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When did the VERY Modern Period start ? 1990 or 2000 ?

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Author Topic: When did the VERY Modern Period start ? 1990 or 2000 ?  (Read 142 times)
Peter Bentley 彭达理
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« on: August 17, 2014, 09:21:03 pm »

Hi  All

A  couple of  years  ago  we  discussed  when  we  should  agree the  VERY  Modern  Period  began, and   agreed  at  that  time   on the  year  1990.

In preparing  my  Xian  presentation  I  had  reason to  think this  through  in  great  detail and came to the  conclusion that   the  correct  date  should  be  2000

The background  is  this :

 There  was  of  course

rounding to the  nearest decade

A) The  Early  Period  ( early  1800s  onward)
B) The  Middle  Period  (1880 - ish  till  when....  ?  1927 when Ma  Shaoxuan stopped  painting ? )
C) The  Modern  Period (1960 onward )   WXS  started  training  in  1958  so round up to  1960

OK  ... what  happened  in between  B and  C ?

I  have  coined the  term  "Transition  Period"   for this in-between period
But when  did this   "Transition  Period"   start ?

1. Did it  start  in  1930 (  technically  1927)   and  run through the bleak  years  of  WW2  and the  Chinese  Revolution  until  the   revival  of  inside  painting  in   about 1960 =  Start  of the  Modern  Period ?

2. Or  did  it  start  in    1912  when  Ye Zhongshan  started   teaching his  sons : Ye  Xiaofeng  and Ye Bengqi,  who  would  later  go  on to   found the  Modern  School and  pass their  skills to   WXS,  LSB  etc  at the   start of the  Jing  School  in 1960 -ish ?

If  one  allows for  overlaps   then both answers   1  &  2  are  correct  .
No reason   why  periods  should  not  overlap,  as did many   periods  of  history  in practice

But  if  one   does  not  allow  for  overlaps ( as  tends to  happen  when  history  is  written  in text-book  form) ,  only answer 1  is  correct

 But the  seeds  of  the Transition  Period  were   laid  down   going  back to   1912

Now  jump  forward  50 years .

When  did    artists in general  start to  paint  in   new  free  styles, huge improvements  in skills  etc?

Certainly  not  in  1990 !   The  big  renaissance (if I can call it  that )   only really  started in 2000 , and  WXS's  CIPMA  ( 2005) in a  very real sense   recognized  that  fact.

Certainly the  seeds  of the  VERY  Modern Period  were   sown  in  about  1990  with  the  pioneer  works  of  Liu Yizi,  closely  followed  by Wang Guanyu,  but they  were  "voices  in the   wilderness"  and the  great  majority  of  top  artists  - and  their   students -   continued  painting  traditional  "Modern"  IPBs   just  like  one  sees  in J.H  Leung's  "A New  Look  of  Chinese  Inside  Painted  Snuff  Bottles " ( 1990 )  the   vast majority  of  which were  all  copy -paintings *

Look at the  Dong Jiang  bottle  we have  been  discussing  so much which recently which,  if I recall,   dates  from the  mid-1990s.   Nice  bottle,  nice  color , god  detail.   But  either a  direct  copy  from  some traditional  Chinese  painting  or   else "variations  on  a  theme  thereof".  Typical  1970 -  1980  style  painting, as  you  will  find  everywhere  in "New  Look"   although   executed  very  well   and  1990 - level  technical painting  skills.

