What's Happening in Asian Art...

The Afterlife Journey at the Art Institute of Chicago

June 25, 2022

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva with Six Light Bodhisattvas, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 16th–17th century

The Afterlife Journey: Divine Protectors and Guides in Korean Buddhist Painting, The Art Institute of Chicago
In-person lecture by Professor Cheeyun Lilian Kwon
June 30, 4-5pm CDT

Cheeyun Lilian Kwon, professor at the School of Fine Arts, Hongik University, Seoul, will discuss the Ksitigarbha painting in the Art Institute’s collection. Influenced by an unique amalgamation of various sources, Korea adopted a vision of the afterlife that was protected by the Ksitigarbha bodhisattva and accompanied by a host of heavenly beings. In this talk, Professor Kwon will discuss the Ksitigarbha painting in light of the Buddhist tradition that became deeply rooted in Korea for over a millennium. Such paintings acted as central agents in the Buddhist rituals dedicated for the dead in pre-modern Korea.

Professor Kwon teaches in the Arts and Cultural Management Department and the School of Fine Arts, Hongik University, Seoul. She received her PhD in East Asian art from Princeton University and taught Korean and East Asian art at American University and George Mason University. She also served as curator of Korean art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and curatorial consultant at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution.

This program is generously funded by the National Museum of Korea.

Read more and to register, which is required, click here


TAI Modern Presents the Art of Oki Toshie

June 23, 2022

Oki Toshie (born 1976), Rapids, 2017, madake bamboo, rattan, 3.5 x 21 x 13 in.

Oki Toshie, TAI Modern
June 24-July 23, 2022
Opening reception June 24, 5-7pm
Artist's live talk, June 25, 3pm

One of bamboo art’s few female artists presents her first solo exhibition in the United States. This impressive Japanese artist shares her joy, creativity, and drive for beauty and expression with each piece.

Oki Toshie (born 1976) is a self-proclaimed introvert who cherishes the opportunity to communicate through her artwork. Her strongest desire is to create works that will move the hearts of viewers. “I try to balance my personal expression with beauty of form,” she says. “It is a constant process of trial and error, but I am proud to say that I put my heart and soul into each piece I create.”

The last student of Living National Treasure Iizuka Shokansai, her engagement with Japanese bamboo art began at an exhibition she visited while in high school. She was amazed that a utilitarian object such as a basket could reflect artistic vision. “Japanese people are particularly good at expressing themselves within the limitations of a fixed form, such as in haiku and tanka poetry,” says Oki. In a similar way, Oki expresses herself within the constraints of vessel forms, creating elegant and evocative trays and flower baskets.

One of the foremost bamboo artists working in Japan, Oki’s exhibition at TAI Modern includes this year’s Asahi Newspaper Prize winning piece from the Eastern Division. Her works have been included in major museum collections and exhibitions throughout the United States and Japan.

Ippodo Gallery Hosts Tea Ceremony Event

June 22, 2022

Shigeru Uchida (born 1943), Ji'an tea house, at Ippodo Gallery

Lecture and Tea Ceremony with Tea Master Nagano Yoshitsugu, Ippodo Gallery
In-person program, June 28, 2022, 2-4pm

This special program is organized to complement Ippodo's current exhibition, Magic of the Tea Bowl, Volume 2. Nagano Yoshitsugu will first give a lecture, How to Experience the Sensations of a Tea Bowl, in which participants will learn the points of how to appreciate tea bowls while appreciating the tea bowls displayed in the gallery. In the second half of the program, each person will be able to choose a bowl of tea and drink powdered green tea prepared by Nagano sensei using that bowl.

Nagano Yoshitsugu, Japanese Tea Ritual Instructor and Professor of the Ueda Soko School, is the youngest person to be certified in the highest rank of the Ueda Soko School (USRJWT), which has been practiced in Hiroshima for 400 years. He received a BFA from the Faculty of Art in the Hiroshima City University in 2012. In 2019 he relocated to New York City, where he energetically promotes the aesthetics and spirituality of the Japanese Tea Ritual, which is rooted in Zen Buddhism. He also works to establish new styles of a modern Tea Ceremony that incorporates new expressions into the traditional rituals to create new ways of engaging with the Tea Ceremony.

