Michael Cherney’s Ten Thousand Li of the Yangzi River series are on display at the Metropolitan Museum
Column:2018 Time:2018-09-16
+3 Gallery is proud to present the news that three of the handscrolls from Michael Cherney’s Ten Thousand Li of the Yangzi River series are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from August 25 to January 6
+3 Gallery is proud to present the news that three of the handscrolls from Michael Cherney’s Ten Thousand Li of the Yangzi River series are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from August 25 to January 6, in an exhibition entitled “Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China” (in the Chinese painting galleries; gallery 216). 



About a thousand years ago, the Chinese landscape painter Guo Xi posed the question, "In what does a gentleman's love of landscape consist?" This question is at the heart of the exhibition, which explores the many uses of landscape in the Chinese visual arts.

This exhibition, which showcases more than 120 Chinese landscape paintings in four rotations, offers insights into the tradition, revealing distinctions between types of landscape that might not be obvious at first glance.

Drawn primarily from The Met's holdings and supplemented by a dozen private loans, the presentation is augmented by decorative art objects with landscape themes.








The third rotation of the exhibition is drawn primarily from the Met’s holdings, featuring such classics as Wen Zhengming’s Recluse Playing the Zither in the Shadow of the Pines, Wang Shang gong’s Paragons of Loyalty and Filial Piety, Gong Xian’sLandscapes with Poems and Wang Yuanqi’s Wangchuan Villa.  The exhibition also showcases a few hard-to-see paintings loaned from private collections, including Wen Zhengming’s Yuan An Sleeping through the Snow, Lan Ying’s Luxuriant Mountains and Woods and Bada Shanren’s album Pictures of Celestials Light and Cloud Shadows




Wen Zhengming (Ming dynasty), Recluse Playing the Zither in the Shade of the Pines, Hanging scroll



Wang Yuanqi (Qing dynasty), Wangchuan Villa (excerpt), Handscroll



The final room (Gallery 216) in the exhibition is entitled “the Riverscape.” It is occupied on one side by Ten Thousand Li of the Yangzi River, formerly attributed to Xia Gui (Song Dynasty) and now attributed to an unidentified artist from Ming Dynasty. The other side of the room is occupied by Michael Cherney’s three handscrolls from his Ten Thousand Li of the Yangzi River series  ̶ Panzhihua, Yuezhou and Haimen  ̶  which serve as a contemporary coda to a classical painting show. 



Unidentified artist (Ming dynasty), Ten Thousand Li of the Yangzi River (excerpt), Handscroll



Michael Cherney, Ten Thousand Li of the Yangzi River: Panzhihua (right),  Yuezhou(middle), Haimen (left).



The series was inspired by classical paintings of the river, in particular a Song period handscroll housed at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. From 2010 to 2015, Cherney embarked on a series of journeys following the course of the river from source to sea, revisiting historical sites to connect with cultural legacies as well as to record the river’s present-day condition. Over the course of the series, which consists forty two handscrolls, the grand landscapes of western China transition to scenes dominated by industry in the east.




Michael Cherney, Ten Thousand Li of the Yangzi River: Panzhihua, Handscroll, Photography, Ink on Mitsumata paper



Michael CherneyTen Thousand Li of the Yangzi River: Yuezhou (excerpt), Handscroll, Photography, Ink on Mitsumata paper



Michael Cherney, Ten Thousand Li of the Yangzi River: Haimen (excerpt), Handscroll, Photography, Ink on Mitsumata paper


Exhibition Information


Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China


Duration: Rotation 3, August 25rd, 2018  – January 6th, 2019

Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA



Michael Cherney's first solo show in Beijing in over ten years "The Heart-Mind Learns From the Eyes – The Art of Michael Cherney" will be open on September 23rd this year. Including the series Map of Mountains and Seas, Three Views of Yellow Earth, Twilight Cranes, Shadow Curtains and Wordless Stele, many works in this exhibition have never been shown in China. On October 13th, the artist will give a lecture entitled "Those Waters Giving Way" to share his understanding of art with audiences about the works in this exhibition as well as the exhibition "Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of Chinain the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The Heart-Mind Learns From the Eyes – the Art of Michael Cherney


Opening17:00, September 23rd, 2018

Lecture:16:30, October 13rd, 2018

Duration: September 23rd  – November 25th, 2018 (10:00-18:00 Closed on Mondays)

Location: Three Shadows Photography Art Centre (155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015)


Michael Cherney, Map of Mountains and Seas #18 (left), 

Map of Mountains and Seas #19 (right),  Photographic print on Mitsumata paper




At the same time, Michael Cherney's work Twilight Cranes is  showing in the Getty Center Research Institute Gallery.


Artists and Their Books

Duration: June 26th  – October 28th, 2018

Location: Getty Center Research Institute, Los Angeles, USA



b. 1969 in New York, lives and works in Beijing


Michael Cherney studied Chinese language and history at the State University of New York at Binghamton, followed by graduate language study at Beijing Language Institute.  A self-taught photographer, Cherney's formal studies, combined with his rigorous personal studies of China's art historical past, have resulted in his abiding appreciation and even reverence for China's rich history and painting tradition, particularly landscape painting. His relationship with China has been deepened by his residence in Beijing for well over two decades along with his extensive travel throughout China, seeking out the specific sites that have historical relevance to his work. He has described his art as a way “to look upon a place imbued with a vast (sometimes daunting) accumulation of history and cultural memory, and then to capture one instant, fleeting, tangible moment of it with a photograph.”


Cherney's works were the first photographic works ever to enter the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Asian Art and are in the permanent collections of many other museums as well, including Cleveland Museum of Art, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Getty Research Institute, Harvard University Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Princeton University Art Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Portland Art Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, among others.