PROGRAMME OF LECTURES

Lectures will be held at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE at 6.00 p.m., or with welcome drinks in advance, at 5.45 p.m. for 6.15 p.m., unless otherwise noted*.

Tuesday 11th  February, 2020
5:45 for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Christie’s
The annual Sonia Lightfoot Memorial Paintings Lecture sponsored by John Lightfoot
Dr. Malcolm McNeill, Chinese Painting Specialist, Christie’s London
Tales of Eccentrics and Exemplars: Text image relationships in Chan Figure Painting

This talk examines the relationship between image and text in paintings of figural subjects from thirteenth and fourteenth century Chinese Chan Buddhism (Chan is better known through its Japanese successor, Zen). In Song and Yuan China, monastic and secular artists produced a significant body of paintings depicting the Chan pantheon’s eccentrics and exemplars. These paintings were often inscribed by senior Chan clerics, who gifted the inscribed works to prominent disciples. These disciples included numerous monks who had travelled from Japan to study at the feet of Chinese masters. The majority of Chan figure paintings existing today survive because of this practice of collecting. In Japan, Chan figure paintings have come to be venerated as the predecessors to later Japanese Zen painting. This talk is concerned with their original Chinese context.

In his lecture Dr. McNeill will argue that these inscribed paintings combined pictorial and lexical content to retell important narratives. These visual narratives were adapted from prototypes in Chan hagiographies: collected tales of exemplars from the Chan lineage, and of eccentrics from the lineage’s periphery. Paintings of Chan figures and the inscriptions upon them communicated religious teachings to their viewers. They mediated the viewer’s relationship to the Chan pantheon. Moreover, they underscored the authority of the living members of the Chan lineage who had inscribed the paintings. This talk analyses the network of connections between painters, inscribers, subjects and viewers of Chan figure paintings.  In doing so, it addresses an under researched dimension of thirteenth and fourteenth century Chinese visual culture.

Malcolm McNeill is a Chinese Painting Specialist based at Christie’s, London, sourcing consignments for both Christie’s European and Hong Kong auctions. He holds a PhD and MA in Art History from SOAS, and a BA in Chinese studies from Cambridge. He was formerly an Assistant Curator in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, a Research Assistant at the British Museum, and a translator and tour guide at the National Palace Museum, Taipei.

Tuesday 10th March, 2020
Annual Woolf Jade Lecture
5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by the Woolf Charitable Trust
Robert Tang, Private Collector of the published Chinese Jades from the Cissy and Robert Tang Collection
In Pursuit of Jade: My Personal Journey

Robert Tang is a private collector of Chinese jade.  100 pieces of the collection were published in “The Cissy and Robert Tang Collection of Chinese Jades” authored by Professor Jenny So and Dr. Chu Xin.  108 pieces of the collection were exhibited at the Art Museum, Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2015-6, curated by Dr. Xu Xiaodong, the Assistant Director of the Museum, with the assistance of Dr. Chu Xin.

In the lecture, Robert Tang will talk about his experience as a collector, and how jade has been collected through time, especially in the twentieth century.  He will also talk about a few objects in their Collection to illustrate points about the long history in the collection of jades and the perennial difficulty about their dating.  He will also compare a late Warring States (3rd Century B.C.) dancer in their collection, which was first published by Salmony in 1938, with what appears to be its mirror image, which was excavated in 2015 in Nanchang, Jiangxi from the apparently intact tomb of the Marquis of Haihun (92 B.C. – 59 B.C.), who had reigned as Emperor in 74 B.C. before he was deposed after 27 days.

Tuesday 7th April
5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis
Peter Ting and Ying Jian
Whiter shades of pale: Blanc de Chine – a continuous conversation 

This lecture will be prefaced by an introduction from Dr Xiaoxin Li, V&A curator of China collections, introducing the curatorial thinking behind her current display ‘Blanc de Chine – a continuous conversation’. In the lecture,  Ying Jian will talk about historical Dehua Blanc de Chine, its unchanging making methods, and its relationship with Europe and the wider world. Industrial production of Blanc de Chine will also be discussed. Peter Ting will then speak about his love of Blanc de Chine and his early encounter with the material, as well as introducing work he has produced with local craftsmen. Peter will discuss the inspiration behind his pieces that have been included in the V&A display, and will explain his diverse sources of inspiration, which range from Macaroni, to Marco Polo and Elvis Presley. Ting and Ying will also discuss their period as invited ‘artists in residence’ at Dehua.

