What's Happening in Asian Art...: Asian Art History
May 26, 2023
Kamisaka Sekka, Hydrangeas, from the series “World of Things (Momoyogusa),” 1904-1915. Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Fischer Fund. The Art Institute of Chicago
The Arranged Flower: Ikebana and Flora in Japanese Prints will be on view at the Art Institute of Chicago until July 9, 2023.
The artful display of flowers in Japanese culture known as ikebana (ike means “to arrange,” and bana or hana means “flowers”) likely originated with arrangements dedicated to Buddhist deities in temples, where the presentations sought to capture the beauty of paradise.
Japan’s first formal school of flower arranging developed in the 15th century, and ikebana remains a prominent and disciplined manifestation of a larger focus on nature in Japanese culture. The practice emphasizes the lines formed by the placement of the leaves, branches, and twigs and, when successful, conveys a sense of harmony among the plants, their vessels, and their settings.
The prints in this presentation largely date to the Edo period (1615–1868), when an intense interest in botany flourished hand-in-hand with ikebana at all levels of society. The arrangements shown are formal and informal, ordinary, and fantastic. What they share is an appreciation for natural beauty often overlooked in everyday life.
Mimasu Daigorō IV as Umeōmaru (right panel); Nakamura Utaemon IV as Matsuōmaru (center panel); and Jitsukawa Ensaburō as Sakuramaru (left panel), 1851, Konishi Hirosada (also called Gosōtei Hirosada) (Japanese, active 1826-1863, died c. 1865) Published by Daijin, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Scandal & Virtue: Staging Kabuki in Osaka can be seen at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through July 24.
This installation examines the way Kabuki actor prints in Japan during the Edo period (1615—1868) functioned as conduits of fame and scandal. Explore the role of Kabuki actors as celebrities, the influence of the government, and fan culture. Grounded in Osaka’s actor print and Kabuki fan culture, the installation interweaves prints produced in Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to explore topics of censorship and fandom as well as tales of banishment and rivalry.
In 2008, Jack Shear gifted the museum 525 Osaka prints increasing opportunities for nuanced discussions about the unique print culture in Osaka during the Edo period. A selection of images from this gift alongside other actor prints from the museum’s collection encourages connecting with Edo period Kabuki fandom and celebrity culture by drawing parallels with contemporary fan culture.
May 25, 2023
Western Paradise (Taima Mandala). Japan, 1600s, Edo period. Ink, color, and gold on silk. Gift in honor of Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes by John Davis Hatch, 1971.64 image height: 43.25 in, 109.8550 cm; image width: 37 in, 93.9800 cm; overall height: 47 in, 119.38 cm; overall width: 38 3/4 in, 98.425 cm
Insight: Taking Care–Handling and Storing the Arts of Asia Collections
May 30, 2023 6 - 7 pm
Join Sarah Melching, Silber Director of Conservation, and Hyonjeong Han, Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art, to celebrate AAPI Month and learn more about how the delicate, centuries-old paintings and calligraphy on silk and paper and other materials in the Arts of Asia collection are treated, handled, and stored.
Curators and conservators work together to keep the museum’s artworks safe, authentic, and in tip top condition, both on and off the walls. Get a glimpse at the methods, special tools, and careful techniques that ensure a long life for these special objects.
This event takes place both onsite in Sharp Auditorium and online. Buy onsite tickets or virtual tickets today.
Last chance to see:
Southwestern Iran, Khamseh Lion Rug, 1800's. Hand-knotted wool pile, wool warp and weft; 67 x 76n inches; Private Collection, courtesy Denver Art Museum.
Denver Art Museum:
May 29 is the last day of Rugged Beauty: Antique Carpets from Western Asia. The exhibition opens a window into the artistic and utilitarian innovations of weavers, domestic consumption, and the cross-cultural exchanges between present-day Turkey, Iran, and the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) from the 1500s to the 1900s.
Isohi Setsuko, High Mountain, 2019, madake bamboo and rattan, 14 x 16 x 8.75 in. Courtesy of TAI Modern.
Charles B. Wang Center
The Splendor of Bamboo: Japanese Contemporary Baskets concludes on May 31, 2023. The twenty-seven baskets on display, on loan from TAI Modern reflect the longstanding basket-weaving traditions and modern transformations of Japanese basketry with advanced plaiting skills and experimentation with new shapes.
