A rock dominates the image, with orchids and grasses growing next to it. Calligraphic text accompanies the image, places above the rock, with three seals.
Creating cooperative works with peer artists has been a fashion closely connected to the literati’s painting concept and practice. As modes of personal expressions, according to literati theory, paintings are created for private occasions and are shared and appreciated among circles of friends. The cooperative work celebrates respectful mutual relationships and reinforce affections among the painters participated.
Chang collaborated with two friends from the Seven Friends Painting Club, Liu Yantao and Gao Yihong. Naturally, in a cooperative work, each artist often takes on a subject best representing his/her talents. Appealing to scholar-artist, the elegance and subtle fragrance of orchids have long been regarded as the emblem of righteous gentlemen, thus a suitable subject for scholars alike.
This small, flat metal piece has a circular shape and an openwork design. It has a triangular shaped sword hole in the center, flanked by two other holes, which are filled with shakudô (copper-gold alloy). The sword hole is mended with gold. Three crests, consisting of pawlownia leaves and flowers, are interconnected with vines. There are some abrasions on the center oval shape around the sword hole. The surface is slightly textured by minute stippling. The outer rim is slightly elevated from the inner design. This openwork carving technique is called "marubori" (round carving).
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller holes are to insert kozuka (left), an ornamental stick, and kougai (right), a spatula-like stick which is said to be used for itching hair underneath hats or helmets. This particlar tsuba has three crests of "Gosangiri" (pawlownia with three-five-three flower petals), which perhaps was the family crest of the owner of the original sword.
Purple silk damask (rinzu) in T-paper pattern (sayagata), bokashi dyed so that the shoulders are a darker purple than the lower half of the haori. Woven designs of phoenixes, paulownia, cranes, chysanthemums, etc., incorporate metallic threads. Lining is orange and white silk. There are purple and white kumihimo (a kind of cord) with tassels.
The haori was originally part of a man’s formal attire, but in the nineteenth century, female entertainers in Edo (modern Tokyo) adopted it as a cloak for outdoor wear in mild weather.
A large, dark tree looms over a field with neat rows of crops. A full moon hangs low in the sky, peeking from behind tree branches and thin gray clouds.
Kawase Hasui worked in concert with the prolific twentieth century publisher of woodblock prints Watanabe Shôzaburo (1885-1962).
Kawase Hasui was especially known for his skillful depiction of landscapes and night scenes. His passion for landscapes led him to travel extensively throughout Japan, keeping a sensitive eye on his surroundings and sketching scenes from his journeys. His close attention to atmospheric conditions and light brought him much success and one year before his death Kawase was awarded the great honor of Intangible Cultural Treasure for his 1956 print “Snow at Zôjôji Temple.”
Incense container in the shape of a plum blossom. The container consists of two halves opening horizontally, with the top of the container being very textured with a pattern of ridges. The container is bi-colored, with a whitish gray and reddish orange coloring.
This is an incense container in the design of a plum (ume) bloosom. The artist, Koyama Kyoko, struggled as a female potter in a trade dominated by male artists. She received recognition when she discovered a way to revive the forgotten techinique of natural ash glazes, which are commonly used in her work.
This print, as the title indicates, portrays woodpeckers percehed on the side of a tree.
Kawano Kaoru is considered a member of the Creative Print (sôsaku hanga) movement, a group of artists dedicated to bringing individualism, experimentation, and autonomy to Japan’s centuries old ukiyo-e tradition. His works are often highly abstracted, using simple lines and shapes to depict the subject.
This is a color woodblock print of a courtesan and her two attendants. They are walking toward the left. The courtesan wears red and brown kimono with geometric designs and a pink cloak with plum tree and cloud design. Her green obi (sash), tied in front, has peacock feather and geometric patterns. Her hair is sculpted in the shape of “lantern” style, with the broad wings to the side of the head. Three large tortoise-shell comb and four pins adorn the hair. The two young attendants wear matching clothes and hair accessories; their kimono design has the same plum and cloud patterns as the courtesan but in brownish colors. Their obi is in green color with wavy stripes, loosely tied on their backs. They also have tortoise shell combs, hairpins, and ornaments in the shape of pine leaves. One attendant is looking at a ground, and other attendant toward the right. All three wear high platform sandals. There are artist’s signature and publisher’s seal on the lower left corner, as well as the title on the upper right corner.
Traditionally the famous beauties of the Yoshiwara entertainment quarter in Edo would parade under the cherry blossoms every spring in the newest fashions. Here we are shown the reigning courtesan of the Chôjiya house, Karauta, accompanied by two young attendants, Matsuno and Takeno, in matching costumes. Note the new "lantern" hairstyle, with the broad wings to the side of the head. This print serves as an advertisement for the attractions of the Chôjiya tea house— and quite possibly for the shop that provided the costumes as well. Print designers often worked as textile designers on the side, and images such as these would appeal to women as the equivalent of the latest issue of Vogue.
(Adopted from M. Graybill, "Courtesans, Cross-Dressers, and the Girl Next Door Images of the Feminine in Japanese Popular Prints" 3/9 - 9/1/02)
Several pink and white buds dominate the center of the image. The flowers are arranged in a curved form that goes counterclockwise from top to bottom. They are on a dark green backgound.
These woodblock prints are from the series Rankafu (A Record of an Orchid Collection), which was commissioned by adamant orchid cultivator and enthusiast Kaga Shôtarô during the early 20th century. Kaga had fallen in love with orchids years before in 1917 while mountaineering in Java. Due to the economic hardships placed on Japan after losing the Second World War, Kaga was concerned about the survival of his orchid collection in Kyoto at his Villa Oyamazaki, which at its peak had housed 10,000 plants. Kaga selected woodblock printing as the appropriate method to capture the memory of his orchids. He enlisted the skilled painter Ikeda Zuigetsu, to execute this momentous task. Ikeda created the drawings from which the woodblocks were carved. Sadly, Zuigetsu passed away in 1944 before the completion of the project, and due to Kaga’s falling fortune after the war, only 83 works were printed. Kaga managed to publish three hundred copies, many of which were sent to various scientific institutions such as botanical gardens and universities all over the world. Recently a reprint of the original edition has been released in Japan.
This dark landscape in black chalk features large lush trees that take up most of the composition on the right of the image. A small cottage framed by two smaller trees appears on the left. Three loosely sketched animals frolic in front of the cottage.
A watercolor painting of a wide path leading down to a waterfront. The path is flanked by small hills and shaded with large trees. In the distance across the water are faint outlines of buildings, possibly a city on the shore, and a sunset indicated by the orange tint in the clear sky.