*Geoff  tells  me  every time  he  sees  a  bird  pic  bottle   from   pre-2000  he  can  almost always  identify the  specialist  bird book -  even the  page  -  from  which it  was  copied. A  quick  glance  at  J.H. Leung's  "New  Look"   shows  that  almost every  bottle  was    copy-painted  from  one  or  another  original  :  bird-book, animal  book,  photograph,  Chinese  traditional  painting, Westen  painting,   photograph,  painting  of  Chinese  emperors,   painting  of  US  presidents / HK  governors   etc  etc 

But  it  was  only  in about  2000  that the   tide  turned  and  an increasing  number  of  Modern  artists  started  to  create  original art  within  a  bottle.  (In fact, I say that the  tide  really  only  turned  in  about  1995. e.g  Sun Honglin's   works  pre-2005 were  so  dull  and boring  that  I declined to  buy them at  whatever low  price  I was  offered;  but  come  2008/9  whoopee !  Wow ! Even  now  that  SHL  has  gone into  the   top league  I  would  not  buy  any  of  his  pre- 2005  bottles,  neither  would  I  buy a  1980 - 1990  vintage  Fu Guoshun)

So  I   propose  (and  it's  what  I  will say  at  Xian)   the  VERY  Modern  Period  only really began  in 2000 ,  rounding to the  nearest decade,  although the  seeds  were  sown   starting  from  1990

To complete  the  classification , and again  rounding to the  nearest  decade,  I  break  down the  Modern Period  into   3  distinct  sub-periods:

1) Early  Modern  :  1960 - 1980
2) Modern  per se 1980 - 2000
3) Very  Modern  2000  onwards

Any comments  please ?

"Let   100  flowers  bloom and   100  schools of  thought  contend "

Cheers

Peter




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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2014, 10:04:55 pm »



To complete  the  classification , and again  rounding to the  nearest  decade,  I  break  down the  Modern Period  into   3  distinct  sub-periods:

1) Early  Modern  :  1960 - 1980
2) Modern  per se 1980 - 2000
3) Very  Modern  2000  onwards

Any comments  please ?




Ok, we had settled in on a Modern ( M ) being 1950 to 1990, and VM post 2000.

I would vote it not necessary to add a Early Modern period in addition, but will certainly go along with what others agree to.. I just sort of think defining a 20 year period a bit much..

What do the rest of the gang feel about it.. ?

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Pat - 查尚杰
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2014, 02:18:36 am »

Agree with you George!  The Ye sons painted through the late 40s (I have a 1947 Ye bottle) and established the new school in late 50s with the hiatus being the establishment of the PRC, so we should stick with what we already agreed.
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Pat
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2014, 02:54:36 am »

I am not going to be drawn into this debate, except to say I agree that overlap of periods is not only acceptable, but frequently adopted by historians...........including ART historians !

So don't be too rigid with the cut-off points of each period.

Tom
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Tom
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2014, 04:44:07 am »

Dear Peter,

I am sure you have a better knowledge of China history than me especially the modern period. I like anything that is antique and dating towards a certain emperor at that period is very important to me. Snuff Bottles is relatively new as compared to the whole history of China thus I am only dating from the first emperor of Qing dynasty although I have seen many examples of Ming dynasty cultures in bottles.

ShunZhi - 1644-1661
KangXi - 1662-1722
YongZheng - 1723-1735
Qianlong - 1736-1795
JiaQing - 1796-1820
DaoGuang - 1821-1850
XianFeng - 1851-1861
TongZhi - 1862-1874
GuangXu - 1875-1908
XuanTong - 1909-1911

Republic Period  民国 - 1912-1949

I am still new so should not be in this debate too  Wink

Cheers,
YT
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2014, 04:50:36 am »

Peter

By the way, forgot to include a snippet of detail on the last date of Ma Shou Xuan's painting.  I recall that in the MSX biography by his grandson, it was mentioned that this was in 1933, a tribute to some King in the Middle East. 
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Pat
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2014, 06:07:46 am »

