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A Discovery of Dragons

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A Discovery of Dragons is just that! After finding an extremely rare two-dragon decorated Tang mirror late last year, we were encouraged to honor the Year of the Dragon with an exhibition featuring dragons. As we were continuing to acquire and select works for the show, we found dragons lurking everywhere, as if waiting for the perfect time to show themselves.

Among our finds: a Ryukyuan lacquer stand with mother-of-pearl dragon laying claim to the tabletop (no. 16), a white stoneware Vietnamese bowl with molded dragons like ghosts beneath a luminescent glaze (no. 12), and a massive late-Ming Chaozhou dish where the lizard-like zhi dragons slither in white slip across its deep brown glaze (no. 14). A dragon and tiger, symbols of east and west, are the subjects of a pair of paintings by a Goseon-period painter, an idiosyncratic representation of a subject of great moment during the Song and Yuan period in China. Joining the discovery of dragons are further acquisitions from our current Asian forays, including a Goryeo celadon bowl with a molded design of three lively boys unleashed in a world of lotus (no. 13) and an extremely rare Shonzui bottle in the shape of an ancient jade cong, decorated with a version of the mystical trigrams (or bagua “eight symbols”) (no. 15).

Two individuals deserve special recognition and gratitude in bringing this exhibition to fruition. We would like to offer our deepest thanks to Hiroshi Kawasaki in Osaka who transcribed and did initial translations of all the inscriptions and seals on the paintings as well as the painting and object boxes whenever inscriptions occurred. This time around we have included as much of his work as possible in the details that follow the captions. This was made possible through our assistant, Robert Lyman, who is responsible for all manner of things relating not only to the Onomea Bay premises but to all things Kaikodo, and importantly in this respect, photography. All the photography was done by Robert. The only exceptions are several of the main images [nos. 4, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 20, 22] which were taken by John Bigelow Taylor and Dianne Dubler. Robert was also responsible for formatting and uploading the exhibition on our website, a task of great moment which he handled effortlessly.

We, Howard and Mary Ann Rogers, are responsible for all of the writeups and guilty for whatever errors exist therein. All of the writeups are posted at the end of the details and for some of the works, there are attached PDFs and a button to access them.

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