Explore this important collection of Chinese contemporary art formed by scholar Michael Sullivan.
The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection is one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary Chinese art in the West. Professor Sullivan began collecting with his wife Khoan (Wu Baohuan) in China in the 1940s. ‘Khoan in her own special way began to build bridges and open doors for me’, he writes, ‘who would otherwise always have been looked on as a foreigner’. Many artists became their personal friends, and the works of art were presented to them as symbols of their friendship.
Professor Sullivan has published many books on contemporary Chinese art since the 1950s and has worked at the Universities of London, Malaya, Stanford and Oxford. Through his writings, he established a new field of modern Chinese art history and criticism, and befriended Chinese artists of all generations, especially those working overseas.
The works in this exhibition are mostly by living artists and have been acquired in the last ten years. A companion exhibition of earlier acquisitions will be displayed this autumn in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing.
Eastern Art Online presents an online version of Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sullivan Collection, currently on display in the Ashmolean's Chinese Paintings Gallery, to celebrate the opening of the Beijing exhibition. It enables visitors to browse and search all exhibition objects and their high-quality zoomable images online.
In celebration of these exhibitions, the Ashmolean has published a Festshcrift in honour of Michael Sullivan, which is available to purchase from the Ashmolean shop. A fully illustrated catalogue of the collection, Modern Chinese Art: The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection, is also available to purchase from the Ashmolean shop, or online here. A catalogue of the Beijing exhibition is also available to purchase through the National Art Museum of China (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Objects from past exhibitions may have now returned to our stores or a lender. Click into an individual object record to confirm whether or not an object is currently on display. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis, so please contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular Eastern Art object.