Dear Pat,
   You are 99% correct (the one percent is that the Ye Family started teaching students ca. 1952-1954, not the late 1950s, and this is because the PRC decided to preserve artisanship endangered by the situation of civil war etc.), but to refer to Abdel Aziz ibn Saud, the conqueror of Mecca and Medina and founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as "some king in the Middle East" ?!!  Do you want a Wahabi fatwa against you?!  Grin   Wink   Grin
   He also started the export of Wahabi Sunni Islam (different from the four Orthodox Schools of Sunni Islam's Sharia, Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, and Shafi'i), which was founded in the 18th C. by Abd al Wahab, a noted Arab goat-fu--er and sometime imam in the Empty Quarter (Nejd) the inland 70% of today's Saudi Arabia, with 2% of its population and a lot of goats (relatively; at least 4 for every man. Cheesy).
   The Wahabis are the good folks who brought you the Moslem Brotherhood, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and now, coming to a country near you (but G-D Willing, not near me) ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria),  ISL (Islamic State of the Levant), and now simply IS (Islamic State).
   
Dear Peter,
     Out of 4000 hours you've spent on studying, you couldn't have spent an hour or two reading about IPSBs in the 20th C.?   Grin
I'm looking forward to your lecture in Xian.
Joey

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Peter Bentley 彭达理
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 09:27:14 am »

Hi All

Seems  I  did  not  make  myself  sufficiently  clear ( although the  title  of the  subject  is  very  clear )

Whether  to  break off     the  beginning  of the  Modern  Period  and  call it  the  "Early Modern"  Period  is  not the   subject  of   this   discussion, and in  fact  is  totally  irrelevant

The  subject of  discussion  is  whether we should  revise  the  date  of the  start  of the  Very  Modern  Period  from 1990  to 2000 ?

I think it  was I  who initially   proposed  1990  ( if  it  wasn't  me  per se  I   agreed  with the  date  1990  at the  time  and based  on what I knew   then)

But  certainly  now,  after  intensive  research  these  past  few months  I  genuinely feel  that   the  key date  is  2000  to the   nearest    decade, although certainly the  seeds  were  sown  starting around  1990

I cannot  see  any  significant   change  in  painting   styles and  themes  by  the  general painting   community   during      the  decade  1990 - 2000.  But I can  see a  big   general change  starting  after   about   2000 , which accelerated  after   about   2005.

This  is  not a  matter    to  die   for. In one  sense  it's  perhaps  like    debating  how  many  angels  can stand of the  head of a  pin !

But  it's  interesting to  get   others'  perspectives   based on  what they  have  seen  at first hand  in the bottles  they have  collected  as  opposed to   what they  may have  simply   read  at second  hand   (And  please   understand  that  as far as I know the  term ' VERY  Modern  IP  Period"  was   only coined  on this  Forum  and   has  only been  discussed  on this  Forum. I don't see  any mention  of  the  term  "VERY"    anywhere  outside the  Forum, and  certainly  not  in the  ICSBS.)

  Smiley

Cheers

Peter

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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2014, 09:55:28 am »


...but to refer to Abdel Aziz ibn Saud, the conqueror of Mecca and Medina and founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as "some king in the Middle East" ?!! 


Dear Joey,

Thanks for the three-paragraph summary. I had to read several books on Mid-East history to assimilate that knowledge. You could have saved me the trouble!  Cool

Tom
PS: BTW, this is a 'public' forum, so we're all going to get Wahabi fatwa's upon us.
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Tom
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2014, 10:57:32 am »

Dear Tom,
     We aim to please...

Dear Peter,
     I'm sorry, I got distracted by some relatively minor dating errors on your part.
I'm sorry, but I don't think you are correct re. Very Modern.
 Look at Liu Yizi's work. He was revolutionary in the mid-1980s, according to Wang Guanyu's article in "Yizi's Inside Painting", published in 2000.
I don't think there is really any call to change our traditional dating chronology:
Early period: 1795 - 1860
Middle period: 1870 - 1950
Modern period: 1950 - present.

 We should simply refer to a revolutionary, more open attitude towards the subjects and styles of IPSBs, from the 1980s, after artists had gotten over the reactionary restrictions and terror of the Cultural Revolution, which basically ended in the late 1970s.

Does that sound like it would suit what you asked?
Best,
  Joey

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