Dragon Ceiling Exhibit at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Sunlite has completed lighting for the Dragon Ceiling Exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, MO! The exhibit is an architectural masterpiece included in the Chinese Art collection and depicts the Chinese folktale of “The Dragon’s Pearl”. The center of the work is dominated by a writhing dragon that is surrounded by eight smaller dragons. Long shrouded in darkness, the exhibit is now fully illuminated using Sunlite’s LED lighting. The LED light is concealed within a bronze-colored globe (representing the dragon’s pearl) that is suspended through the original aperture of the dragon’s mouth.
The original ceiling was completed in 1444 in the main hall of Zhihuasi (Temple of Wisdom Attained) situated to the east of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The ceiling structure is coffered, meaning a framework of interlocking beams or coffers that are higher than the surrounding ceiling. The coffers are carved from nanmu, an expensive wood imported from the south. The ceiling was discovered by Laurence Sickman, who later became the first curator of Asian art at the Nelson-Atkins.