skip to Main Content

Kaikodo Journal XXXIV

Parallel Lives

Corresponding to the exhibition held between March 8 and April 28, 2017. 31 Chinese and Japanese paintings; 26 Chinese works of art. Preface by Mary Ann Rogers. Online edition.

The exhibition “Parallel Lives,” KAIKODO JOURNAL XXXIV, is organized to highlight the parallels that exist between works of art and, more generally, the temporal, technical and aesthetic correspondences and analogies between works of art. We have included Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese works or art and have presented them as The Ancients (1-4); The Three Religions (5-7); The Purity of Stonewares (8-11); Dark Stonewares (12-14); Blue on White (15-20); Florid (21-25); and Rock (26). In the world of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean painting, parallels lives can be traced in shared subject matter and style, which can be recognized and understood even though the paintings here are presented chronologically rather than thematically.

However, whereas parallel lines never meet or cross, parallel lives in art can and do, and these parallels might exist within a culture or cross-culturally. For example, the parallel lives of Chinese and Japanese pottery of the Neolithic period, or Chinese Yue ware and Japanese Sueki, are evident in the similarities of their materials and basic techniques, but observing their parallelism serves to highlight their dramatic aesthetic differences. The parallel lives of Daoist, Confucian, and Buddhist beliefs intersected as the Chinese sought to understand and explain the world around them and it was not unusual for all three of these distinct philosophies to be embraced and espoused together during the lifetime of a single individual. The underglaze-blue decorated porcelains of China, Japan, and Vietnam followed their own paths of development while also displaying significant interdependence. A colorful kyō-yaki fan-shaped dish is delight to behold in its own right. However, its life becomes even more compelling when parallel lives—that of Rimpa paintings for example—are brought into focus along side of it.

In the world of painting, Chinese and Japanese works from the Ming dynasty and Muromachi period exist in parallel worlds as independent entities, whereas each relied on earlier Chinese achievements, and sometimes the same ones, to arrive at their destinations. Paintings of ducks or geese by Chinese and Korean artists appear to have more in common than subject matter alone, but if one looks long and hard and deeply, significant differences and idiosyncrasies reveal themselves. It is hoped that this exhibition, aside from introducing works of art and paintings that stand as individuals to be appreciated in their own right, will inspire the kind of observation and thinking that lie behind the origin of “Parallel Lives.”

Kaikodo Journal XXXVI - Spring 2020 (web)Online only
Kaikodo Journal XXXV - Spring 2019 (web)Online only
Kaikodo Journal XXXIV - Spring 2018 (web)Online only
Kaikodo Journal XXXIII - Spring 2017 (web)Online only
Kaikodo Journal XXXII - Spring 2016 (web)Online only
Kaikodo Journal XXXI - Spring 2015Available
Kaikodo Journal XXX - Spring 2014Available
Kaikodo Journal XXIX - Spring 2013Available
Kaikodo Journal XXVIII - Spring 2012Available
Kaikodo Journal XXVII - Spring 2011Available
Kaikodo Journal XXVI - Spring 2010available
Kaikodo Journal XXV - Spring 2009Available
Kaikodo Journal XXIV - Spring 2008Available
Kaikodo Journal XXIII - Spring 2007
Spring in Jinling - Spring 2004
Kaikodo Journal XXII - Spring 2002
Kaikodo Journal XXI - Autumn 2001
Kaikodo Journal XX - Autumn 2001Available
Kaikodo Journal XIX - Spring 2001Available
Kaikodo Journal XVIII - November 2000
Kaikodo Journal XVII - Autumn 2000
Kaikodo Journal XVI - May 2000Available
Kaikodo Journal XV - Spring 2000Available
Kaikodo Journal XIV - November 1999Available
Kaikodo Journal XIII - Autumn 1999Available
Kaikodo Journal XII - Autumn 1999
In Two Dimensions - Spring 1999
Kaikodo Journal XI - Spring 1999
Kaikodo Journal X - November 1998Out of Print
Kaikodo Journal IX - Autumn 1998Available
Kaikodo Journal VIII - May 1998Available
Kaikodo Journal VII - Spring 1998Available
Kaikodo Journal VI - October 1997Not Available
Kaikodo Journal V - Autumn 1997
Kaikodo Journal IV - May 1997OUT OF PRINT
Kaikodo Journal III - Spring 1997OUT OF PRINT
Kaikodo Journal II - Autumn 1996OUT OF PRINT
Kaikodo Journal I - Spring 1996OUT OF PRINT
Backward Glances - February 1996
Back To Top