Small China: Early Chinese Miniatures
• Learn more about the Chinese culture with these everyday life depictions
• Miniatures of all materials: bronze, jade, ivory, porcelain
• An intriguing work on the smallest sculpture art
Small China presents Chinese miniatures from 5,000 BCE up to the 15th century. The pocketsize representations of supernatural beings, people, animals, or everyday objects are virtually uncharted in East Asian crafts — even in China, these objects in jade, bronze, ivory, and porcelain are little known. Koos de Jong explores their arcane meanings and traces their production and the market for such treasures, which, contrary to official secular and religious art, include those devoted to taboo subjects such as erotica or humor. The miniatures had many different functions, from insignia, fetishes and devotional objects to burial gifts or toys. They could express good wishes or even serve as bribes. A rare glimpse into the everyday life of ordinary people and into Chinese handicrafts from thousands of years ago!