Court Lady


Anne Chu ( American, 1959 )

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General Description

This court lady appropriates a form of mingqi, or "spirit objects," that were placed in tombs in China for the comfort and use of the deceased from the 3rd century BCE. This practice reached its peak in the Tang dynasty (618-917 CE), to which Anne Chu's figure refers. Instead of sancai, a varnish of three colors applied to ceramic sculpture, Chu has applied apparently arbitrary patches of color to blocks of wood glued together and cut in a rustic form. For the artist, this rough hewn figure, no longer protecting the deceased from evil or entertaining in the afterlife, is divested of any spiritual significance. Chu highlights critical questions of form and content while playing with the conventions and conditions of art.

Adapted from

Suzanne Weaver, Concentrations 32: Anne Chu and Bonnie Collura, October 15, 1998- January 17, 1999.