San-shin (Mountain Spirit), from Korea, Joseon Dynasty

Shattering the Void: Realms of Meaning in East Asian Art

Kemper Family Foundations Balcony, 408

Shattering the Void moves through representations of everyday life to otherworldly realms from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese art. Some of the themes addressed include longevity, transcendence, and myths and legends, which both contrast with and link to the earthly influences of calligraphy, tea, and personal adornment. Through contemporary considerations of myth and everyday life, realms of meaning are built across voids of time and geography. This exhibition is part of the Freeman Foundation K12 Educational Outreach Initiative and aims to build bridges of communication between East Asian culture and local Kansas communities through the Spencer Museum’s permanent collections.

The installation also includes a digital platform where visitors can engage with three-dimensional scans of artworks as well as other educational resources. The exhibition is part of an educators' development workshop on July 11, 2019. Throughout the exhibition, the Spencer aims to gather feedback from educators to refine the themes and the artworks to be included in an exhibition at the Salina Art Center that is scheduled to open in January 2020.


Selected images