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COROMANDEL SCREENS ANYONE??

Courtesy Metropolitan Museum

COROMANDEL SCREENS ANYONE??

Many of us have seen, appraised, bought, sold so-called Coromandel screens. Chinese lacquer screens often with red, brown or black ground with large landscape and pavilions scenes and often scenes of dancers illustrating Ming dynasty and earlier theatrical dramas. We call the screens Coromandels screens but the term came into use only at the beginning of the 20th century. Coromandel because the screens were shipped from China via India’s Coromandel Coast of southeast India. In China the term for these screen was and is kuancai – meaning that the artisans hollowed out, carved and incised many layers of dried lacquer and filled in the gaps with colored lacquer or silver or gold. A time consuming technique.

Not much is written about Coromandel screens and this article in The Oriental Ceramic Society’s May 2018 Newsletter by HE Feng, a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of East Asian Art History at Heidelberg University explains the history of these screens exported from China since the late 1700s.

COROMANDEL SCREENS

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Empress Cixi of China

February 27, 2018 Leave a comment

Somebody asked me about a book about Empress Cixi of China (1835-1908); Cixi had huge obstacles to overcome; she is much maligned but this 2013 biography by Jung Chang EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI, THE CONCUBINE WHO LAUNCHED MODERN CHINA paints a somewhat different picture.

Empress Cixi of China

More books about global trade……

February 17, 2018 Leave a comment

silk trade

SILK, PORCELAIN AND LACQUER: CHINA AND JAPAN AND THEIR TRADE WITH WESTERN EUROPE AND THE NEW WORLD, 1500-1644.

By Teresa Canepa, London 2016.

Global trade via trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific networks satisfying the demand for luxury goods, creating profitable opportunities for Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English merchants. The book explains that Chinese porcelains and silk was produced and shipped in great quantities whereas practically all Japanese lacquer traded by the Europeans was made to order. The book is said to be exceptionally well illustrated.

Cheers,

Elisabeth

 

CHINA’S 8 BROKENS: PUZZLES OF THE TREASURED PAST MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS BOSTON

January 22, 2018 Leave a comment

http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/chinas-8-brokens

Although this exhibit is closed now- I wanted to bring this to your attention because it highlighted a new painting style that emerged in China in the late 19th and then 20th century. I was not aware of this type of painting.

BAPO CHINA’S EIGHT BROKENS was an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art Boston.

I quote freely from an article by Eliza Sullivan 6/15/2017.

The paintings were created by painting depictions of fragments of different items, often images and calligraphy, mimicking collages. Dr. Nancy Berliner, the Wu Tung Curator of Chinese Art (she brought the Yin Yu Tang house, moved from China and rebuilt at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts) first discovered bapo at a flea market in China as a student. It had been a relatively unknown style, neglected by museums because it was not a painting with landscape and figures. Bapo translates as “eight broken”, focusing on treasures of the past. Eight is a lucky number conveying wishes for good fortune.

Follow the link to read about this style.

Cheers,

Elisabeth

broken pieces

EARTHLY SPLENDOR: KOREAN CERAMICS FROM THE COLLECTION

to open January 20, 2018

THE TRAMMEL AND MARGARET CROW COLLECTION 

http://crowcollection.org/exhibition/earthly-splendor-korean-ceramics-from-the-collection/

2010 Flora Street in Dallas

The exhibit will pair antique pieces ( Three Kingdom period 57 BCE-935 CE ) with outstanding examples of contemporary ceramics. Korean ceramic tradition goes back some 7000 years and although Korean potters were imported and were instrumental in the Chinese and Korean ceramic production, it was not until the 1960s that they were considered and sought after by dealers and collectors.

ceramics at the crow

Cheers,

Elisabeth

Museum for Vancouver

SINGAPOREAN BILLIONAIRE plans to build Asian Art Museum in Vancouver  dedicated to Asian and Buddhist Art.

Oei Hong Leon, a part time resident of Vancouver, loves Buddhism “not so much as religion but as a personal philosophy “. He owns about 50,000 pieces now housed in a private museum in Singapore.

At the same time the Vancouver International Centre of Contemporary Asian Art, and proponents like Robert H. N. Ho and China’s Poly Culture Group have suggested to build a museum for Chinese Art in Vancouver. My comment: The Poly Culture Group operates as a culture and art company in China – as art business and auction, as performance and theater management and as cinema investment and management company – all specially fostered by China Poly Group, a gigantic state owned Chinese business- if I am not mistaken.

And Poly Culture has launched a flagship art gallery for rare artifacts from Beijing’s Famous Summer Palace – in Vancouver.

I must visit Vancouver soon!!!

Cheers,

Elisabeth

WHERE IS THE ORIGINAL – IN NEW YORK OR IN CHINA?

An interesting situation developed for a Chinese National Treasure— a painting hanging in the Forbidden Palace in Beijing and by some scholars long thought not to be the original by the Five Dynasties court painter Zhou Wenju (active  942-961) but a rendering by the Sung  Emperor Zhou who delighted in rendering or making studies of earlier masterworks— an activity often encountered in Chinese art.

gian-2

The book “Original Intentions” edited by Nicholas Pearce and Jason Steuber deals extensively with productions, reproductions and interpretations in the arts of China (University Press of Florida 2012). Such later renderings of original works of art make it often enormously difficult to authenticate Chinese paintings. And who is to say whether  the original or the  exact rendering of the original should be worth more?
Now a painting has surfaced in New York  that is thought to be the original  done by the artist himself. The painting will be offered by Gianguan Auctions, formerly Hong Kong Auctions on March 19th. The painting is titled “Chess Game abut of Screen”.
I am curious who is behind Gianguan Auctions?  A quick internet search:
Gianguan Auctions

Gianguan Auctions (also known as Hong Kong Auctions) specializes in Chinese and Asian arts and has a wide clientele from China and Asia. Established in Hong Kong in 2002, a New York office opened in 2004. Four times a year, auctions are held at the Lefcourt Building on New York’s Madison Ave. Under the management of Mr. Kwong Lum, Gianguan has successfully sourced high-quality consignments that has resulted in record prices. Recently, Mr. Lum was appointed by Beijing’s National Museum’s Appraisal Centre as its chief consultant, an exceptional honour, which solidifies their reputation as experts in Chinese, antiques.

Gianguan Auctions Fine Chinese Art Auctions include an important selection of American Chinese private collections of traditional painting and calligraphy, bronzes, porcelain, jade and scholars items, dating from the Soong Dynasty to contemporary time with representations from each period”.

Go to gianguanauctions.com to see the catalogue of their upcoming auction.
Cheers
Elisabeth and Natasha