Read more and register, click here

Art Institute of Chicago Exhibitions Closing Soon

June 22, 2022

Katsukawa Shunkō (1743–1812), Actor Onoe Matsusuke I as Retired Emperor Sutoku, about 1780

The Golden Age of Kabuki Prints, Art Institute of Chicago
Last day June 26
The Kabuki theater district of 18th-century Edo (modern-day Tokyo) was one of the centers of urban life. At the theater, people could escape the rigid confines of a society controlled by the shogunal government and watch their favorite actors perform in dramas that were often based on ancient historical events and myths. The drama of Kabuki theater was most successfully conveyed in the prints of the Katsukawa School of artists because they captured the individual characteristics of each actor. Founded by Katsukawa Shunshō (1726–1792), the Katsukawa school included several prominent artists, including Katsukawa Shunkō (1743–1812) and Shun’ei (1762–1819). This exhibition includes examples by all three of these artists and is drawn from the more than 700 Katsukawa School prints in the Art Institute’s collection.

Senju, Waterfall, 2019

Senju's Waterfall for Chicago
Last day June 26
These enchanting painted screens are the work and a gift of Senju (born 1958), a contemporary proponent of Nihonga, traditional Japanese painting. Known for his signature Waterfall works, Senju created the panels on view at the Art Institute specifically for the museum’s Gallery 109, the space designed by architect Andō Tadao. Thinking of the exhibition as a collaboration between himself and the architect through time, Senju tailored the scale and lighting to best suit this distinctive space.

Read more, click here

Member Monday - Updates!

June 20, 2022

L-R: Paul Binnie (born 1967), Matsumoto Koshiro IX from the play Shibaraku, 1995, oil on canvas, framed 57 x 44 in. (144.78 x 11.76 cm), Scholten Japanese Art and Fesitval Kimono decorated with Carp Ascending a Waterfall, Akita prefecture, late 19th-early 20th century, cotton shibori (shape resist), The John R. Van Derlip Fund and the Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund, purchase from the Thomas Murray Collection, 2019.20.84, Minneapolis Museum of Art

The intent focus and long hours of AWNY members Scholten Japanese Arts and Thomas Murray are now coming to fruition with the gallery’s new exhibition NOH: More Drama, Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie and the opening of Dressed by Nature: Japanese Textiles at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, respectively. Here we look at the efforts that made these new shows possible.

Paul Binnie and Katherine Martin present a discussion of his artistic process in Scholten gallery in 2017.

Noh: More Drama, Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie, Scholten Japanese Art
June 16-July 15, 2022

Scholten’s new exhibition presents paintings, drawings, and prints of Japanese theatrical subjects by Paul Binnie. (For more information about this exhibition, click here.) This is the gallery’s fourth solo exhibition of work by this artist, whom Katherine Martin, Director of Scholten Japanese Art, first met in 2007. By a striking coincidence, Martin was given as a gift the book, then recently published, Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past: the First 100 Japanese Prints, shortly before the artist himself visited the gallery in his quest for prints by Hiroshi Yoshida. The gallery’s interest in Binnie’s art was formalized when Martin traveled to see Binnie’s studio in London and immediately recognized that he carried “the mantle of shin-hanga”. With Rene Scholten quickly on board, Scholten organized their first show of Binnie’s work in 2008, Echoes of Japan: the Woodblock Prints of Paul Binnie.

Paul Binnie was born in Scotland in 1967 and studied fine arts in Edinburgh, where he first became enthralled with and started collecting Japanese woodblock prints. In 1993 he moved to Japan to study traditional printing techniques as an apprentice under Seki Kenji (born 1940) for several years. Binnie is unique not only because he combines Eastern and Western practices but also because he undertakes all aspects—design, block-cutting, and printing—himself, rather than involving other specialists. In addition to these images of Kabuki and Noh theater, Binnie is also noted for his tattoo, landscapes, famous scenes of Japan, and bijin-ga ("beautiful women") series. (Read more about Paul Binnie, click here.)

Katherine Martin commented that collectors of Binnie’s paintings and prints vary depending on the subject. For example, his theater images tend to appeal to Japanese collectors and aficionados of Japanese art, while his landscapes have a broader audience. The visual impact and affordability (at least at the moment) of Binnie’s works also appeal to younger buyers. Among the most noteworthy acquisitions of his prints was the purchase of a complete set of Binnie’s tattoo series by the Metropolitan Museum in 2018 from Scholten Japanese Arts.

