Posts Tagged 'Japan'

Wine Not?

Since today is National Wine Day, we’ve created some lovely pairings with a few wine-themed objects in our collection. So, whether you are a fan of red or white, we have something for every palate.

The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup, Momoyama period, Japan, Ink, Pigment On Gold, Pair Of Six-Fold Screens, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc. 1989.78.A-B.McD

The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup, Momoyama period, c. 1600,  Japan, ink and pigment on gold; pair of six-fold screens, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc. 1989.78.a-b.McD

From Japan we have The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup, created around 1600. Although this is a Japanese work, the screen depicts an 8th-century Chinese poem about a group of high-class revelers that included politicians, priests, calligraphers, and musicians. In both China and Japan during this period, wine would have been made from rice. Today, we know this wine as sake. So, grab a glass and read this excerpt from the poem, and maybe you, too, can feel like an immortal.

“Su Jin has made a vow to the Buddha embroidered on his vest
but for his drunkenness he takes care to forget all his rules.

Li Tai-bo drinks a gallon of wine, writes a hundred poems
then sleeps it off in the back of a wine shop in Chang-an
when the emperor asked him to board the royal barge
he shouted back, I am a drunken immortal.”

Black-Figure Krater, Attic, Greece, first half of 6th century B.C.E, ceramic, gift of The Jonsson Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M. Mayer, 1972.22

Black-figure krater, Greece, Attic, first half of 6th century B.C.E, ceramic, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Jonsson Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M. Mayer, 1972.22

You can’t talk about wine without talking about the Greeks. Even though they drank various alcoholic beverages like beer and honey mead, their main drink for a good time was wine. Here we have a black-figure krater made in the first half of the 6th century B.C.E. This piece of pottery would have been used to mix wine with water to dilute it for parties. The figures on the krater are Dionysus, the god of wine, and his followers, the maenads. The maenads were said to have been possessed by Dionysus and his drink, and they were therefore able to perform miracles, like having honey come from the ivy-covered staffs they carried. Dionysus and his maenads would want you to open a bottle of Agiorgitiko, which is a bit like a cabernet sauvignon, but please drink more responsibly than these krater characters.

“Embassy” Shape Wine Glass, Edwin W. Fuerst, Walter Dorwin Teague, Libbey Glass Company, 1939, glass, gift of The Dallas Antiques and Fine Arts Society, 1989.18.2

Embassy shape wine glass, Edwin W. Fuerst and Walter Dorwin Teague, designers; Libbey Glass Company, manufacturer; Toledo, Ohio, designed 1939, glass, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of The Dallas Antiques and Fine Arts Society, 1989.18.2

A wine pairing wouldn’t be complete without a glass to go with it. This is Embassy shape wine glass from 1939 was designed by Edwin W. Fuerst and Walter Dorwin Teague for the Libbey Glass Company. The company was not originally known for its blown glassware. Their beginnings were in lightbulbs and car windshield glass; however, throughout the 20th century they became known for their elegant glassware. In the 1970s, they created the first glass ever to be created through a patented “one piece and blow” technique. Today, this shape of glass with a wide mouth is used mainly to drink chardonnay. Even if you don’t have a glass quite like this one, open a bottle of chardonnay while you appreciate the beautiful Art Deco style of the Embassy shape wine glass .

Bacchic Concert, Pietro Paolini, c. 1625–1630, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation 1987.17

Pietro Paolini, Bacchic Concert, c. 1625–30, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation 1987.17

The Italian Renaissance was known for its art, music, and architectural genius. It was also a time of considerable wine consumption. In this painting by Pietro Paolini, we see a fairly mysterious scene with party goers, musicians, and someone dressed as the god Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. This scene is thought to have been from a marriage ceremony, where it was not unusual for the performers to dress as Bacchus and his followers. The image is unusual because the woman on the left has her back toward us and the woman with the lute stares directly at us. But, for today, we will just say that these performers are playing us a little tune to go along with a glass of chianti.

Katie Cooke is the McDermott Intern for Adult Programming and Arts & Letters Live at the DMA.