Peter Ting is an established ceramic artist, tableware designer and curator. His creations can be found in permanent collections in numerous museums globally, including British Museum, V&A, Ulster Museum, MAD (Museum of Art and Design, New York), M+ Museum and National Museum of China. Peter Ting has a successful career as a tableware designer, working with brands including Thomas Goode, Legle , Asprey and Garrard, while his other clients have included HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales, Royal Crown Derby, Fortnum & Mason, Royal Salute, Harrods, Liberty, Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Gump’s. In 2017, Peter launched Ting-Ying, an online gallery specializing in Blanc de Chine porcelain from Dehua China.

He is currently Trustee of QEST (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust), the charitable arm of The Royal Warrants Holders Association.

In April 2012, Ying Jian co-founded Kaolin, a professional ceramic media platform in China for spreading ceramic culture and introducing ceramic makers. In 2016, he established Ting-Ying Gallery in collaboration with Peter Ting, with a view to highlighting the modernity of the traditional crafts of China’s famed Dehua white porcelain.  At the same time, Ying Jian launched an artist-in-residence project in Dehua, Fujian and invited contemporary artists and designers from all over the world to interact with the ancient skills, so as to define new ways of thinking and production.

Ting-Ying Gallery was admitted as a member of International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) under UNESCO in October 2017. In February 2018 Ting-Ying Gallery made its debut at ‘Collect’ as the first gallery from China.

Currently at the V&A there is an exhibition about Blanc de Chine: https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/Bq0Lp1qk/blanc-de-chine-a-continuous-conversation

Tuesday 28th April
The Dr. H. Y. Mok Charitable Foundation lecture on export ceramics sponsored by Edwin Mok
5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis
Prof. Dr. Christiaan Jorg
Aspects of Export Ceramics

Tuesday 16th June
AGM, lecture and reception
AGM starts at 5:30 pm followed by lecture and food and drinks reception
Dr. Edward Luper, Chinese Art, Bonhams
Art Objects and Nostalgia in the ‘Dream of the Red Mansions’ 

Tuesday 13th October
Rachel Peat, Assistant Curator in non-European works of art at the Royal Collections Trust
Most significant Japanese ceramics in the Royal Collection

Japan: Courts and Culture
An important exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace from 12 June – 8 November 2020

The Royal Collection contains one of the finest holdings of Japanese works of art in the western world, significant for both the unique provenance and exceptional quality of the objects. Now, for the first time, highlights from the collection are brought together in the exhibition Japan: Courts and Culture, which tells the story of the diplomatic, artistic and cultural exchanges between Britain and Japan from the reigns of James I to Queen Elizabeth II. Including rare examples of porcelain, lacquer, armour and embroidered screens, the exhibition offers a unique insight into the relationship between the imperial and royal courts over a period of 300 years.

https://www.rct.uk/collection/themes/exhibitions/japan-courts-and-culture/the-queens-gallery-buckingham-palace

Monday 2nd November
Asia Week lecture
Professor LV Chenglong, Deputy Director of the Antiquities Department at the Palace Museum, Beijing
Excavations and research of the Palace Museum into Chinese ceramics

OCS Asia Week lecture
Tuesday 10th November
Lu, Pengliang, Associate Curator of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Later Chinese Bronzes

Tuesday 8th December
The Sir Michael Butler Memorial Lecture sponsored by Katharine and Charles Butler
5:45 pm for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis
Helen Glaister on “Collecting in Public and Private: The Ionides Collection of Chinese Export Porcelain, 1920-1970.”  

Link to Previous Lectures