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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Singer

Review of Pieces of China, Episode 4 Webinar

China Institute in America's Pieces of China, Episode 4: Scholar Alfreda Murck was WOW. Dr. Murck took us through Zhang Zeduan's twelfth century hand scroll, Along the River During the Qingming Festival. Only ten inches high, but seventeen feet long, the scope and level of detail are incredible. Traveling in the countryside after paying respects to one's ancestors, entering the suburbs, floating along the Grand Canal, and then arriving in the city (now Kaifeng), there are people from all walks of life. Donkeys, horses, sedan chairs, boats, walking: everyone is moving. Barbers, storytellers, doctors, restaurant goers, workers, people just living their Northern Song Dynasty lives. I had not previously seen (or at least noticed) face-blocking fans, but these are depicted by the artist as the more respectable members of society try to avoid being recognized frequenting places that are better left to the imagination. --Andrew Singer


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