Everything is Everything

This week the DMA unveiled the work Everything is Everything (2006) by the artist Koki Tanaka, which will be on view in the Concourse for the next five months.

video

The work of Koki Tanaka takes shape primarily as video and installation that explores the relationship between objects and actions. His videos record simple gestures performed with ordinary objects—a knife cutting vegetables, beer poured into a glass, the opening of an umbrella—in which seemingly “nothing happens.” Yet, through their repetitive composition and heightened attention to detail, Tanaka’s videos compel us to take notice of the mundane phenomena of daily life. Latent patterns and geometrical forms emerge out of Tanaka’s work, and otherwise ordinary objects are transformed, providing an epiphany of sorts from moments of everyday life.

EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING, 2006, Eight channel DVDs, color, sound and materials in everyday use, dimension variable, installed at Taipei Biennial 2006 in Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Image courtesy of the artist, Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo, and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou.

Everything is Everything, 2006, eight-channel DVDs, color, sound, and materials in everyday use, installed at Taipei Biennial 2006 in Taipei Fine Arts Museum
(Image courtesy of the artist, Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo, and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou)

The eight-channel video installation Everything is Everything was first created for exhibition at the 2006 Taipei Biennial. For this work, the artist and two assistants spent a total of eight days recording their interactions and interventions with readily available items, including hangers, cups, towels, an air mattress, and toilet paper, all found around the city of Taipei. The physical properties of these objects were tested (a metal hanger is stretched to its breaking point) or their uses were expanded (a level placed on two table legs becomes an impromptu hurdle). Tanaka and his assistants experimented with these objects multiple times, both indoors and in public, and their exploits were compiled into eight distinct video loops ranging in length from 1:19 to 1:50 minutes. Tanaka’s tightly cropped framing of each scene often features the performers from the neck down or removes them from the shot altogether, thus focusing the viewer’s attention on the objects and the simple, repetitive acts being performed.

In her canonical text, Passages in Modern Sculpture (1981), art historian and critic Rosalind Krauss begins the book’s final chapter with a film by Richard Serra, Hand Catching Lead (1968), in which the artist’s disembodied hand tenaciously attempts to catch pieces of falling lead. Krauss reads Serra’s film as characteristic of minimalist sculpture in the way that it “exploit[s] a kind of found object for its possibilities as an element in a repetitive structure.” The repetitive nature of the actions in Everything is Everything, combined with the use of inexpensive, mass-produced materials, highlights an affinity Tanaka’s videos share with the logic of minimalist sculpture and process art of the 1960s. Similarly, Tanaka’s repetitive use of the objects in Everything is Everything alludes to Serra’s Verb List (1967–68), in which the artist listed eighty-four verbs such as “to roll . . . to crumple . . . to drop . . . to scatter” as a means to relate actions to “oneself, material, place, and process.” Tanaka’s object-oriented work is indebted to minimalism as well as to the legacies of Mono-ha and Arte Povera, as evidenced by a shared interest in exploring the physicality and formal qualities of quotidian objects through processes of encounter and repetition.

Japan Pavilion Photos: Keizo Kioku

Japan Pavilion Photos: Keizo Kioku

Japan Pavilion Photos: Keizo Kioku

Japan Pavilion Photos: Keizo Kioku

Koki Tanaka was born in Tochigi, Japan, in 1975, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, in 2005 and has since been the subject of solo exhibitions at UC Irvine University Art Gallery (2012), the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2010), and the Museum of Modern Art, Gunma (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum (2012), the Yokohama Triennale (2011), and Making is Thinking at the Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011). Most recently, Tanaka was selected to represent Japan in the 55th Venice Biennale, for which he received a special mention.

Gabriel Ritter is The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the DMA.

Community Connection: Shay Youngblood

We are excited to introduce Shay Youngblood as the first Writer-in-Residence at the DMA.  It’s easy to sit down and talk to Shay for a few minutes, and somehow it turns into a few hours.  She is a great listener, but she is also a great storyteller.

In Houston, February 2013

In Houston, February 2013

Name five things that you love.
Art, books, peace, love, food.

