Sculpture is just a word, an English word, which elicits an image in the mind’s eye. Sculpture is a European idea. In China statues, stele and other figural objects were made for millennia but not valued or collected as Sculpture. There was no Sculpture in China. Imagining Sculpture is the story of this something that did not exist.
Imagining Sculpture is a series of short vignettes, historical and fictional. Travelers, scholars, officials, collectors, and antiquarians encounter statues, figures, and effigies in China, Japan, England, Germany, France, Italy, and the United States from the fourteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century. Imagining Sculpture is visual, cinematic and sumptuous-told with rare photographs, paintings, sketches, letters and ephemera. With little text, the argument is made by the images. Imagining Sculpture offers a new kind of visual narrative and offers a radically different way of seeing and knowing.