Eileen LAM 林巧羚
The Hong Kong Institute of Education

Wandering in and beyond Chinese Jade: A Research on the Sonnenschein Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago

The year of invaluable working experience at the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) offered me opportunities of participating in daily curatorial works, and close studies of the museum Chinese jade collection. In this presentation, I will briefly discuss my recent survey on Chinese glass plaques - one of the researches that I conceived and developed by studying the Edward and Louise B. Sonnenschein archaic Chinese jades Collection during the year at the AIC.

Most discussions about early Chinese glass to date have explored issues of origin and studied this material as an indication of China's contacts with outside civilizations. This research, however, attempts to focus on the different subject of these glass plaques. By juxtaposing the AIC's glass plaques with other collections' pieces and those found from excavations, this study will explore the original function of the plaques, and in addition, review the long-standing perception that ancient Chinese glass (particularly in burial context) served as less precious simulations of those of jade.