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  • W.B.Yeats: Lapis Lazuli

    In celebration of Ireland-China 45 Years

    June 14th to July 4th, 2024

    On June 13th, Choi Centre Cloud House and the Embassy of Ireland in China celebrated the birthday of poet W.B. Yeats with the opening of the "W.B.Yeats: Lapis Lazuli" Contemporary Art Exhibition, curated by Hamilton Gallery from Yeats' hometown of Sligo. This event also commemorated the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Ireland and China. Our deepest gratitude goes to Her Excellency Dr. Ann Derwin, Ambassador of Ireland to China, and Martina Gillan, founder of Hamilton Gallery, for making this exhibition possible.

     

    The exhibition features 22 contemporary Irish artists, with Donncadh O’Callaghan and Medbh Gillard as distinguished representatives at the exhibition opening. Inspired by the Chinese Qianlong-era lapis lazuli carving gifted to Yeats in 1935, they created 54 paintings paying homage to Yeats' poetry. These works not only reflect the artists' profound understanding of Yeats' poems but also highlight the power of art to transcend cultures and generations, connecting hearts and minds. Guests immersed themselves in these contemporary interpretations, experiencing the beauty and depth of Yeats' poetry, and witnessing a glorious moment of cultural exchange between China and Ireland.

     

     

    "Lapis Lazuli" is one of Yeats' later poems. In July 1935, Yeats' friend Harry Clifton gave him a Qianlong-era Chinese lapis lazuli carving as a gift for his 70th birthday, and Yeats wrote this poem in return. The figures and temple path mentioned in the poem are images from the carving. Yeats believed that art is not equivalent to reality; art has its intrinsic value. He thought that specific works of art and civilizations would perish, but they would also cycle and renew, endlessly. Through the detailed depiction of the carving, Yeats revealed the ancient Chinese people's philosophical attitude toward tragedy.

     

     

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    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) was an Irish poet and playwright. His early works were full of Romanticism, making him an excellent inheritor of the Irish poetic tradition. In his later years, influenced by Modernism and his active participation in the Irish national independence movement, his writing style became more mystical, and rich with symbolism. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 "for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." The poem "Lapis Lazuli," selected from "Last Poems" (1938), is one of his later works.

    Image courtesy of Choi Centre · Cloud House

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    Visit the "W.B. Yeats: Lapis Lazuli" Art Exhibition!

    Scan the QR code on WeChat to book your visit now!

     

    Explore the profound beauty and depth of contemporary interpretations of Yeats' poetry. The exhibition runs from June 14, 2024, to July 4, 2024, open Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays) from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.