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Upcoming at the Tang

Paradise and Plumage: Chinese Connections in Tibetan Arhat Painting (September 25–January 2, 2005). Between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries, exchanges between the imperial courts of China and the religious centers of Tibet brought Chinese cultural objects and images to the attention of Tibetan painters. Tibetan paintings of Arhats (early Indian followers of the Buddha) exhibit many Chinese emblems and influences, from blue-green landscapes to colorful birds and flowers to furniture and vases. By the fifteenth century, Chinese court painters were themselves producing exquisite Arhat paintings.

Paradise and Plumage explores this artistic interchange through works such as Tibetan scroll paintings originally mounted in silk brocade, Chinese hanging scrolls, album leaves, porcelain ceramics, scholars’ rocks, and semiprecious treasure-offerings such as coral and turquoise. The show is organized by Skidmore art-history professor Rob Linrothe, in association with the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.

A Very Liquid Heaven (October 15–May 2005). Human perceptions of permanence, mutability, and time are at the heart of this multidisciplinary exhibition about our relationship with the universe. Can technology help us feel the spinning of a pulsar, the violence of a supernova, the throbbing of a variable star? Does the image of a physically pulsing star make the stars seem more tangible and three-dimensional? Is hearing more effective than vision in making these objects seem palpable to us? The show will feature historical photographs and a­lases, video by Charles and Ray Eames and Bill Viola, and recent art by Kiki Smith, Russell Crotty, John Torreano, Sebastian Romo, and others.
Skidmore faculty members will help open the exhibition with dance and music: George Crumb’s “Music for a Summer Evening: Makro­kosmos III” on two pianos and a huge array of percussion instruments (temple bells, Tibetan prayer stones, African log drum, and more), together with dance choreographed and performed for the occasion.
The exhibition is organized by Skidmore professors Mary Crone-Odekon (physics) and Margo Mensing (art), with the Tang’s curator Ian Berry.

Elevator Music 3: Michelle Nagai (October 15–January 2, 2005). Michelle Nagai is an electroacoustic artist whose interdisciplinary approach incorporates acoustic ecology, cultural geography, and expressive therapy. In collaboration with Skidmore College Radio (WSPN, 91.1 FM), Nagai will continue her traveling sound project “Ec(h)olocator.” Designed in collaboration with campus and community radio stations across Canada and the US, the project invites radio producers and others to join in soundwalks, field recording sessions, soundscape composing, and improvisation. The project will culminate with a live broadcast on WSPN and an installation in the Tang Museum’s elevator.

The Elevator Music series is organized by the Tang’s curatorial assistant Gretchen Wagner, in collaboration with the artist.

Regular Tang hours are TuesdaySunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; closed major holidays. For information about curator’s tours, children’s programs, and other events, call 518-580-8080 or check www.skidmore.edu/tang.