Today, the Cleveland Museum of Art opens Beijing: Contemporary and Imperial: Photographs by Lois Conner. The project focuses on Yuanming Yuan, also known as the Garden of Perfect Brightness. Once the cultural center of the Chinese empire, the garden was under construction from the 1690s to 1860, and fostered a huge sense of creativity and poetic imagination. It was ransacked by an Ango-French expedition in October, 1860, and today it stands as China’s national ruin, symbolic of the country’s decline and inspiration to dreams of revitalization. Conner captures this beautifully against the backdrop of bustling modern Beijing. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and the exhibit runs through June 29. (Trenholme)
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