Kaikodo Journal XXIV Spring 2008
Corresponding to the exhibition held between March 15 and April 11, 2008. 48 Chinese and Japanese paintings; 32 Chinese objects (80 color plates). Preface by Howard Rogers. 316 pages.
Includes the essays:
Steven D. Owyoung:
“Lu Yu’s Brazier
Taoist Elements in the T’ang Book of Tea”
“Song Dynnasty Black-glazed Tea Bowls from
the Yulinting Kilns at Mount Wuyi”
“Lives of the Painters: Sheng Mou
“In Their Emperor’s Service:
Court Painting of the Ming Dynasty”
Mary Ann Rogers:
“Treasures from the Kingdom of Qian:
The Mu Family Collection of Painting & Calligraphy”
Hiroko T. McDermott:
“Art Exhibitions in Mid-Late Meiji Japan
This journal features six essays on subjects ranging from the tea ceremony during the 8th century in China to art sales in Ueno Park in Tokyo during the 19th century.
The first essay is by Steven D. Owyoung, retired Curator of Asian Art at the St. Louis Art Museum, writing about a subject that has occupied him for decades, the Chinese tea-ceremony, especially as that had been codified by Lu Yu during the 8th century in his “Book of Tea.” The second essay, by K.Y. Ng of Hong Kong, is also concerned with the tea-ceremony but from a more material point of view, discussing a fascinating group of wares from the Yulinting kilns in Fujian province. With decoration in gold and silver painted most usually on black-glazed tea-wares, these bowls bear material witness to a group of ceramics inspired by the poems of Zhu Xi (1130-1200) of the later Song dynasty.
Next is an essay by Howard Rogers on Sheng Mou (ca. 1300-1359) , a major master of the Yuan dynasty about whom very little is recorded in written sources. However, his paintings or those by immediate followers survive in considerable numbers, and these can be used illumine certain characteristics of Yuan dynasty painting. Howard also contributed the next essay on court painters of the Ming era, including a brief description of court activity during the first reign-era but is expected to be mainly useful for the charts in the appendix, which list all academy painters as well as their immediate disciples known to the author at present.
Mary Ann Rogers contributed an important article also related to painting of the early Ming era, one outlining the Mu-family collection of paintings as that evolved through several generations, beginning with gifts from the first emperor of the Ming. Mu Ying, the adopted son of the first emperor, was the founder of the family collection and its good fortune, and his son, Mu Sheng, was also a patron of such consequential court painters as Dai Jin and Shih Rui whose access to the collection had significant implications for their art. Mary Ann also wrote in memory of one of her early teachers at SOAS, Professor William Watson.
The last essay is by Hiroko T. McDermott, who completed her D.Phil dissertation in 2002 at Oxford University and is now an independent researcher specializing in Meiji art history. She has here focused on a fascinating subject-the largest private sociery of collectors, dealers, and artists active during the late 19th-early 20th century-and brought to light several important aspects of the evolution of Meiji art circles thalt have escaped notice in both Japanese and Western research. Especially illuminating is her discussion of the collaboration between this society and the Imperial Household to hold numerous exhibitions in a hall built by them in Ueno Park-on Imperial land.