North China
Eastern Zhou period, 4th century B.C.E.
Bronze inlaid with copper
H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm), W. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm); 1979.104

Artist Comments

Laurie Anderson
What a pleasure to see elegance and a sense of humor in the same piece! Flask which might have been used in rituals or as an actual vessel in banquets-looks both heavy and light. Fitted with rings, it invites portability but inlaid with copper in a motif that suggests bricks and mortar, it has the stalwart character of masonry-a chunk of wall, a squat little chimney. The sturdiest of containers.

Tan Dun
A Re-Departure on the Past

In the process of choosing these objects,
I have reflected on the experience of drinking these three spirits as one--composing.

Wine: ritual
Tea: mind
Water: eternity

With wine comes both sorrow and cheer. With tea comes both the bitter and sweet. With water comes the complexity of life and transparency.

Which one is the hardest to drink?
Water, tea, or wine?

To me, water is the most difficult to taste--
An endless mirror

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