Beth McKillop
"Ink in China"


26 April 2019 / 18:30 Past Activity

As part of the exhibition Out of Ink: Interpretations from Chinese Contemporary Art, Pera Museum presents a talk by the academic and curator Beth McKillop, who contributed to the exhibition’s catalogue with an essay. 

Before the 20th century, ink was always central to the visual and written culture of educated Chinese people. It was made and mixed, stored and treasured, decorated and collected throughout the country’s long history. Successive generations of writers and artists have written and painted with ink, seeing it as the most natural medium for self-expression. In our times, there are still many traditional artists who produce work in the classical style, in addition to those who play on the material and spiritual qualities of ink to explore new possibilities, sometimes in new media.

The talk will consider the physical qualities of ink in China, reflecting on ways it was made and used in pre-modern times. By looking at the physical qualities of ink made at different times in China’s past, and some remarkable examples of surviving ink cakes, as well as the stories and anecdotes that surround them, the lecture will provide a historical context for exploring the work of the 21st century artists on display in the exhibition.

Beth McKillop
Beth McKillop’s career began at the British Library, where she was curator of Chinese and Korean collections. In 2004 she moved to be Keeper of the Asia Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, later working as Director of Collections and Museum Deputy Director there. Since 2016 she has been a senior research fellow at the V&A, and a visiting lecturer at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Free admissions, drop in. This event will take place in the oditorium. The talk will be in English with simultaneous Turkish translation.