Early Chinese Jades

Jiaming Zhao, curator of this exhibition, writes:

In the Stone Age, humanity glimpsed its extraordinary creative power and began pondering the profound mysteries of life, death, and the universe. Using jade and stone as their canvas, ancient civilizations sought to bridge the gap between themselves and the cosmos, creating works of art that connected them to the universe’s enigmas. Although those ancient minds have long departed, the jade and stone creations they left behind endure, their brilliance undiminished through millennia.

As time marched on, during the Warring States period and the Han Dynasty, jade works of art evolved. They became not just symbolic connectors to the universe and markers of life and death but practical, everyday objects, adorned with fancy designs. The shift was subtle yet significant – from a focus on the cosmic to an emphasis on the intrinsic beauty of these works of art.

Our exhibition, 嘉玉’, masterfully intertwines the elegance of early Chinese jade works of art. From the simplicity and austere style of Neolithic jade bi discs to the intricate craftsmanship of Han dynasty jade ornaments, these works of art span epochs, capturing the essence of China’s ancient artistic evolution.

What makes this exhibition truly exceptional is the collaboration with Mr. Janssens. A European connoisseur with a profound understanding of Eastern aesthetics, he brings a fresh perspective to these ancient works of art. His ability to perceive beauty in the subtlest lines and shapes of a jade ge blade speaks volumes about his discerning taste. This collaboration between East and West not only elevates the works of art but also creates a fusion of cultures, an interplay that transcends time and geographical boundaries.

Jiaming Zhao
Jiaming Zhao

I hope you enjoy these early jades and please do not hesitate to contact us if we may be of assistance to you.

Ben Janssens
London, October 2023