What's Happening in Asian Art...
October 17, 2022
Plate, Iran, Sasanian period, 5th–7th century, silver and gilt, Purchase—Charles Lang Freer Endowment, Freer Gallery of Art, F1964.10
The Sasanians in Context: Art, History, and Archaeology
National Museum of Asian Art
Online and in-person symposium, October 21-22, 10am-5pm
Between the third and seventh centuries CE, the Sasanian Empire became one of the most dominant powers in the ancient world, extending geographically from Western to Central Asia. From monumental buildings and impressive rock reliefs to elaborately designed metal vessels and finely carved seals, these structures and objects provide a glimpse into the empire’s artistic diversity and its rich material culture. Recent scholarship has further expanded our knowledge of the Sasanian empire and has confirmed its enduring legacy beyond its geographic borders, long after the Arab conquest in the seventh century.
The Sasanians in Context: Art, History, and Archaeology gathers some of the most renowned national and international scholars to share their recent work on the Sasanians and their lasting artistic and historical contributions.
Read more and register, click here.
October 16, 2022
Susumu Shingu, Astral Forest, 2013, stainless steel, aluminum, polyester cloth
Susumu Shingu: Sculpting with Wind, Ippodo Gallery
October 20-December 29
Opening reception for the artist, Thursday, October 20, 5-8pm
Artist talk event, Saturday, October 22, 2pm
Ippodo Gallery presents the renowned kinetic-sculptor Susumu Shingu’s first solo exhibition in the United States. Sculpting with Wind will open October 20th and run through December 29th, 2022. Shingu’s large-scale public works are and have been continuously displayed around the world.
The artist’s large-scale permanent outdoor sculptures serve as a reminder of the constancy and immensity of the Earth’s natural forces – wind, water, light, and gravity – that affect our human bodies/lives. The artist’s elegantly engineered sculptures are durable yet never the same, responding to diverse environments. Shingu’s kinetic sculptures oppose the perception that the world around us is eternal or static; they visually and mentally activate a viewer’s sense of their individual relationship to nature.
Shingu’s wondrous churning objects explore how the environment shapes and creates behavior, and have made him a favorite of well-known architects, including Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, and Enrique Norten. Ippodo Gallery will commemorate this exceptional showcase of drawings, interior sculptures, and colorful abstract paintings with an opening reception featuring the artist, who is visiting from Japan, on October 20th from 5-8 pm EST. This special exhibition will also feature several large-scale exterior proposals.
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October 15, 2022
Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja), Chola period, about 10th/11th century, Tamil Nadu, bronze
The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from
Chola India, 855–1280,
Art Institute of Chicago
In-person lecture, October 22, 2022, 6pm CDT
Join Vidya Dehejia, professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Columbia University, as she discusses her book, The Thief Who Stole My Heart: The Material Life of Sacred Bronzes from Chola India, 855–1280.
Read more, click here
October 14, 2022
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), Mount Yoshino-Midnight Moon, from One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 1886, woodblock print
In their current online exhibition, Ghost Stories: Yokai and Yurei in Ukiyo-e, even though summer is traditionally ghost story time in Japan, Egenolf Gallery thought October is the perfect time for a selection of scary stories and images here in the U.S. Supernatural beings inhabit Japanese folk tales the way that farmers inhabit the countryside; they have their roles to play and appear in many of Japan's most famous stories. Yokai and yurei are two categories given to these otherworldly visitors, and may include demons, ghosts and many other types of magical apparitions. Ghosts play leading roles in many kabuki dramas, and the ukiyo-e artists drew heavily from this wellspring of exciting characters.
To see the exhibition, click here.
October 13, 2022
Bingata Textiles: Preserving a Royal Tradition in Okinawa,
Online program, October 18, 7pm EDT
The bingata method of textile dyeing is a vibrant artistic tradition with a long history on Japan’s subtropical Okinawan islands. Originally reserved for the sumptuous garb of the royalty and ruling class of the Ryukyu Kingdom, these traditional hand-dyeing techniques are still being carried on by craftspeople in Okinawa today. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Okinawa’s reversion to Japan, this program explores the fascinating history, unique methods and current state of bingata with textile specialist Ginny Soenksen, and bingata craftsman Touma Chinen. The first event in Japan Society's multi-part Living Traditions webinar series this season.
