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MINGEI INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM IN SAN DIEGO

November 23, 2013 Leave a comment

https://www.mingei.org

Inspired by the Japanese 20th century scholar Soetsu Yanagi who coined the term MINGEI – ART OF THE PEOPLE, Martha
W. Longenecker, an educator and artist, founded the Mingei International Museum in 1978. She was its director for many years, organized many exhibitions and published a number of books. While Ms. Longenecker was closely associated with the arts and crafts of Japan and knew many of the artists now declared National Treasures, the Mingei Museum exhibits the arts, crafts and designs from all eras and cultures of the world – 141 to be exact. Ms. Longenecker died at the age of 93 on October 30, 2013.

I had the chance to visit the museum a few times and frequently use their book/exhibition catalogues about Asian textiles and jewelry.

Here is what the museum has to say about Ms. Longenecker:

http://www.mingei.org/about/history-of-mingei/

Martha

WILLARD AND ELIZABETH CLARK COLLECTION OF JAPANESE ART

 

Some of us remember and followed the teachings of Dr. Sherman Lee, former Curator of Asian Art at The Cleveland Museum. Willard and Elizabeth Clark honored their friend Sherman Lee by founding the Ruth and Sherman Lee Institute at the Clark Center.  Sherman Lee worked at the Cleveland from 1952 to 1983, becoming director in 1958.

Elisabeth

Japanese Art

 

 

Recomended Titles

I recently came across a few very interesting books that I wanted to share with you.

1. THREADS OF SILK AND GOLD:ORNAMENTAL TEXTILES FROM MEIJI JAPAN
 McDermott, Hiroko T. and Pollard, Clare, Oxford, 2012.
thredFor years I have tried to convince clients, collectors  and dealers of the merits of late 19th/early 20th century Japanese textiles, some made for export. These are very accomplished embroideries, often with resist-dye silks and velvets, tapestry works,  and appliqué – used for large textiles but also for  kimonos we so much admire. I believe they were  and  still are not appreciated so much because they date from a relatively late period but one forgets that many of these techniques are no longer used today and have become rare. The textiles and kimonos once used are no longer in demand. If you find an artist in Japan who still works with these techniques, his/her works are often more expensive than the older version.
I believe this is the first English language book  on this subject.
So enjoy this book!
2. Something on a controversial subject — because not so much understood by Westerners. It does not have to be controversial!
ORIGINAL INTENTIONS:ESSAYS ON PRODUCTION, REPRODUCTION, AND INTERPRETATION IN THE ARTS OF CHINA
Pearce, Nicholas & Steuber, Jason, Gainesville 2012.
2This book deals with the old question of authenticity – in Chinese culture everything has a precedent,  and paintings, sculpture and other works are produced, reproduced, replicated not so much to fake but to render something  according to  and in hommage to earlier masters. This approach goes back all the way to antiquity when jade and bronze pieces from earlier periods were replicated. Later emperors excelled in producing wares imitating such earlier renditions.
There is a fundamental difference between faking to cheat – detested by the Chinese scholar and artist, and copying a work of art; the difference is clearly expressed in the language of Chinese connoisseurship –intention is everything.  The books deals with ceramics, paintings, sculptural pieces and paintings.
3. Ending with a Japanese artist who was born at the beginning of the Meiji period (1868-1912) when Japan opened up to the West and western ideas, western perspective.
KAMISAKA SEKKA:RINPA TRADITIONALIST, MODERN DESIGNER
Marks, Andreas, Petaluma, 2012
3Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942) was one of Japan’s leading artist, designer and art instructor. He led the revival of the 17th century Rinpa style while at the same time  creating modern designs  in ceramics, lacquer ware, textiles and woodblock prints, combining Japanese and Western design influences.  I especially admire his woodblock prints which can be bold and elegant at the same time. The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, California  had an exhibition about Kamisaka Sekka in summer  2012 featuring his paintings, scrolls and prints.
3b
Read and Enjoy!
Elisabeth and Natasha

ASIA WEEK 2013 NEW YORK SHOWCASE

ASIA WEEK  2013  NEW YORK took place March 15 through March 23rd. Too many things to admire – I will highlight one very old and one very recent work of art.
I am always impressed how Japanese artists seem to flourish and continue their legacy and at the same time develop something  with a modern vision.
This purple temmoku-glazed incense burner produced in 2012 by Japanese artist KAMADA KOJI shows how old techniques from one thousand years ago originally imported  from China were made popular among Japanese tea aficionados during the Muromachi  period. The artist has re-invented this technique in a modern style.  Kamada Koji was one of several artists exhibiting at Joan Mirviss Gallery – Seven Sages of Ceramics –  Modern Japanese  Masters.KOJI

Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art showing Gandharan art. This is a 4th-5th century stucco head of Buddha — reminding  us  how the Buddha image was influenced by Greek and Indian style elements before developing into the later Buddha figures we now find on the market  and admire.

