

Use in perpetuity.

IV. Licensing Fees

The fees for images bearing Party A’s likeness will be undertaken by Party B.

After completion, Party B does not need to pay any fees to Party A for images bearing Party A’s likeness.

Additional Terms

(1) All matters not discussed in this agreement shall be resolved through friendly negotiation between both parties. Both parties may then sign a supplementary agreement, provided it does not violate any laws or regulations.

(2) This agreement comes into effect on the date that it is signed (sealed) and the relevant boxes are selected by Party A and Party B.

(3) This agreement exists in paper and electronic forms. The paper form is made in duplicate, with Party A and Party B each retaining one copy with the same legal efficacy.

Event participants implicitly accept and undertake all the obligations stated in this agreement. Those who do not consent will be seen as abandoning the right to participate in this event. Before participating in this event, please speak to your family members to obtain their consent and inform them of this disclaimer. After participants sign/check the required box, participants and their families will be seen as having read and agreed to these terms.

I have carefully read and agree to the above provisions.

Group Visit Agreement
and Statement

CAFA Art Museum Publication Authorization Agreement

I fully agree to CAFA Art Museum (CAFAM) submitting to CAFA for publication the images, pictures, texts, writings, and event products (such as works created during participation in workshops) related to me from my participation in public events (including museum member events) organized by the CAFA Art Museum Public Education Department. CAFA can publish these materials by electronic, web, or other digital means, and I hereby agree to be included in the China Knowledge Resource Bank, the CAFA Database, the CAFA Art Museum Database, and related data, documentation, and filing institutions and platforms. Regarding their use in CAFA and dissemination on the internet, I agree to make use of these rights according to the stated Rules.

CAFA Art Museum Event Safety Disclaimer

Article I

This event was organized on the principles of fairness, impartiality, and voluntary participation and withdrawal. Participants undertake all risk and liability for themselves. All events have risks, and participants must be aware of the risks related to their chosen event.

Article II

Event participants must abide by the laws and regulations of the People’s Republic of China, as well as moral and ethical norms. All participants must demonstrate good character, respect for others, friendship, and a willingness to help others.

Article III

Event participants should be adults (people 18 years or older with full civil legal capacity). Underage persons must be accompanied by an adult.

Article IV

Event participants undertake all liability for their personal safety during the event, and event participants are encouraged to purchase personal safety insurance. Should an accident occur during an event, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for the accident, but both have the obligation to provide assistance. Event participants should actively organize and implement rescue efforts, but do not undertake any legal or economic liability for the accident itself. The museum does not undertake civil or joint liability for the personal safety of event participants.

Article V

During the event, event participants should respect the order of the museum event and ensure the safety of the museum site, the artworks in displays, exhibitions, and collections, and the derived products. If an event causes any degree of loss or damage to the museum site, space, artworks, or derived products due to an individual, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for losses. The event participant must negotiate and provide compensation according to the relevant legal statutes and museum rules. The museum may sue for legal and financial liability.

Article VI

Event participants will participate in the event under the guidance of museum staff and event leaders or instructors and must correctly use the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities provided for the event. If a participant causes injury or harm to him/herself or others while using the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, or causes the damage or destruction of the tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, the event participant must undertake all related liability and provide compensation for the financial losses. Persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for personal accidents.

CAFA Art Museum Portraiture Rights Licensing Agreement

According to The Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China, The General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and The Provisional Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Some Issues Related to the Full Implementation of the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and upon friendly negotiation, Party A and Party B have arrived at the following agreement regarding the use of works bearing Party A’s image in order to clarify the rights and obligations of the portrait licenser (Party A) and the user (Party B):

I. General Provisions

(1) Party A is the portraiture rights holder in this agreement. Party A voluntarily licenses its portraiture rights to Party B for the purposes stipulated in this agreement and permitted by law.

(2) Party B (CAFA Art Museum) is a specialized, international modern art museum. CAFA Art Museum keeps pace with the times, and works to create an open, free, and academic space and atmosphere for positive interaction with groups, corporations, institutions, artists, and visitors. With CAFA’s academic research as a foundation, the museum plans multi-disciplinary exhibitions, conferences, and public education events with participants from around the world, providing a platform for exchange, learning, and exhibition for CAFA’s students and instructors, artists from around the world, and the general public. As a public institution, the primary purposes of CAFA Art Museum’s public education events are academic and beneficial to society.

(3) Party B will photograph all CAFA Public Education Department events for Party A.

II. Content, Forms of Use, and Geographical Scope of Use

(1) Content. The content of images taken by Party B bearing Party A’s likeness include: ① CAFA Art Museum ② CAFA campus ③ All events planned or executed by the CAFAM Public Education Department.

(2) Forms of Use. For use in CAFA’s publications, products with CDs, and promotional materials.

(3) Geographical Scope of Use

The applicable geographic scope is global.

The media in which the portraiture may be used encompasses any media that does not infringe upon Party A’s portraiture rights (e.g., magazines and the internet).

III. Term of Portraiture Rights Use

Use in perpetuity.

IV. Licensing Fees

The fees for images bearing Party A’s likeness will be undertaken by Party B.

After completion, Party B does not need to pay any fees to Party A for images bearing Party A’s likeness.

Additional Terms

(1) All matters not discussed in this agreement shall be resolved through friendly negotiation between both parties. Both parties may then sign a supplementary agreement, provided it does not violate any laws or regulations.

(2) This agreement comes into effect on the date that it is signed (sealed) and the relevant boxes are selected by Party A and Party B.

(3) This agreement exists in paper and electronic forms. The paper form is made in duplicate, with Party A and Party B each retaining one copy with the same legal efficacy.