Ginny Soenksen, Director, Madison Art Collection and Lisanby Museum
Touma Chinen, 10th generation head of the Shimujiibu line of the Chinen family of bingata craftsmen; President of the Chinen Bingata Institute
Moderator: Dr. Masato Ishida, Director, Center for Okinawan Studies, University of Hawai`i, Mānoa
Read more and register, click here.
October 11, 2022
Teapot with Black Peony Blossoms, 1913, porcelain, British Museum
Symbolic Inversions in Chinese Art, Columbia University
Thursday, October 13, 2022, 6-7pm
807 Schermerhorn Hall
Authors and artists in most cultures have expressed opinions through symbolic inversions: verbal or visual expressions of a world turned upside down (mundus inversus). In China it was sometimes referred to as “black and white reversed” (黑白颠倒 heibai diandao). Symbolic inversions allowed artists to express disappointment at lack of success, to comment on an injustice, or to contradict social norms. What did depictions of a world turned upside down look like? This lecture will offer five examples of poets and painters presenting symbolic inversions.
This lecture is in-person only; reception follows
Mary Griggs Burke Center for Japanese Art
October 10, 2022
Fuka'e Roshu (1699-1757), Wisteria and Other Flowers, 18th century, hanging scroll,
ink and color on paper, Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Rinpa: Creativity Across Time and Space,
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution
October 1, 2022-February 5, 2023
The Japanese painting movement now known as Rinpa was a loose association of artists that began around the dawn of the seventeenth century and continued into the nineteenth century. Their aesthetic came to define an almost stereotypical image of Japanese art consisting of stylized forms in bright colors. The National Museum of Asian Art invites you to explore a selection of paintings and ceramics by several generations of Rinpa artists from their collection.
October 9, 2022
Katsukawa Shunchō (active about 1781-95), Summer Bush Clover (Natsuhagi), from the series
Choicest Odes upon Flowers of the Four Seasons (Shuku awase, shiki no hana), circa 1792, color woodblock print, chūban, 10 1/4 × 8 in. (26 × 20.3 cm)
Monochromatic Japanese Prints, Art Institute of Chicago
September 30-April 9, 2023
In its oldest and most basic form, a printed image consists of black ink indirectly applied to paper. In Japan, this method was developed by the 8th century and employed for commercial purposes beginning in the 17th century, with color printing becoming widespread in the 1760s. The early commercial monochromatic prints are known as sumizuri-e—literally, “pictures printed in ink.” Despite their limited palette, these works by designers such as Kaigetsudō Anchi and Okumura Masanobu, who are represented in this display, have a presence and immediacy rarely seen again in Japanese printmaking until the 20th century.
After the development of full-color printing in the mid-18th century, some publishers chose to save money by continuing to use black ink alone to produce illustrated books and single-sheet prints. Other publishers deployed black ink to make a statement about the skill of an artist or to imbue a print with a painterly quality: they produced complex images rendered mostly in shades of gray, as seen in works by Katsukawa Shunchō and Utagawa Hiroshige.
In the 20th century, print designers who recognized the potential of black ink on paper took up the challenge of making compelling images with only the fundamental materials. Artists including Munakata Shikō and Hiratsuka Un’ichi spent virtually their entire careers working almost exclusively in black ink, demonstrating the expressive power of mono-chromatic printing.
The striking works in this exhibition span nearly 250 years and are drawn entirely from the rich holdings of the Art Institute’s Japanese print collection. Monochromatic Japanese Prints is curated by Janice Katz, Roger L. Weston Associate Curator of Japanese Art, the Art Institute of Chicago.
