TAASA Review issues
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Josefa Green, Editor
In this first TAASA Review for 2016, we offer a taste of the variety of exhibitions which will be on show over the next months.
Two related exhibitions in Canberra are being held at the National Library of Australia and at China in the World, ANU. Celestial Empire: Life in China, 1644–1911 at the NLA presents a selection of works produced under China’s last imperial dynasty drawn equally from the collections of the NLA and the National Library of China. Curator Nathan Woolley’s article focuses in particular on the illustrated books on show.
At CIW at ANU, we can view images of 1930s China taken by Stanley O. Gregory, who worked in HK and China in the 1920s and 30s, printed in large-format for the first time from original negatives in the NLA collection. In his article for the TR, Olivier Krischer uncovers an interesting research trail which raises questions about the dating and even the authorship of some of these photographs.
April will see an exhibition of more than 130 outstanding art works from Xi’an and its adjacent areas entitled Tang: treasures from the Silk Road capital at the Art Gallery of NSW. This is a truly major event, offered together with a symposium and lecture series. The curator of the exhibition, AGNSW’s Cao Yin, describes how the Tang capital Chang’an became a focal point for the development of the Tang dynasty’s cosmopolitan culture.
Far more modest in size, though not in quality, is a display until end June of the newly acquired contemporary ceramic pieces of Korean Yeung-an Jang at the Museum for Applied Arts & Sciences (Powerhouse Museum). There is a fascinating link between this exhibition and the AGNSW’s Tang exhibition: as Min-Jung Kim, Curator of Asian Arts & Design at MAAS points out, the Korean celadon tradition in which Yeung-an Jang is immersed was initially influenced by the Yue greenware kilns in Zhejiang Province, China, which produced some of the finest celadons during the Tang period.
We took advantage of Gill Green’s recent visit to London to commission an account of a major textile exhibition at the V&A, The Fabric of India, the first major exhibition to explore handmade textiles from India from the 3rd century to the present, with over 200 objects. While this exhibition has ended, it has left an important legacy in its scholarly catalogue which Gill discusses in her review.
Liz Williamson gives us an account of her recent UNSW residency in Paris, researching historic Indian textiles in French and UK museums. This residency was intended to provide a resource and reference for both her own studio work and for planned projects with textile artisans in India. In her article, Liz shares some of the results of her research on the Fustat fragments held at the Musée Guimet: a group of Indian textiles excavated in the early 1900s from various Middle Eastern sites which take their name from Fustat, an old capital of Egypt.
London based Jane Evans, honorary co-president of the Chinese Brush Painters Society, gives us a personal practitioner’s account of how she came to study traditional Chinese brush painting techniques while a resident of Manila, Philippines, and how she works with this genre to produce paintings combining her western approach with her Chinese brush painting training.
We are also pleased to publish an edited version of the essay by PhD student Alison Vincent which won the TAASA QLD prize for best essay addressing Asian art at the 19th annual University of Queensland School of Communication and Arts postgraduate Work in Progress (WiP) Conference. The TAASA award was generously offered by TAASA Convenor in Queensland, James MacKean, and was judged and presented by Gael Newton, who has provided an introduction to Alison’s essay.
This March TR closely follows the Lunar New Year celebrations. To mark the 20th Chinese New Year Festival in Sydney, 12 monumental lanterns representing the zodiac animals were displayed in key positions throughout Sydney, a number of which were artist commissioned by the City of Sydney’s first Festival curator, Claudia Chan Shaw. You can read the results of my conversation with her in the Lunar Lanterns article.
And finally, a variety of offerings. Curator Joanna Barrkman describes two prints by Dadang Christanto in Charles Darwin University’s Art Collection. Gill Green reviews The Roots of Asian Weaving: The He Haiyan Collection of Textiles and Looms from Southwest China by Eric Boudot and Chris Buckley. And very sadly, an obituary which celebrates the life of long time TAASA stalwart and Indian textile expert Joyce Burnard, by Sandra Forbes and Philippa Sandall.
Table of contents
3 EDITORIAL - Josefa Green, Editor
4 CHANG’AN: A COSMOPOLITAN CAPITAL ON THE SILK ROAD - Cao Yin
7 INSPIRATION FROM THE PAST: TRACING MOTIFS AND PATTERNS IN FUSTAT TEXTILE FRAGMENTS - Liz Williamson
10 ILLUSTRATED BOOKS OF THE QING IN CELESTIAL EMPIRE AT THE NLA - Nathan Woolley
12 THE GREGORY PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHINA IN THE NATIONAL LIBRARY COLLECTION - Olivier Krischer
14 LUNAR LANTERNS - Claudia Chan Shaw in conversation with Josefa Green
16 CHINESE INK AND BRUSH PAINTING – A PRACTITIONER’S PERSPECTIVE - Jane Evans
18 REVIEWING ASIAN FOOD IN 1970s AUSTRALIA: TAASA QLD AWARD WINNING RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND - Gael Newton and Alison Vincent
21 THE CERAMIC WORKS OF YEUNG-AN JANG AT MAAS - Min-Jung Kim
24 THE FABRIC OF INDIA: AN EXHIBITION AT THE V&A - Gill Green
26 IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN: PRINTS BY DADANG CHRISTANTO IN THE CHARLES DARWIN UNIVERSITY ART COLLECTION - Joanna Barrkman
27 BOOK REVIEW: THE ROOTS OF ASIAN WEAVING - Gill Green
28 JOYCE BURNARD: CELEBRATION OF A LIFE - Sandra Forbes and Philippa Sandall
29 RECENT TAASA ACTIVITIES
30 TAASA MEMBERS’ DIARY: MARCH - MAY 2016
31 WHAT’S ON: MARCH - MAY 2016 - Compiled by Tina Burge