May 22, 2023
Wu Hufan (1894-1968), Monastery in the Autumn Mountains, 1950. Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper 40 5/8 x 22 3/4 in (103.19 x 57.79 cm.) Lent to the Denver Art Museum by Robert and Lisa Kessler
The second rotation of Fantastic Brush: Twentieth-Century Chinese Ink Art from the Robert and Lisa Kessler Collection is now on view.
The 23 ink paintings featured in the exhibition are lent by the Denver-based collectors Mr. and Mrs. Kessler. Works on view showcase some of the most important artists in twentieth-century China, including Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong, Wu Changshuo, and Wu Guanzhong. Some traveled to Europe or to Japan to study Japanese and Western art, and others never went abroad. All were well versed in traditional Chinese ink art and found their own unique interpretation of what it means to produce ink art in the twentieth century.
After 1949 and the establishment of the communist government some artists left mainland China, moving to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and elsewhere. For those who stayed on the mainland, their art and lives were significantly altered by the political climate and reflected their response to the larger socioeconomic seismic shifts they witnessed during their lifetime.
May 15, 2023
Gōda Ippō (born 1875–1880, still active 1926), By the Fence (detail; right side of a screen pair), 1912, pair of two-panel folding screens, ink, mineral colors, and shell powder on silk, 61½ x 69 in. (156.5 x 175 cm.)
Japanese Art: 1910-1940 will continue until June 2, 2023 with a new selection of works.
The exhibition focuses on folding screens, hanging scroll paintings, and gold lacquer works from the Taisho and early Showa eras, 1910-1940. It was a period of great change during which superb works were created for the domestic market, in contrast to the export-oriented output during the preceding Meiji era (1868-1912).
Thomsen Gallery will be open exceptionally on a Saturday to participate in the annual Madison Avenue Spring Gallery Walk on Saturday, May 20, 2023.
May 11, 2023
Ito Jakuchu, Giant Daruma, late 18th century, hanging scroll; ink on paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Gitter-Yelen Collection, gift of Dr. Kurt Gitter and Alice Yelen Gitter.
None Whatsoever at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
This exhibition features masterworks of Zen Buddhist Japanese paintings from the renowned Gitter-Yelen Collection spanning more than four centuries. Many of the works from the Gitter-Yelen Collection were recently acquired by the MFAH.
“Maharana Ari Singh II enjoying Jagmandir” Attributed to Jiva and others, ca. 1767 Opaque watercolor and gold on paper Image, 58.3 × 114 cm The City Palace Museum, Udaipur, 2011.18.0037
A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur at The National Museum of Asian Art
Around 1700, artists in Udaipur (a court in northwest India) began creating immersive paintings that express the moods (bhava) of the city’s palaces, lakes, and mountains. These large works and their emphasis on lived experience constituted a new direction in Indian painting.
With dazzling paintings on paper and cloth—many on public view for the first time—the exhibition reveals the environmental, political, and emotional contexts in which the new genre emerged. A Splendid Land explores the unique visual strategies that artists developed to communicate emotions, depict places, and celebrate water resources.
May 10, 2023
Yoshita Minori (b. 1932), Living National Treasure, Plate with peony and Dry-grass Patterns, 2012, Porcelain with gold underglaze, h. 4 3/8 x dia. 19 1/2 in. (11 x 49.5 cm), courtesy of Onishi Gallery
There is more time to see The Four Elements in Japanese Arts: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, now on view at Onishi Gallery until May 31.
The exhibition showcases the technical mastery of contemporary Japanese ceramic artists. Important works by Living National Treasures Tokuda Yasokichi III (1933-2009), Yoshita Minori (b. 1932), Imaizumi Imaemon XIV (b. 1962), Maeta Akihiro (b. 1974) and Inoue Manji (b. 1929) are featured along with those of many of their contemporaries.
May 9, 2023
Kawafune Misao, Lumberjack's Path, 1928, Color on silk, hanging scroll with a box signed by the artist, 257 x 145 cm (image), 334 x 169 cm (overall)
Shibunkaku is participating in Taipei Dangdai, May 12-14, 2023
Nangang Exhibition Center
For Taipei Dangdai 2023, under the theme of Seeing/Gazing at the Nature, Shibunkaku would like to put the ‘distance’ created by the artist’s subjective awareness as the main axis, unravelling the world through their perspectives which transcend time, borders, and genres.
