Arts & Entertainment

'Confucius: Shaping Values Through Art' at Pacific Asia Museum

ConfucianismUCLAEducation

Confucius recently received worldwide attention during the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing. Now the philosopher and teacher, who lived from 551 to 479 BC, gets the spotlight in the exhibition "Confucius: Shaping Values Through Art" at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.

"To understand the Chinese culture, one must understand the life and teachings of Confucius," says guest curator Meher McArthur, who is writing a biography of Confucius to be published next September.

On display here are more than 60 pieces mostly from the museum's collection, including jade sculptures, stone rubbings, embroideries on silk and woodblock-printed books.

The trilingual (English, Chinese and Korean) exhibition is organized along key concepts of Confucius' teachings, such as filial piety, which is depicted on panels with scenes of children performing acts of respect toward their parents. Images of bamboo represent moral integrity, while in a section about fortuitous rulers, there's a 17th century civil service exam donated by UCLA's East Asian Library.

Adding some regional flavor: work by calligraphers from Huntington Beach, Sun Wuk Kim and Chau Thuy; photos of Confucius' image in settings throughout Southern California; and a video of locals discussing how his teachings affect their lives. The show runs through Jan. 11.

-- Liesl Bradner

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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