How did you become interested in becoming a curator?
Curatorial works can provide me prouder moments of achievement, compared with my teaching work. When I complete an exhibition, my feeling is similar to that of publishing a book. You know how people feel when they publish a book.
How did you become specifically interested in Chinese Buddhist art history, Chinese painting, and Chinese religions?
When I was a high school student, I wanted to become an artist, and for this purpose, I had practiced Chinese painting and Western drawing for 13 years since I was five years old. However, my father, an artist, did not allow me to become an artist. Then I had to select archaeology as my major, which was my second interest. In the areas of archaeology, I prefer Buddhist art and painting history because they are closer to my former first interest to become an artist.
When thinking about art what time period is your favorite? Why?
Medieval period (5th-14th centuries), because this is the peak of Asian traditional culture and art, and the golden age of Chinese Buddhist art.
What are some of your favorite exhibitions you have seen in the United States and internationally? Why?
One favorite is Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology, 1999, at National Gallery of Art and others. This is a large exhibition covering many wonderful periods in Chinese history from third century BCE to tenth century CE, with many masterpieces. Some masterpieces I had no chance to see in China, but saw them in DC.
Another was the exhibition on Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) art, in 2009 or 2010, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This exhibition displayed many wonderful pieces discovered from the period of the Mongol’s rule in China, from different cultures, because the Mongols ruled large regions with numerous cultures. One can see the cultural exchanges and communications among different peoples from the Mongol’s period in the exhibition.
In your opinion, how is art connected to the wellness of an individual or of society at large?
I believe that there is a close relationship between art and emotion, and emotional or aesthetic responses to art can be regarded as the keystone to experiencing art. The creation of an emotional experience could be treated as the purpose of some artistic expressions. Therefore, appreciation of art could improve the healthy emotion of an individual, and the harmonious atmosphere of a society.
Why is it important to have the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas?
Asian art can be served as an influential way to improve diverse cultures and arts in the United States. Dallas is a very special large city with wonderful diverse cultures, with growing populations of people of Hispanic and Asian descent. It is necessary to introduce Asian cultures and arts to all people, especially the cultures and arts from their home countries. With a wonderful Asian art collection, the Crow contributes greatly to Asian communities and the diverse cultures of Dallas.