Woman’s fish-skin festival coat (hukht), 19th century, Nivkh people, fish skin, sinew (reindeer), cotton thread; appliqué and embroidery, The John R. Van Derlip Fund and the Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund, purchase from the Thomas Murray Collection, 2019.20.31, Minneapolis Museum of Art

Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan
Minneapolis Institute of Art, June 25-September 11, 2022

In 2019, Mia acquired Thomas Murray's collection of Japanese textiles and originally planned to display them in 2021. Despite the delay due to Covid, this exhibition will open this week. (For more information about this exhibition, click here ). These textiles focus on the resourcefulness of humans to create clothing from local materials like fish skin (as in the robe above), paper, elm bark, nettle, banana leaf fiber, hemp, wisteria, deerskin, cotton, silk, and wool. On view will be rare and exceptional examples of robes, coats, jackets, vests, banners, rugs, and mats, made between around 1750 and 1930, including the royal dress of subtropical Okinawa, ceremonial robes of the Ainu from northern Japan and the Russian Far East, and folk traditions from throughout Japan.

Andreas Marks, Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese and Korean Art at Mia and curator of this exhibition described Murray’s collection and its impact on Mia’s extensive Japanese art holdings. “Thomas Murray’s collection is equally impressive in its quality and depth. Built over nearly 40 years by a man with a fantastic eye for textiles, a collection of this importance and breadth could not be put together today. Mia is thrilled to be the recipient of these important textiles, which will catapult us amongst the foremost collections of Japanese textiles in the world."

"The Murray Collection adds important new dimensions to Mia’s Japanese art collection, which is particularly strong in the areas of paintings and prints, sculptures, ceramics, and works of bamboo. Until now, there were only a few textiles in the collection, including Noh robes used in theatrical productions, wedding kimono made of silk, and so-called meisen garments made in the 1910s and 1920s, which feature bold and graphic designs."

In addition to the extensive research available about these rare objects in Murray’s Textiles of Japan, published in 2018, Murray will speak at Mia on June 26 at 2pm. His talk Accounting for Taste: On the Collecting of Textiles from Japan will introduce the world-class collection of Japanese textiles that he assembled over almost 40 years and will explore the range and artistry of Japan’s tradition of fiber arts, as well as their original usage. To register, click here.

Onishi Gallery Hosts a Summer Vernissage

June 19, 2022

Summer Vernissage, Onishi Gallery
June 22nd, 5-8pm EDT

Join Onishi Gallery and celebrate the beginning of summer with new Japanese tea bowls and flower vases from Ōhi Chōzaemon Toyasai X. Live music will be performed by Leo Kim on cello playing J.S. Bach's Suite No.1 in G Major and C. Saint-Saëns's The Swan at 6:30pm.

Ōhi Chōzaemon Toyasai X was the head of the important lineage of Ōhi potters who specialize in tea ceramics, until he was recently succeeded by his son, Ōhi Toshio Chōzaemon XI. He is among the best known of contemporary Japanese ceramicists and received the Order of Cultural Merit from the Emperor of Japan. For a full history of this ware, click here.

Please RSVP for the Summer Vernissage, alexandra@onishigallery.com

DAG Hosts an Online Lecture

June 18, 2022

Modernism in Bengal—Ramkinkar Baij, DAG New York
Online lecture, June 22, 2022, 6:30pm EDT

DAG will host an online talk on Ramkinkar Baij by artist, writer, and educator Sharmistha Ray. This lecture contextualizes the pioneering artist and his legacy in Indian art.

Drawn from life, Ramkinkar Baij's (1906-1980) figures breathed a bold realism, an earthy strength and spontaneity seen in his sculptures, drawings, and paintings. A similar spontaneity of action is visible in his transparent watercolors and drawings, in particular in his series of nudes. The first truly "modern" Indian sculptor, his works are monumental, and yet possess an inner movement.

To register, click here.

New Acquisitions at Egenolf Gallery

June 18, 2022

Utagawa Hiroshige III (1843-1994), The Hisamatsu-za (Meiji-za) Kabuki Theater in Prosperity, 1878, woodblock print, 36.5 x 75 cm

Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints adds new acquisitions to their website daily. Peruse items online or contact the gallery. Egenolf Gallery offers quality ukiyo-e and shin hanga with integrity since 1975. Now located in Southern California, their 18th-20th century artworks are curated for beauty, fine condition and are guaranteed original and as described. Shipping is via Fedex in unbreakable packaging to the US, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong.

