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  • Staging Japanese Men

    by Alexis Rose In Men Eating, the people are not in a formal situation. Three of the men are wearing happi or a cotton robe-like vest. This could symbolize that the three men are all working together for the same festival performance or to show that they are workers in the same place. The man wearing the long kimono has a rope around his waist and something resembling a sheath can be seen coming from him. The sitting man is the only one wearing pants. They seem like a mixed group of people, yet they all have the same hachimaki, a Japanese headband, in common. Generally, the hachimaki are made having a similar motif to the happi they will be worn with. Men Eating was taken by Felice Beato, an Italian-British photographer who mainly took photographs of East Asia. Men Eating was made during a time when “orientalist” ways of portraying and patronizing Japan was popular in Europe and the United States. This albumen print was originally in black and white and was later tinted, presumably also by Beato. The overall main colors are the blue from their clothes and the brown from the ground, basket and other background items, although they are slightly faded. Most of the objects seem to be in proximity to the man serving the food for convenience. Only one person has food, one person has a teacup and another one is reaching for one. Compared to the other food related objects, only the teapot is oddly out of reach from the man wearing pants.

  • Wine in Ancient China

    by Jennifer Lyu Tracing as far back to 1600 B.C. during the Shang Dynasty, the intricacies and structure of the Chinese wine vessel has become a tool for historians to discover the importance of wine and its many uses throughout Chinese history. The wine vessel was first commonly used in rituals as a channel through which the living and the dead may communicate to allow the strengthening of ancestral ties and the preservation of family tradition and culture. If you look closely to the marks on this specific vessel, there are spiral designs incorporated around the base. Many historians believe the Chinese saw the cyclical nature of these spiral designs as a symbol of unity or the blending of different elements together to create a dynamic whole. The elements of the living and the dead, reality and mythology are, in effect, all becoming connected as one entity, thus bringing one closer to family traditions and the great divine. Wine also became popular among kings and noblemen of Ancient China. This elite class often drank wine for the purpose of leisure and enjoyment. However, excessive drinking and indulgence by kings, such as Di Xin of the Shang Dynasty, led them to neglect their royal duties and gradually steered the dynasty to its downfall. Lastly, it was soon discovered that wine’s bitter, sweet, and pungent elements gave it the abilities to kill all pathogens and act as a healing mechanism to treat many diseases and illnesses. Medicinal wine became well known as a preservative for kings’ corpses, as well as a treatment for snakebites, carbuncles, and other itches.

  • Vanity and The Vine

    by Markella Patitsas The kylix is a drinking cup specially designed for use in ancient Greek symposia, or drinking parties. The sensual design of the cup, with its gentle curves and painted representation of a voluptuous woman, evokes the erotic atmosphere that surrounded symposia. Flute-girls, prostitutes, drinking games, and lovers’ play all contributed to the symposium being known as a setting for revelry and amorous spectacles. In Plato’s Symposium, however, the attendees turned towards a philosophical discussion of nature of love, or eros, and each of the seven speakers, offer their own perspectives on the subject. The discussion culminates in Socrates’ speech on the “ladder of love”- a metaphorical ladder by which one translates their physical attraction to beauty into a divine yearning for beauty, and communion with the form of love itself. The speech makes it clear that beauty and love are inseparable, and are in fact, mutually dependent. This idea has etymological origins and words such as “to kalos” (“the good” or “the beautiful”) capture the close relationship between love and beauty. Since the Greeks believed outer beauty reflected one’s inner qualities, they put great care into their appearances. The depiction of a woman and her mirror on this kylix reveals that a tradition of vanity was embedded in Greek drinking rites.