‘Seeing’ is the root of all art. It is through seeing that we establish our place in the surrounding world; through seeing, we explore and deepen our understanding of this world to situate ourselves in relation to it. As one dives deeper, turning ‘seeing’ into ‘gazing,’ it then becomes an act of choice. Through this act, artists establish a relationship between themselves and objects – be it the earth in the vast universe, the waves shimmering in the setting sun, the mountains and rivers filled with urban ruins and structures, the hibiscus blossoming in the backyard, the hair moss in the temple that lives in reincarnation – it could be anything in the world. Distances between the two will then be felt when the artists project their ‘gazing’ onto brushworks, either getting closer to or drifting away from the objects. It is the ‘distance’ created in each artwork that shows the uniqueness of each artist, also a record of themselves of how they see the world transformed into an image through their brush.
Read more here
May 5, 2023
Detail of “Universal Gateway,” Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra, Japan, Kamakura Period (1185–1333), dated 1257. Handscroll; ink, color, and gold on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Louisa Eldridge McBurney Gift, 1953.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Anxiety and Hope in Japanese Art
April 8, 2023- July 14, 2024
Drawn largely from The Met’s renowned collection of Japanese art, this exhibition explores the twin themes of anxiety and hope, with a focus on the human stories in and around art and art making.
The exhibition begins with sacred images from early Japan that speak to concerns about death, dying, and the afterlife or that were created in response to other uncertainties, such as war and natural disaster. The presentation then proceeds chronologically, highlighting medieval Buddhist images of paradises and hells, Zen responses to life and death, depictions of war and pilgrimage, and the role of protective and hopeful images in everyday life. In the final galleries, the exhibition’s underlying themes are explored through a selection of modern woodblock prints, garments, and photographs.
Rotation 1: April 8–August 13, 2023
Rotation 2: August 26–November 26, 2023
Rotation 3: December 16, 2023–April 14, 2024
Rotation 4: April 27–July 14, 2024
The National Museum of Asian Art
The Art of Knowing in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas
March 25, 2023-ongoing
One of a pair of book covers for a Dharani Samgraha (detail), Nepal, 1650–1700, opaque watercolor and gold on wood, Gift of Joyce and Kenneth Robbins, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, S2000.88.1–2
The Art of Knowing brings together highlights from our collections, some of which have never been on view, to explore religious and practical knowledge across time, space, and cultures. Featuring stone sculptures, gilt bronzes, and painted manuscripts from India, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia, this exhibition illuminates the critical role of visual culture in conveying Buddhist and Hindu teachings from the ninth to the twentieth centuries.
From Ganesha, the god of beginnings, to goddesses who personify wisdom, the artworks on view tell individual stories and reveal ways of knowing the world. “The Art of Knowing” asks how artists and objects shape wisdom traditions. How do shared images and designs reveal the movement of people and ideas across geographical regions? What do goddesses teach? And how does attaining knowledge end suffering?
May 3, 2023
Paul Binnie, b. 1967, Study of a Noh Kimono Sleeve in 'Kakitsubata', oil on wood panel 19 by 13 3/8 in., Courtesy of Scholten Japanese Art
Zoom Webinar sponsored by JASA
The Material Culture of Noh
Tuesday, May 9 at 5pm (EDT)
For this live Zoom webinar, Princeton University Professor Thomas Hare will speak about the origins of noh theater in Japan and, in particular, about its material culture. Noh drama has a 700-year history of continuous performances, and it has, in that time, developed a detailed body of conventions of performance that specify not only text, music and dance, but also the material culture of noh, its costumes, masks, props and even its unique stage. This talk will relate these material aspects of noh history to its thematic concerns in modern performance and their ties to historical performance.
Note: Advance registration is required to attend this event. Register here: May 9 Zoom Webinar.
Sneak Peek—When Stones Move: Journeys of the Tamil Yoginis
at The National Museum of Asian Art
Online event, May 9, 2023 12 pm (EST)
What happens to stone sculptures in India when they are separated from their original context? Follow the multiple journeys of a group of goddesses called yoginis from their temple, which no longer exists, to a bustling South Indian city and onward to museum collections on three continents. In this richly illustrated talk, Emma Natalya Stein, assistant curator of South Asian and Southeast Asian art, will reveal a recently discovered yogini—not in a museum but in a local Tamil shrine—and give a sneak peek into plans for an exhibition that seeks to reunite this important group of goddesses.
Read more and register here
May 3, 2023
Enma-o, King and Judge of Hell, Japan, Muromachi period (1392–1573), 16th century, Wood with gesso and traces of polychrome, inlaid glass eyes, Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. George Mann, 79.277
There are only a few days left to see Comparative Hell: Arts of Asian Underworlds, on view at the Asia Society Museum until May 7.