An engaging example is this triptych by Hiroshige III of the Kabuki Theater Hisamatsu-za, which offers a detailed view of the bustling main street Kawa-dóri in the district Hisamatsu-cho in Tokyo. In the center we see the impressive building of the theater Hisamatsu-za, flanked on both sides by tea houses. It is very interesting to see Hiroshige III‘s detailed portraits of residents on the street. We see many combinations of old and modern clothing and fashionable western items like umbrellas and handbags. Modern vehicles, jinrikisha (rickshaw) thread their way through the crowded Kawa-dori. The scene is of the rapidly modernizing life of Tokyo during the first decade of Meiji Period (1868-1912) and is a terrific example of a Kaika-e ("picture of Japan–modernizing civilization influenced by the West") of the period, during which time the country willingly accepted and actively imported many aspects of western civilization into their daily lives.

Read more, click here

Scholten Japanese Art Opens Noh: More Drama,
Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie

June 17, 2022

Paul Binnie (born 1967), Shakkyo, 1998, oil on canvas, 16 x 12 1/2 in. (40.64 x 31.75 cm),
gilt frame 20 5/8 x 16 7/8 in. (52.3 x 43 cm)

Noh: More Drama, Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie, Scholten Japanese Art
June 16-July 15, 2022

This new live exhibition Noh: More Drama, Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie at Scholten Japanese Art features paintings, drawings, and prints of Japanese theatrical subjects by the artist Paul Binnie, who was born in Scotland in 1967.

In the last thirty years, Paul Binnie has become well known for his woodblock prints, as he is one of very few artists who dynamically reinvigorates this ancient art form for the modern world. He handles all aspects of production, designing, carving, and printing the woodblocks himself, a method he studied in a traditional apprenticeship in Japan. During the almost six years he spent mastering woodblock carving and printing, his immersion in the culture brought him into contact with the milieu of the Japanese theater, which became a major theme of his work during his period of residency.

Binnie’s stencil and woodblock prints of the great Kabuki actors of the 1990s are well known, as he frequented the Kabuki-za, the Tokyo home of this theatrical form, both as an audience member and behind the scenes as an assistant earphone guide commentator. Living in the Sendagaya district of Tokyo, he was likewise well-situated to regularly attend performances at the National Noh Theater which was only a few blocks away. This proximity inspired a series of nearly 80 oil paintings of Noh subjects, some of which were based on his own collection of historic Noh masks as well as portraits of several Noh performers who he met through his contacts in the Kabuki theater.

Scholten Japanese Art’s website offers an online catalogue that includes a wealth of information about the content, materials, and production process of each artwork in the exhibition.

Read more, click here.

Happy Father's Day!

June 17, 2022

Clockwise from upper left: Li Gonglin (ca. 1041-1106), The Classic of Filial Piety (detail), ca. 1085, handscroll, ink and color on silk, Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, From the P. Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Family Collection, Gift of Oscar L. Tang Family, 1996, the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Guiseppe Castigolione (Lang Shining, 1688–1766), The Qianlong Emperor Enjoying the Lunar New Year (detail), 1736-38, hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, The Palace Museum; and Yashima Gakutei (1786-1868), Tomono Naoienushi, from the series, Twenty-four Japanese paragons of filial piety, early 19th century, woodblock print, Bequest of Charles H.W. Verbeck, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution

Happy Father's Day!

We wish everyone a warm and enjoyable celebration of the pleasures and tribulations of fatherhood, with a day of princes (and princesses) gathered happily around. A day even an emperor enjoyed!

Many of the artistic and literary descriptions of the father-child relationship in East Asia focused on the Confucian fundamental text, The Classic of Filial Piety (孝經), which is thought to have been written around the 4th-3rd century B.C.E. While the father was responsible for the life, well being, education, and marriage of his children, sons and daughters owed their parents devotion, service, and obedience in turn. This obligation extended into the parents' old age and continued after their deaths, when they then received veneration due to family ancestors. This relationship and its attendant benefits and obligations are seen as being at the literal heart of society.

We will post more images of fathers and their children on AWNY's social media sites this weekend, so keep an eye out for more great works of art of our Dads!
To find AWNY on Facebook, click here
And on Instagram, click here
And on Twitter, click here

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