Dragon, God of Water: Screens in Ink on Washi Paper


Qin Feng, Civilization Landscape No. 073, China, from the series Civilization Landscape, United States, 2004. Accordion-style book; ink on paper with leather binding. Yale University Art Gallery, Purchased with a gift from The Henry Luce Foundation at the request of H. Christopher Luce, B.A. 1972. © Qin Feng

Join Sadako Ohki, the Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art and curator of the exhibition Year of the Dragon, for a close examination of Pair of Screens with Dragons and Waves, attributed to the Japanese artist Kaihō Yūshō (1533–1615), and Civilization Landscape No. 073 by the Chinese artist Qin Feng (b. 1961). Though the two works were made centuries apart, they share a common medium: ink on washi paper. In the West, the dragon has historically been characterized as an evil creature, breathing fire while flying through the air, and thus has been considered something to be conquered. By contrast, in the East the dragon has long been seen as a powerful being that pours out blessings from the celestial realm in the form of rainwater over swirling wind. This object-based discussion explores how artists engage with the dragon’s celebrated role as the god of water as well as how this theme takes on a sorrowful quality with regard to today’s environmental crisis. Generously sponsored by the Martin A. Ryerson Lectureship Fund. 

Gather by the Public Programs sign in the Gallery lobby.

Space is limited.