Kaikodo Journal XX Autumn 2001
Worlds of Wonder
Corresponding to the exhibition held between September 15 and October 15, 2001. 49 Chinese, Korean and Japanese paintings; 41 Chinese objects (90 color plates). Preface by Howard Rogers. 379 pages.
Includes the essays:
“The Trubner Stele”
“Representations of the Bhaisajyaguru
Sutra at Tun-huang”
“Third Man Theory”
Patricia J. Graham:
“Okubo Shibutsu, Vagabond Poet of Edo,
and His Nanga Painter-friends”
This issue of the Kaikodo Journal corresponds to a sale exhibition held in our gallery in New York between September 15 and October 15, 2001. The journal begins with a tribute to the extraordinary Maria-Gaetana (Tana) Matisse by her friend and specialist and dealer supreme of old European masterworks, Deborah Gage. The second section consists of tributes to the sadly demolished Buddhas of Bamiyan. The first is by Roya Tsuchiya, daughter of the art-historian Haruko Tsuchiya, a specialist in the art of northern India and Central Asia, and Ahmad Ali Motamedi, former director of the Archaeological Museum in Kabul. Roya was born in Afghanistan and, given the interests of her parents, grew up in close proximity to the monuments others of us have admired only in photographs and slides. The second is by the world-renowned photographers John Bigelow Taylor and Dianne Dubler, who count among their numerous projects photography for Kaikodo Journal. Roya, Dianne, and John met the Buddhas of Bamiyan during approximately the same period of time, and share here their first-hand experiences at the site.
Four essays are included in this issue of the journals. First is that by Wai-kam Ho, notable for being one of very few essays that have .been published by one of the foremost scholars of our day. Member of the last generation to receive a traditional classical education at the National University in Beijing, Wai-kam subsequently did graduate work in art-history and religious art at Harvard University before joining Director Sherman E. Lee at the Cleveland Museum of Art as Curator of Chinese Art and participating in the glorious period during which the museum acquired many of the Asian works of art that are now famed throughout the world. Subsequently brought by Director Marc F Wilson to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Wai-kam made significant contributions to that institution as well, most notably the seminal exhibition The Century of Tung Ch’i-ch’ang (1555-1636) .The essay by Wai- kam Ho offered here is concerned with connoisseurship at its deepest and most basic level. Readers should take special note of the range of disciplines brought to bear on the subject, a stele in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, for the procedures followed are as important to our education as the conclusions reached in the essay.
The second essay if by Professor Chih-hung Yen, a specialist in Buddhist art who, at the time of this journal’s publication, was assistant professor in the graduate school at National Chi-nan University and a research fellow at the Academia Sinica. In this essay Professor Yen traces the evolution of a particular theme—representations of the Pure Crystal Realm of the Medicine Buddha—in the cave paintings at Dunhuang.
Howard Rogers’s essay is concerned with the painting known as “The Riverbank” and attributed to the 10th-century artist Dong Yuan, in an attempt to identify the subject of the painting then to discuss the possible implications of that identification.
The final essay is by Dr. Patricia Graham, a well-known scholar of and writer on Japanese art-history. In her article she views Japanese literati culture from an unusual viewpoint, that of the Chinese-style poetry composed by Okubo Shibutsu for paintings done by his Nanga painter-friends, leading to greater illumination of the web of ideals, cultural assumptions, and needs that bound these talents together.