A round ceramic box (that is, a bowl with a fitted lid), decorated with chrysanthemum scrolls drawn in blue outline against a blue background. The blue is cobalt pigment painted before the application of a clear glaze.
A small ceramic box decorated with chrysanthemum scrolls. Both the chrysanthemum motif and the technique of underglaze blue painting were adopted from Chinese prototypes, but the shape of this box, the tones of the cobalt blue, and the casual free-hand drawing are distintively Vietnamese.
Covered boxes were used as burial objects to accompany the dead. This practice for the care of deceased people in afterlife preceded the succession of foreign religious influence from Buddhism, Hinduism to Islam. The stoneware trade ceramics were also objects of status and wealth, for the local kilns only produced less durable and inexpensive earthernwares. The round shape with a handle, and some of the design motifs were adopted from stone and metal reliquaries and architectural elements came with Indian Hinduism and Buddhism.
This vase takes the shape of a double gourd, with a large pear-shaped bottom topped by a smaller oval shape. The vase is decorated with overgalze enamels, primarily with an overall pattern of chrysanthemums. The design is also interspersed with plum blossoms, peonies, and auspicious birds.
This colorfully decorated gourd shape vase is an example of Imari ware, a type of porcelain made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for export to Europe. Lavish and intricate designs were made possible by firing each piece three times at successively lower temperatures: once with the cobalt blue painting and a clear glaze, a second time to fix the overglaze enamels, and a third time to fix the gilding.
It is in the shape of a sectioned melon. The body is vertically divided into ten sections and to create an embossed effect, the grooves between each two sections were pressed down slightly. The lid has a loop attached at the top. It is decorated on all sides with black and white inlaid design of butterfly, chrysanthemum and peony with stem and foliage. The spout and handle was broken and restored. The lid seems to be fake.
broken handle not original, badly restored spout, lid is fake, a married piece
(visiting Korean curators from Ehwa University, notes by Min Li 7/07)
It is a pink silk crepe kimono with wax-resist patterns, hand-painted design and metallic threads embroidery. The kimono is in full length and has elongated sleeves. The fabric is dyed with pink, leaving the family crest under the collar and the floral design part white. The red scale pattern is added using wax-resist technique. Then the design of multiple kinds of plants is hand-painted with white, red, yellow, and pale and blue green colors. There are mix of fall and winter flowers and trees: nandin on the left sleeve, plum, chrysanthemums, thistles, amaranths, camellias and narcissus on the front and back, makino (Chloranthus glaber, with red berries) and more camellias on the right sleeve. Embroidery is added in various metallic threads around the contours of flowers and leaves.
Flowers and trees represented in this kimono are traditionally considered fall and winter plants. The kimono is designed to be worn in these seasons. The “winter” plants such as nandin, camellias, narcissus, and plums are auspicious symbols; it is possible that this kimono was originally made for the New Year celebration.
The flat iron plate with quatrefoil design. It has three holes: one for blade (middle) flanked by oval-shape hole (for kougai) and oval with bump shape (for kozuka). Chrysanthemums, autumn grass and a rock are carved on lower-right side; a butterfly is descending toward the flowers. Gold inlays are applied to the flowers, grass, part of the rock, and butterfly. The surface is finely granulated by etching (“ishime-ji”).
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. A smaller hole on the left is to place an ornamental stick, kozuka. Another hole on the right is to insert kougai, spatula-like sticks which are said to be used for itching hair underneath hats or helmets. Butterflies, chrysanthemums, autumn grass, and rock are popular motifs in Japanese decorative arts; the combination of chrysanthemums and grass suggests that this is an autumn scene.
A medium size, well potted porcelain jar with wooden rid, round shoulder and neck. Floral designs are painted with blue underglaze and red and gold overglaze enamels. There are Chinese scholar and attendant boy with a fan on one side and Japanese lady in kimono on the opposite side, painted with enamels. Band of flowers on the neck, another broader band of chrysanthemums on the shoulder. There is also a band of leaf patterns on the bottom. A large crack from neck to the middle of the body; porcelain glaze has small cracks all over the body. The foot is unglazed; the eye is fully glazed. No glaze on the rim. The teak wood lid, a later addition, has a finial made of an ivory netsuke of laughing Hotei.
The Chinese sage with an attendant and flower maiden might be T’ao Yüan-ming, celebrated scholar and poet in Tang period. After his early retirement, he lived in his little estate where he planted many chrysanthemums and other flowers, and enjoyed drinking wine. The pot-bellied, half naked man Hotei is one of the “Seven gods of felicity,” the god of contentment and happiness. Partly Taoist and partly Buddhist origin, he is generally identified with the Chinese priest known as Pu-tai Ho-shang. The date is unknown; he is stated to have lived in the 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries. He carries a bag which is said to contain “precious things” (takaramono).
Shallow stoneware bowl with white slip and colorless glaze. The interior is decorated with a stamped rope-curtain pattern, incised bands of lines and a repeating stylized lotus petal pattern. In the center of the bowl lie three inlaid chrysanthemum florets. Three scars on the inside of the bowl indicate the piece was fired in a stack for large-scale production.
Bowl with chrysanthemum florets, rope curtain design, and stylized lotus petals.
This rectangular vase is decorated in one corber with a wheel or foral design carved into the clay. The opening edges of the vase are not straight, but asymmetrical. The natural ash glaze decorates the vase with varyig shades of gray.
This is a vase. 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.
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.
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.
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.
A bird (probably a sparrow) perches among peach blossoms, while singing to welcome the spring.
The tradition of bird and flower painting to which this image belongs dates back to the Tang period (618–907); in the Southern Sung (1127–1279) court it became a dominant mode as emperors themselves took up brushes to produce highly refined, delicate-colored paintings in an intimate format. Throughout their long history, these apparently straightforward and charming paintings conveyed symbolic or allegorical messages for the knowledgeable viewer.
This Early Ming painting executed in the in the style of the Southern Sung court celebrates the dynasty that restored Han Chinese rule after nearly a century of Mongol rule during the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368). The blossoming pear tree is a symbol of wise and benevolent administration, while the singing bird symbolizes the loyal scholar-official, overjoyed by the restoration of traditional Chinese government.
plate 8 from Woodland Portraits, signed recto, signed and titled mount verso
31.75 cm x 24.13 cm (12 1/2 in. x 9 1/2 in.)
Taken from above, two Trillium blooms. The flower in the upper right is mostly white with strips of green in the center of its petals, while the one in the bottom left is mostly green with tinges of white on the outer edges of its petals.
It is a grayish purple silk crepe kimono with wax-resist patterns, hand-painted design and metallic threads embroidery. The kimono is in full length and has elongated sleeves. The fabric is dyed with purple, leaving the family crest under the collar and the floral design part white. The dark purple scale pattern is added using wax-resist technique. Then the design of multiple kinds of plants is hand-painted with white, red, yellow, pale and blue green, and black colors. The half bottom of the family crest is also dyed with pink. There are mix of tropical flowers and foliage including four kinds of orchids, gladiolus, ferns, and ginger in red, yellow, green, purple, black and white hue. Embroidery is added in various metallic threads around the contours of flowers and leaves.
Orchids are traditionally considered as symbols of virtuous person in East Asian cultures. But the colorful orchid flowers in this kimono are cultivated kinds, more recent imports to Japan; their flamboyant appearance conveys exotic feeling.