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  • Home | The Feast

    Virtual Feast What does feasting mean to you? What associations does the word conjure in your mind? Do you think of communal and cozy Thanksgiving meals? The fleshy immediacy of a Robin-Hood style outdoor banquet? Beowulf’s pleasures and gift-giving in the ancient Mead Halls of Northern Europe? Once-in-a-lifetime meals that commemorate occasions, such as a wedding or a 60th birthday? Or religiously associated meals that engage us through centuries-old ritual and pageantry, such as Easter, Passover, Eid, or Chusok? Or perhaps the understated refinement of a Japanese kaiseki meal, requiring extensive labor, but minimalistic in appearance? ​ While its individual form and content may differ greatly, the feast or banquet functions as a strong symbol in most global communities. Food and feasting often defines community by establishing a connection between those who eat, what they eat and how they eat: as such it shapes national and cultural identities. As it is portrayed in Western philosophy from the seminal banquet in the pages of Plato’s Symposium, the feast is simultaneously erotic and philosophical. It has the potential to descend into gluttony or to rise to the level of the sublime. The feast can be an expression of decadence, or it can be a means of sharing bounty or giving thanks. Feasting can represent communion or transgression, just as eating “the flesh” may symbolize one of Christianity’s most central rites or one of Western society’s central taboos. In Asia, the influence of Buddhist reincarnation has instilled additional meanings and taboos upon the consumption of food. Please see the “Tools for Feasting” Gallery for the student essays about what one can learn from the study of these three-dimensional objects. ​ The multiple purposes and nuances of food make it a rich theme in literature, film, and the visual arts. In this seminar, students take advantage of the collections at the Ackland Museum, part of the UNC campus community, to develop a virtual gallery about “The Feast.” Students choose works of art to study and write essays tying the work of art to readings for the class. See the “Feasting in Art” Gallery for representations and interpretations of food and feasting in painting and other visual arts. The Ackland Museum also has a delicious array of feasting tools from across cultures and time periods, from Greek urns and wine cups to Japanese tea chawan and picnic boxes. We have made a special study of the vessels used across cultures in the consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages. ​ The food and banquet film has recently become a genre unto itself, and the outpouring of films is helpful in understanding cross-cultural differences and the place of food within culture. Frequently in these films, food is used as a vehicle for expressing broader societal concerns, such as the difficulty of preserving local cultural heritage in a globalizing world; the strains that can exist across generations; themes of loss, longing, and memory; or the precariousness of expressing individual passions within the strictures of society. For this gallery, students each chose a particular food film (or in some cases television show) to study outside of class. The films are not always obviously about food, but they use food visually or thematically in interesting ways. Each student also chose a still that visually represents the role of food in the film. The choices range from complex novels adapted to film (such as Lord of the Rings or Age of Innocence ) to animated films aimed at family audiences (such as Ratatouille ) to indie art films (such as The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover ). The films chosen represent a number of cultures from French to Taiwanese to Greek-American immigrants to traditional Southern culture. See our “Cinematic Feasts” Gallery for the food film essays. ​ Studying representations of food and eating over time and across a variety of global contexts, each group of students considers one of our most basic human needs and its relationship to thematic dualisms such as necessity and luxury, love and wisdom, gluttony and sublimity, community and individualism, asceticism and consumerism, tradition and experimentation. ​ We hope you will enjoy the galleries! – Inger S. B. Brodey Fresh Entrees Reine de Joie "Reine by Joie" by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, 1892 Dance in a Garden "Dance in a Garden" by Nicolas Lancret, 1690-1743. Breakfast at Tiffany's Food’s Role in Reinvention: The opening of the cinematic interpretation of Truman Capote’s 1958 novella "Breakfast at Tiffany's" captures A Grand Day Out with Wallace & Gromit A World of Cheese and Happiness: Wallace and Gromit are the quintessential connoisseurs of food. This adventure starts with them wanting to Parasite A Perversion of Hospitality – Bong Joon-ho’s Korean thriller is a commentary on interclass dynamics.

