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LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90036
LACMA l Bing Theater
Free, tickets required
Stephen Little, Florence and Harry Sloan Curator of Chinese Art and Head, Chinese, Korean, and South & Southeast Asian Art Departments, speaks in conjunction with the exhibition «Wu Bin: Ten Views of a Lingbi Stone,» examining the long history in China of collecting strange stones (also known as scholar’s stones). While such stones could convey considerable social status merely through their strange beauty, they were also seen as reflections of the basic structures underlying reality as understood by ancient Chinese philosophers and cosmologists. Perceived as embodying primordial energies, certain stones were believed to have the ability to speak, to emit clouds and rain, to predict the weather, to move about of their own accord, and to heal. The exhibition’s centerpiece is the most extraordinary painting of a stone ever created in China: Wu Bin’s Ten Views of a Lingbi Stone. This Ming dynasty handscroll, painted in 1610, comprises ten separate views of a single stone from Lingbi in Anhui Province; it is accompanied in the exhibition by several superb examples of Chinese Lingbi and Taihu stones (including a Taihu stone acquired by LACMA’s 2017 Collectors Committee, which will be on public view for the first time). In addition, the exhibition includes several renditions of stones by contemporary Chinese painters and sculptors.