Event participants implicitly accept and undertake all the obligations stated in this agreement. Those who do not consent will be seen as abandoning the right to participate in this event. Before participating in this event, please speak to your family members to obtain their consent and inform them of this disclaimer. After participants sign/check the required box, participants and their families will be seen as having read and agreed to these terms.

I have carefully read and agree to the above provisions.

Group Visit Agreement
and Statement

CAFA Art Museum Publication Authorization Agreement

I fully agree to CAFA Art Museum (CAFAM) submitting to CAFA for publication the images, pictures, texts, writings, and event products (such as works created during participation in workshops) related to me from my participation in public events (including museum member events) organized by the CAFA Art Museum Public Education Department. CAFA can publish these materials by electronic, web, or other digital means, and I hereby agree to be included in the China Knowledge Resource Bank, the CAFA Database, the CAFA Art Museum Database, and related data, documentation, and filing institutions and platforms. Regarding their use in CAFA and dissemination on the internet, I agree to make use of these rights according to the stated Rules.

CAFA Art Museum Event Safety Disclaimer

Article I

This event was organized on the principles of fairness, impartiality, and voluntary participation and withdrawal. Participants undertake all risk and liability for themselves. All events have risks, and participants must be aware of the risks related to their chosen event.

Article II

Event participants must abide by the laws and regulations of the People’s Republic of China, as well as moral and ethical norms. All participants must demonstrate good character, respect for others, friendship, and a willingness to help others.

Article III

Event participants should be adults (people 18 years or older with full civil legal capacity). Underage persons must be accompanied by an adult.

Article IV

Event participants undertake all liability for their personal safety during the event, and event participants are encouraged to purchase personal safety insurance. Should an accident occur during an event, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for the accident, but both have the obligation to provide assistance. Event participants should actively organize and implement rescue efforts, but do not undertake any legal or economic liability for the accident itself. The museum does not undertake civil or joint liability for the personal safety of event participants.

Article V

During the event, event participants should respect the order of the museum event and ensure the safety of the museum site, the artworks in displays, exhibitions, and collections, and the derived products. If an event causes any degree of loss or damage to the museum site, space, artworks, or derived products due to an individual, persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for losses. The event participant must negotiate and provide compensation according to the relevant legal statutes and museum rules. The museum may sue for legal and financial liability.

Article VI

Event participants will participate in the event under the guidance of museum staff and event leaders or instructors and must correctly use the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities provided for the event. If a participant causes injury or harm to him/herself or others while using the painting tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, or causes the damage or destruction of the tools, materials, equipment, and/or facilities, the event participant must undertake all related liability and provide compensation for the financial losses. Persons not involved in the accident and the museum do not undertake any liability for personal accidents.

CAFA Art Museum Portraiture Rights Licensing Agreement

According to The Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China, The General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and The Provisional Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Some Issues Related to the Full Implementation of the General Principles of the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China, and upon friendly negotiation, Party A and Party B have arrived at the following agreement regarding the use of works bearing Party A’s image in order to clarify the rights and obligations of the portrait licenser (Party A) and the user (Party B):

I. General Provisions

(1) Party A is the portraiture rights holder in this agreement. Party A voluntarily licenses its portraiture rights to Party B for the purposes stipulated in this agreement and permitted by law.

(2) Party B (CAFA Art Museum) is a specialized, international modern art museum. CAFA Art Museum keeps pace with the times, and works to create an open, free, and academic space and atmosphere for positive interaction with groups, corporations, institutions, artists, and visitors. With CAFA’s academic research as a foundation, the museum plans multi-disciplinary exhibitions, conferences, and public education events with participants from around the world, providing a platform for exchange, learning, and exhibition for CAFA’s students and instructors, artists from around the world, and the general public. As a public institution, the primary purposes of CAFA Art Museum’s public education events are academic and beneficial to society.

(3) Party B will photograph all CAFA Public Education Department events for Party A.

II. Content, Forms of Use, and Geographical Scope of Use

(1) Content. The content of images taken by Party B bearing Party A’s likeness include: ① CAFA Art Museum ② CAFA campus ③ All events planned or executed by the CAFAM Public Education Department.

(2) Forms of Use. For use in CAFA’s publications, products with CDs, and promotional materials.

(3) Geographical Scope of Use

The applicable geographic scope is global.

The media in which the portraiture may be used encompasses any media that does not infringe upon Party A’s portraiture rights (e.g., magazines and the internet).

III. Term of Portraiture Rights Use

Use in perpetuity.

IV. Licensing Fees

The fees for images bearing Party A’s likeness will be undertaken by Party B.

After completion, Party B does not need to pay any fees to Party A for images bearing Party A’s likeness.

Additional Terms

(1) All matters not discussed in this agreement shall be resolved through friendly negotiation between both parties. Both parties may then sign a supplementary agreement, provided it does not violate any laws or regulations.

(2) This agreement comes into effect on the date that it is signed (sealed) and the relevant boxes are selected by Party A and Party B.

(3) This agreement exists in paper and electronic forms. The paper form is made in duplicate, with Party A and Party B each retaining one copy with the same legal efficacy.

Event participants implicitly accept and undertake all the obligations stated in this agreement. Those who do not consent will be seen as abandoning the right to participate in this event. Before participating in this event, please speak to your family members to obtain their consent and inform them of this disclaimer. After participants sign/check the required box, participants and their families will be seen as having read and agreed to these terms.

I have carefully read and agree to the above provisions.

Event Booking Form

Name:
Gender
Phone:
Valid Certificate: Identity Card
ID Number:
Email:

Reminder:

Hello! Thank you for participating in our public education event and we are looking forward to seeing you! If you cannot attend the event on time, please send a text message to 13261936837 (Liang) to cancel the booking. Please be aware that your eligibility for using the quick booking may be affected If you cancel the booking more than three times. Thank you for your understanding!