March 15 - April 11, 2008
March 15 – April 11, 2008
Kaikodo Journal XXIV (Spring 2008)
Kaikodo’s Spring show “Material Witness” is comprised of 52 Chinese, Japanese, and Korean paintings from as early as the 12th century to the present day and 33 works of Chinese and Japanese art created between the Neolithic period and the 19th century. Through their idiosyncratic forms and styles, and the great range of materials employed, these paintings and objects bear compelling witness to the times and places of their production and to the imagination and skill of the artists and craftsmen who created them. Careful consideration of the pieces presented here indicates the potential as well as the parameters of what can be realized by the varying materials used in the creation of these pieces, and they thus bear witness to that fact. Almost all of the works presented here, both paintings and objects, were designed to appeal to our minds as well as to our imaginations and emotions, and the relevant craftsmen and painters who created these most assuredly aimed to embody significant concepts in their works so as to attract and hold the attention of all witnesses.
That such basic materials as some clay and a bit of paint could result in this stunning image of a Tang-dynasty camel and rider on view (no. 64), haughty in their bearing yet imbued with composure and grace, ought to seize our attention, appealing to our intellects and emotions all at once. An anonymous painting of the 16th century (no. 7) is equally noteworthy, arresting in sheer size and complexity and especially compelling in color and detail. Just as a camel and rider call to mind the exotic Tang dynasty, the painting evokes the grand and grandiose halls of the wealthy merchants and high officials of its day.