Chinese Jade – Meaningful Materials (81)

Two Chinese Jade Dragon Pendants, c. 4th/3rd century B.C., Art Institute of Chicago

How do artists’ choices of materials assign identity and meaning to works of art? How does meaning assign material? In this excerpt from one of my museum tours, I explore the meaningful material of Chinese jade — its symbolic and medicinal value, function, materiality, artistry, and poetic inspiration.

Features Works of Art:

Dragon Pendants
China, Eastern Zhou dynasty
Warring States period (c.480-221 BC)
c. 4th/3rd century B.C.
9.2 x 16.8 x 0.7 cm (3 3/5 x 6 3/5 x 3/10 in.)
8.6 x 16.5 x 0.6 cm. (6-1/2 x 3-3/8 x 1/4 in.)
Art Institute of Chicago, 1950.640
Art Institute of Chicago, 1950.641

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