October 7, 2022
Set of Four Chinese Bronze Knives with Jade Pommels, L: 10 ¼, 9 ¾, 10 1/4 and 11 1/4 in., Estimate: $60,000-90,000, Asian, Ancient, and Ethnographic Works of Art
Asian, Ancient, and Ethnographic Works of Art,
Online auction, October 6-25
The final big event of Asia Week is iGavel’s online auction Asian, Ancient, and Ethnographic Works of Art. The first part opened for bidding on October 6th and runs until the 25th. Over 500 lots from China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia represent a range of categories, including fifty Chinese archaic jades from the property of Sam and Myrna Myers, the renowned Parisian dealer and collector, who gifted the Musée Guimet. Several of these pieces have been exhibited at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, the Pointe-A-Calliere Museum, in Montreal, the Fondation Baur Musee des Arts D'Extreme-Orient, in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Asian Art Museum in Nice, France.
Among the archaic jades are a Chinese Brown Jade Huang with Dragon Head Terminals (Estimate: $30,000-50,000); a Yellow Chinese Jade Dragon Pendant (Estimate: $15,000-20,000); a Brown and Black Chinese Jade Tiger Form Pendant (Estimate: $30,000-50,000); a pair of Jade Dragon Form Pendants (Estimate: $35,000/45,000); a Brown Chinese Jade Dragon Form Pendant (Estimate: $20,000/30,000); and a Chinese Brown Jade Carved Pendant (Estimate: $20,000-40,000); a set of four Chinese Bronze Knives with Jade Pommels, (Estimate: $60,000-90,000); and a Chinese Carved Green Jade Huang, (Estimate: $10,000-15,000).
The second sale, Asian Works of Art, will open for bidding on October 11 to 27 and includes a large selection of works from the collection of George Barrie, the business partner of Jim Thompson, who mysteriously disappeared in the jungles of Southeast Asia, leaving Barrie to take over the company, expanding it to become the largest producer of raw silk in Southeast Asia. Included in the sale from his collection is the important Portrait of Merchant Howqua by the School of Lamqua (1801-1860) (Estimate: $30,000--50,000); a 16th/17th century Burmese Sandstone Buddha Footprint Buddhapada, carved with 108 Buddhist symbols; and a pair of Thai Carved Wood Chora Architectural Spires, or “sky tassels", often used as spires which often adorned the roofs of temples and palaces and thought to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits.
Also now available for sale online at iGavel is Rugs and Carpets from the Collection of Barry MacLean, which runs until October 22nd. The highly regarded MacLean Collection is based in Chicago and was assembled over the past half century. Among the many special items in this sale is this Qing-dynasty Peking Blue Ground 5-clawed Dragon Decorated Wool Carpet (detail above) from the Qing Dynasty (Estimate: $3,000-5,000).
Read more, click here.
October 6, 2022
Section of The Wonderful Adornments of the Leaders of the World, Chapter 1 of the Flower Ornament Sutra, Heian period, ca. 1100, hanging scroll, ink on light indigo-dyed paper, with gold-ruled lines and gold-leaf, Gift of Sylvan Barnet and William Burto, Freer Gallery of Art, F2014.6.4
Sneak Peek—Reading Between the Lines: Japanese Calligraphy and Frames,
National Museum of Asian Art
Online lecture, October 11, 12–12:40pm
Calligraphy is language turned into art. It celebrates the artfulness of the written word and the different ways in which language can be interpreted visually and conceptually. In the traditional arts of East Asia, calligraphy has long been considered a form of personal and conceptual expression, where individuality and meaning are being projected through the way a text is written. In this way, most if not all pieces of calligraphy combine form and function. This talk focuses on the religious and secular works of Japanese calligraphy and analyzes how meaning is conveyed by form, materials, and the writer’s intention. The talk will also consider how the mountings—frames and integral structural of hanging scrolls—can correspond with and enhance the aesthetic and content of a work of calligraphy.
Frank Feltens is the Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. He holds a PhD in the history of Japanese art from Columbia University and is a specialist in Japanese painting from the medieval to the modern periods. Among his publications are Ogata Kōrin: Art in Early Modern Japan (Yale University Press, 2021) and, co-authored with Yukio Lippit, Sesson Shūkei: A Zen Monk-Painter in Medieval Japan (Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, 2021).
Read more and register, click here.