Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Project Type

MA Project - Other

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


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First Advisor

Melanie Marino

Second Advisor

Stephan Pascher


The practice of adding inscriptions to a painting is a unique tradition that originates in China and has influence East Asia in general throughout history. Reading the inscriptions one can learn the mind of the artist as he was creating the painting, or the comments from the later collectors in the case of handscrolls. Not only do inscriptions often record time and location, they also provide interesting notes to help appreciate the paintings.

I chose to do this catalogue because there is a lack of access to Chinese ink paintings to non- Chinese speakers or anyone without the language ability of Classical Chinese. I read the catalogues for Chinese Paintings at major auction houses during the Asia Week, and noticed that there are rarely transcriptions for the paintings, not to mention translations in English. However, the amount of non-Chinese visitors I saw during the Asia Week were more than I expected. The Chinese Works of Art galleries were always busy, but the Chinese Paintings galleries were a lot slower.

The arts of China are all inter-connected. The philosophical and aesthetic ideas behind a piece of porcelain can be found in a handscroll. When we visited Poly Auction in Beijing, the Chinese Paintings Department Head talked about how small the circle of Chinese paintings collectors is. Certainly, this is mostly due to the difficulty of authentication. But Asia Week offered a wide range of lower priced paintings that are good choices just for appreciation and decoration. Therefore, I think the barrier for appreciating Chinese ink paintings here are the calligraphic texts that are either illegible or incomprehensible. If I could do a catalogue that makes the paintings and the inscriptions accessible