Date: June 15, 2016
By: Sarah Cascone
One of Taiwan’s most prized artistic treasures is coming to San Francisco this month, but it’s
probably not what you would expect. Taipei’s National Palace Museum is offering the Asian Art Museum a rare loan of its beloved “meat-shaped stone,” a small piece of jasper carefully manipulated by a 19th-century Chinese craftsman to accentuate its striking visual similarities to a piece of braised pork belly.
The National Palace Museum is exceedingly proud of the piece, which “show[s] how great craftsmanship not only enhance[s] the beauty and features of natural objects, but it sometimes even outdoes them,” as it states in a description on the museum’s website.
In our foodie-friendly age, where shots of delicious meals rival art selfies for Instagram supremacy, the stone is now primed to become a hit in America on its first journey stateside. It even has a hashtag: #PricelessPorkBelly.
“It’s just so realistic, it looks like a real, mouthwatering piece of pork,” Asian Art Museum director Jay Xu told the New York Times in May. “You can’t help but fall in love with it.”
The stone, with its clear layers of fat and glistening sheen, most closely resembles the dish dongpo rou, said to have been invented by Su Dongpo (orginally known as Su Shi), an 11th-century Chinese poet and artist. [FULL STORY]