This December issue offers a number of articles on current exhibitions which people can enjoy over the holiday period.
The Art Gallery of NSW’s Japan supernatural leads this issue. As assistant curator of this exhibition Yuki Kawakami tells us, the rich history of Japanese folklore has never before been presented to Australian audiences in this imaginative way and TAASA members were able to enjoy an in-depth walkthrough by senior curator Meanie Eastburn in November.
Still in Sydney, curator Katrina Cashman from Mosman Art Gallery together with A. Sujud Dartanto, Curator Galeri Nasional Indonesia discuss a major exhibition at the Mosman Gallery of the work of Indonesian-Australian artist Jumaadi. It will also tour to Indonesia in late 2020. In Darwin, The Art of Bali - Recent Gifts to CDU Art Collection showcases splendid works of Balinese art from two prominent Australian collectors. Its curator, Kellie Joswig, not only covers some of the works to be seen in this exhibition but the history behind the donated collections.
Earlier this year, the Newcastle Art Gallery presented SODEISHA: connected to Australia which celebrated the Gallery’s significant holdings of Japanese ceramics. The exhibition has ended but we continue this theme in our article Yagi Kazuo’s Mr. Samsa’s Walk. Tomohiro Daicho, curator at the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto argues that this seminal 1954 work by ceramicist Yagi Kazuo, a founder of the Sodeisha movement, has been mistakenly viewed as the first major example of an abstract ceramic work and that, because of its significance, this has had an undue influence on the direction of contemporary Japanese ceramics.
Out of another art exhibition – Liminal Space, held at Onespace Gallery in Brisbane in 2017 – comes a reflective article from artist Georgina Hooper. This exhibition was the result of her visual arts practice-led research project with the University of Canberra in which she aimed to achieve creative transcendence in her own painting practice based on her exposure to China’s painting traditions.
Further afield, travellers to Sri Lanka now, thankfully, have an opportunity to visit the previously war-torn Jaffna Peninsula. Ann Proctor, in collaboration with Jaffna local Jeeva Perumalpillai walks us through the key Hindu holy sites in that region where there has been a renaissance of construction and renovation of Hindu temples since the end of the conflict. If travelling to Europe, Hwei-fen Cheah draws our attention to two less well-known Asian art collections in northern Italy – in Genoa and Turin – that are well worth visiting.
The remote village of Phoujong in northern Laos is definitely not on the tourist trail. When Trish Clark however was shown a piece of embroidery made by a local woman there, she immediately knew it was of extraordinary quality. From that encounter has grown a major project which Trish Clark describes in her article ‘Women’s Business’. She and partner Iain Finlay, have founded a live-in school of textile arts for a multi-ethnic group of village women in Luang Prabang Province which aims to sustain traditional weaving and embroidery practices and provide much needed income.
In her double contribution on senior contemporary Indian artist Gulammohammed Sheikh, Jackie Menzies draws our attention to an artist whose work has been little seen in Australia. She provides a review of At Home in the World, a magnificant tribute to 6 decades of this artist’s work, edited by Chaitanya Sambrani. And a tapestry which she describes, woven by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop after an original digital collage Sheikh created in 2003 as part of his major Mappamundi Suite, is probably the only work by Gulammohammed Sheikh in a public collection in Australia.
Finally, a book review from John Millbank covers the exhibition held at the Art Museum of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and associated catalogue of 46 porcelain ritual pieces dating from China’s Qing dynasty, drawn from two private collections. One of the donors, TAASA member Iain Clark is also the author of the catalogue For Blessings and Guidance. The review places these rare vessels in their cultural context as part of the rituals surrounding grand state sacrifices at temples and altars around Beijing.
The TAASA team wishes TAASA members the very best for the holiday season and for 2020. TAASA saw out 2019 in Sydney with its Diwali celebration at planet in October, while our Queensland chapter held an end of year event in November. Taking a new approach, TAASA in Sydney has replaced our usual end of year event with one which will welcome in 2020 - a Lunar New Year banquet on 30 January (see p29). We hope to see you all there.
3. EDITORIAL - Josefa Green, Editor
4. JAPAN SUPERNATURAL AT THE ART GALLERY OF NSW - Yuki Kawakami
7. HINDU HOLY SITES OF THE JAFFNA PENINSULAR, SRI LANKA - Ann Proctor with Jeeva Perumalpillai
10. STORIES FROM IMOGIRI: THE ART OF JUMAADI AT MOSMAN ART GALLERY - Katrina Cashman and A. Sujud Dartanto
12. YAGI KAZUO’S MR. SAMSA’S WALK: A TRULY SEMINAL JAPANESE CERAMIC ART OBJECT? - Tomohiro Daicho
14. TAKSU: THE ART OF BALI - RECENT GIFTS TO CDU ART COLLECTION - Kellie Joswig
16. EXPLORING TRADITIONAL CHINESE PAINTING AND THE SUBLIME - Georgina Hooper
19. WOMEN’S BUSINESS: ESTABLISHING A TEXTILE SCHOOL IN LAOS - Trish Clark
21. OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: ASIAN ART IN TURIN AND GENOA - Hwei-Fen Cheah
22. BOOK REVIEW: THE ART AND LIFE OF GULAMMOHAMMED SHEIKH - Jackie Menzies
23. IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN: GULAMMOHAMMED SHEIKH’S MAPPAMUNDI - Jackie Menzies
24. BOOK REVIEW: FOR BLESSINGS AND GUIDANCE. THE QIANLONG EMPEROR'S DESIGN FOR STATE SACRIFICIAL VESSELS - John Millbank
26. RECENT TAASA ACTIVITIES
28. TAASA MEMBERS' DIARY: DECEMBER 2019 - FEBRUARY 2020
29: WHAT'S ON: DECEMBER 2019 - FEBRUARY 2020