The Decorative Object in Early Modern China
Distributed for Reaktion Books
Hay demonstrates how this system—by engaging the actual and metaphorical potential of surface—guided the production and use of decorative arts from the late sixteenth century through the middle of the nineteenth, a period of explosive growth. He shows how the understanding of decorative arts made a fundamental contribution to the sensory education of China’s early modern urban population. Enriching his study with 280 color plates, he ultimately offers an elegant meditation, not only on Ming and Qing art but on the importance of the erotic in the form and function of decorations of all eras.
“In addition to communicating Hay’s own pleasure in his subject, the book itself is also a pleasure to behold with a well-designed layout and many excellent illustrations. Decoration is a fascinating subject which resonates far beyond any particular period or country.”
“A very intelligent book, and each of the author’s main points is fleshed out in complex detail. Hay is to be commended for restoring the decorative arts to a central place within the theoretical discourse of art history.”