Kaikodo Journal IX Autumn 1998
A Garden Show
Corresponding to the exhibition held between September 14 and October 24, 1998. 40 early Chinese and Japanese paintings; 37 early Chinese objects (77 color plates). Preface by Howard Rogers. 265 pages.
Includes the essay:
“Shadows of Emotion: the Calligraphy, Painting and Poetry of Gion Nankai”
In addition to highlighting the numerous objects of paintings which contributed to the main theme, “A Garden Show,” this issue of the journal was also intended to record and commemorate a loan exhibition, “Art in the Age of The Peony Pavilion,” drawn from private collections and designed to accompany the Lincoln Center production of the late 16th century Chinese opera of that name scheduled for performance during July of 1998. However, the Municipal Bureau of Culture in Shanghai refused to grant visas to the performers and Lincoln Center was left with no choice but to cancel their production. Our exhibition, selected from private collections, to provide aesthetic context for the opera, was thus deprived of its focus and was cancelled as well. The most generous and optimistic view of the Chinese government’s action in this case would hold that it was intended to maintain the integrity of the original opera, to protect the spirit and form of the author’s conception and to ensure that the foreign audience was not misled by overly creative innovations and modern interpretations. The value to art-history of free inquiry, however, is demonstrated in this issue by the essay contributed by Stephen Addiss. His Shadow of Emotion examines how poetry, calligraphy, and painting interrelated in the life and art of Gion Nankai (1677-1751), a pioneer artist of the Nanga school whose artistic interests and achievements were so broad as to raise questions on the extent and nature of his individual style and voice.