  • Tools for Feasting | The Feast

    Tools for Feasting Feasting has rich and varied significance to communities around the globe and through time. Here students share their studies of three-dimensional objects used as "tools for feasting".​ Wine in Ancient China Vanity and The Vine The Portable Feast The Luxury of the Centerpiece The Eighth Day: Holy Feasting in the Jewish Tradition The Capacity of a Wine Cup Plate with Topographic Views Ornament, Status and Exclusion in the Hierarchical Feast Opium Scale Kylix Knife and Fork Kiddush Cup Intake and Regurgitation as Equals in the Feast Drunk with Manners Custard Cup Cup and Saucer Class in a Glass: The Socioeconomic History of Glassware Beer and Art Nouveau: Culinary Culture and the Northern European Bourgeoisie Beaker and Saucer Art in a New Age

  • Feasting in Art | The Feast

    Feasting in Art Food is a rich theme in the visual arts. Based on collections at the Ackland Museum, students developed a virtual gallery about "The Feast", choosing works to study and interpret. Staging Japanese Men "Men Eating" - tinted albumin print by Felice Beato What is Wine? "Wine is a Mocker" by Hendrik Bary, 1670 Virgo – Unmatched Enjoyment "Virgo-Unmatched Enjoyment" by George Cruikshank, 1792-1878 Suite of Six Knots of Ribbon Adorned with Flowers "Suite of Six Knots of Ribbon Adorned with Flower" by Louis-Charles Gautier-Dagoty, 1746-1787 Stop Horsin’ Around on the Meat Taboo "Scene of a Horsemeat Diner" by Daumier, 1857 Snapshots of Change in American Food Identity and the American Dream "Muscle Beach" by Max Yavno, 1981-1982 and "Meal Time, Tenement, New York City" by Lewis Hine, 1910 La Última Cena: Horrifying Holiness "La Ultima Cena" by Paul René Azcuy Cárdenas, 1976 Hungry for Power "A Lord Mayor's Day Nightmare" by Charles Motte, 1930 Hierarchy and Hippophagy "Horsemeat for Dinner" by Honoré Daumier, 1857 Gluttony and the Lord Mayor’s Day Feast "A Lord Mayor's Day Night Mare" by Charles Motte, 1830. A Narrative on the Anti-Feast "Eve and the Serpent" by Rose Piper, 1988 or earlier, and "Wine is a Mocker" by Hendrik Bary, 1670. A Good Cup of Tea (When the Duty is Taken Off) "A Good Cup of Tea (When the Duty is Taken Off)" by George Cruikshank, 1792-1878 Yearning "Dinner on the Grounds of the Corinth Baptist Church" by Minnie Smith Reinhardt, 1985 To Kill a Persimmon "To Kill a Persimmon", print by Jane O'Neal The Virtues of Simplicity "Labor and Diligence Enjoy their Simple Meal" by Maerten van Heemskerck, 1572. The Most Famous Triumph of Bacchus "The Most Famous Triumph of Bacchus" by unidentified artist, 1594 The Fiesta of Santa Anita "The Fiesta of Santa Anita" by Diego Rivera, 1926 The Feast as a Form of Worship "Dinner on the Grounds of the Corinth Baptist Church" by Minnie Smith Reinhardt, 1898-1986 Silenus and Bacchus on a Donkey with a Satyr "Silenus and Bacchus on a Donkey with a Satyr", unknown artist, late 19th century CE Savage Supper "Supper Party" by Martin Shortis, 1959 Reine de Joie "Reine by Joie" by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, 1892 Jupiter's Return as the Sun King "The Nurture of Jupiter" by Nicolas Chaperon, 1640s Immortalizing Wealth in the Dutch Age "Still Life with Hunting Trophies" by Jan Weenix and "Still Life with a Pewter Jug" by Jan Davidsz de Heem. Feast of the Dead "The Feast of the Dead" by Edouard Boubat Escapism: Dream or Reality? "Dance in a Garden" by Lancret, 1690-1743 and "Rwandan Refugee Camp with Mother and Child" by Salgado, 1944 Drug Store: Food and Community in Post-War America "Drug Store" by Robert Frank, 1955-1956 Dance in a Garden "Dance in a Garden" by Nicolas Lancret, 1690-1743. Mamie Neugent's 81st(?) Birthday with Family "Mamie Neugent's 81st(?) Birthday with Family" by David M.Spear, 1989 Belshazzar's Big Night "Belshazzar's Feast" by Charles Joseph Travies de Villers, 1834 Bacchanal "Bacchanal" by Enea Vico, 1540 An Escape from the Life of the French Court "Dance in a Garden" by Nicolas Lancret, mid-1730s Images courtesy of the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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