K

Cheers,

Elisabeth and Natasha

COURSE SERIES JAPAN: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN

February 2, 2013 Leave a comment
More news from the
BOSTON MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS 
 
A semester-long course series
JAPAN:  A CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN

http://www.mfa.org/programs/series/japan-cultural-history-land-rising-sun

Journey through Japanese cultural history, from the feudal past to the pop-centric present

This 10-week course is inspired by the MFA’s superlative collection of Japanese works—the largest in the world outside Japan—and the spectacular artistry found in the exhibition “Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection,” opening in the Gund Gallery on April 14. Journey through Japanese cultural history, from the feudal past to the pop-centric present.

Screen shot 2013-02-02 at 9.51.22

Ten-Session Course Tickets
$200 MFA members, seniors, and students; $250 nonmembers
Order at 1-800-440-6975 or in person at any MFA ticketing desk

Individual Session Tickets
$25 MFA members, seniors, and students; $30 nonmembers
Online: using the link in the red box
By phone: call the MFA Ticket line at 1-800-440-6975
In person: at any MFA ticketing desk

Ticketing desk hours:

Mon, Tue, Sat, and Sun, 10 am–4:15 pm; and Wed–Fri, 10 am–9:15 pm

In This Series:

Japanese History as Chrysanthemum and Sword March 6, 2013

Bad Monks, Temple Warriors: The Spectrum of Japanese Religious History March 13, 2013

Edo Period (1603–1868): Politics, Peace, and People March 20, 2013

Performing Arts in the Age of the Shoguns (1192–1868) March 27, 2013

Additional Film Event: Humanity and Paper Balloons March 29, 2013

The Many Worlds of Ukiyo-e Prints April 3, 2013

Additional Film Event: Humanity and Paper Balloons April 3, 2013

The Japanese Interwar Era (1868–1947) Through the Lens of Film April 10, 2013

Samurai, Arms, and Armor April 24, 2013

Additional Film Event: Harakiri April 24, 2013

Additional Film Event: Harakiri April 26, 2013

The Drama of Resistance and Rebellion: Postwar Through the 1990s May 1, 2013

The Culture of “Cute” May 8, 2013

Small Plates: Culinary Culture and Social Change in Japan May 15, 2013

Passport to Japan: Lecture, Exhibition, Film, and Food May 15, 2013

Cheers,

Elisabeth and Natasha

 

JAPANESE WOODBLOCK PRINTS FOR ADULTS ONLY

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment
I neglected to point out a rarely seen collection of Japanese woodblock prints at the
 
SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART
 
LOVE IN THREE CAPITALS
 
Open until December 9, 2012
 
Curated by the Museum’s  John Johnston, Coates-Cowden-Brown Curator of Asian Art. 
These prints are a complete set of twelve prints that belong to the shunga genre of erotic art.  The prints were made over 300 years ago  and depict sexual encounters in the famous pleasure quarters of Kyoto, Osaka and Edo- present day Tokyo.  The museum wants you to know that due to the mature subject matter,  this exhibition is limited to an adult audience.
The prints are by Okumura Masanobu (1686-1764) who used thick black lines for his subjects. In addition to depicting openly sexual scenes he also was meticulous in showing interior furnishings and textiles worn by his figures.
It helps to remember that most shunga art was expressed in woodblock prints  and in the genre of ukiyo-e ( translated  as pictures  of a fleeting world – with fleeting interpreted as erotic as well as transitory  in a Buddhist sense). Many woodblock print artists produced shunga prints which in no way  detracted from their artistic standing.
Do not confuse this with pornography.
Cheers
Elisabeth
 Image

PORTRAITURE NOW: ASIAN AMERICAN PORTRAITS OF ENCOUNTER

November 2, 2012 Leave a comment

ASIA SOCIETY  TEXAS CENTER

Houston, Texas

November 9, 2012 to April 14, 2012

Seven visual artists including Roger Shimomura, a third generation American of Japanese descent,  will present their view of  portraiture with Asian and American eyes – beyond stereotypes.  The show includes artists born in Korea, China, Vietnam and America.

It is time that we come full circle from the time of the Portuguese landing in Japan in 1543 with the first foreigners -missionaries and traders – called Southern barbarians. Remember nanban art – referring to Japanese art of the 16th and 17th century influenced by nanban, the Southern  barbarians. An exhibit with  Orientalist paintings would complete the circle depicting East Asian and Middle Eastern subjects and imitating art and architecture  by Westerners. Two books come to mind- one controversial. Orientalism by Edward W. Said, 1979; and Orientalism in Art, by Christine Peltre
Below is a painting by Shimomura called Crossing the Delaware, and part of a screen by a Kano artist showing foreigners with their  long noses.
Cheers,
Elisabeth