Color is one of the timeless and foundational elements of art, transcending boundaries of time, place and culture. The diverse collection of Asian art at the Harn Museum of Art boasts an extensive range of colors, each carrying rich cultural, religious, social and political significance. The dynamic palette of colors found in Asian art not only captivates the eyes but also unveils stories of cross-cultural interaction, trade networks, and artistic advancement that span the vast landscape of Asia.
Serving as a gateway to understanding the rich tapestry of Asian art and culture, the exhibition titled Kaleidoscope of Colors in Asian Art introduces a fresh perspective for visitors’ exploration and appreciation of Asian art through the prism of colors. Organizing an array of works of art, spanning from the 12th century BCE to the present day, around four key colors—green, blue, red and gold, the thematic display examines those colors from transcultural and transregional viewpoints. It sheds light on each color as representation of natural resources, wellsprings of inspiration and imagination, emblems of religious and political authority, and symbols s of prestige and status.
By showcasing how these colors have been used and valued in diverse artistic traditions across Asia, this exhibition offers a unique opportunity to delve into the interplay between art and color, as well as the cultural and artistic connections within and beyond the vast Asian continent.