Tell me about your work with the DMA.
I am currently a Writer-in-Residence at the DMA. What I would like to do in that role is create an art project based on visitors’ art experiences. It’s an experiment for me. My belief is that encounters with art or engaging with art can change the way we see the sky, a flower, a face, a body, ourselves. Art that stirs up our senses makes us think and wonder and makes us feel more alive. I contacted Susan (Director of the Center for Creative Connections at the DMA) because I want to visit the Museum regularly, as if I’m visiting another country to learn a new language.

Shay Youngblood and Susan Diachisin, on Shay's first day as Writer-in-Residence

Shay Youngblood and Susan Diachisin, on Shay’s first day as Writer-in-Residence

You are both a writer and a painter. How would you describe your creative process?
In different genres, I start differently. My process comes out of being a storyteller. Whether I’m working on a play, or a novel, or a short story, or a painting, it’s really about telling a good story. With writing, it starts with a character. I get to know the character as well as I can, from their shoe size to their favorite color. I’m interested in a lot of different things – art, food, social justice, politics, race, class – all kinds of things. The work comes out of my interests. But all of my work involves telling a good story.

You recently travelled to Japan through the U.S./Japan Creative Artists Program, which seeks to “promote cultural understanding between the United States and Japan.” How would you say cultural understanding occurred during your time abroad?
My work in Japan was about my wanting to understand the culture through its people. I conducted interviews with artists and architects, but I also met strangers on the street. The most interesting thing to come out of that whole time was that I met two women separately in Tokyo, a city of millions of people. One Japanese woman went to SMU in Dallas. The other, I met while I was trying to get food and was having a hard time – I looked lost. On the last day of my time in Japan, these two realized they knew each other from college thirty-seven years ago; they hadn’t seen each other since then.

I felt not only did I learn about Japanese culture, I think I was also able to share a lot of American culture with the people I met there. A lot of people had not been to the U.S. or ever interacted with an African American person.

In a Tokyo art gallery during U.S./Japan Friendship Commission Creative Artist Fellowship

In a Tokyo art gallery during her U.S./Japan Friendship Commission Creative Artists Fellowship

Through books I have read and films I have seen about Japan, I get the impression that this is a place that appeals to all of the senses. Tell me something that comes to mind for each of the following:

  •  Sight – When I think about Japan, I think about beauty – there is beauty everywhere. One of the most memorable sights was sitting on a beach in Takamatsu and looking out at the water. There is beauty everywhere, and quiet beauty in nature. On the street there were little flowers. There was a general aesthetic of beauty in the simplest things.
  • Sound – Temple bells in the afternoon. That sound was wonderful to me. I felt like I was inside the temple in my hotel room. It was like a moment of meditation every day.
    In the evening, when the children get out of school, you hear a little song playing through speakers around the city. The music essentially says “time to go home now” and plays at the same time every day. This song permeates the whole city.
  • Touch – The traditional way of greeting someone or showing respect in Japan is to bow. My American self would sometimes forget that, and when I was moved by a kindness sometimes I would hug people. I have to say I missed touch. So when a Japanese person would give me a hug because they knew that was in my culture, that was a really special moment for me.
  • Taste – Japanese food is so amazing! It attends to all of the senses.  It is beautiful to look at, some tastes are unusual, and the food in general is some of the best I’ve had in my life. And, the best Mexican restaurant in Tokyo was down the street from my hotel.
  • Smell – There are so many gardens that I visited all over the city, beautiful traditional Japanese gardens. Just the smell of the flowers and the trees and the earth in these gardens was really quite stimulating for me.

Shay will be interviewing visitors about their experiences with art tomorrow during Late Night. Look for her friendly face in the galleries!

Melissa Gonzales
C3 Gallery Manager

Friday Photos: Tea Time!

While I am definitely a tea drinker year round, there’s nothing I love more about fall and winter than curling up on the couch with a nice hot cup of tea… now if only our Texas weather would cooperate and cool down a bit!

Tea began its journey in China, travelled to Japan, India and Britain, and from there it was carried to countries around the world.  With its discovery placed around 2730 BC, the history of tea is steeped (get it?) in cultural relevance from the beautiful zen Japanese tea ceremony to the refined class of the English afternoon tea.  And with the recent election, we cannot forget the role that tea played in the rebellious Boston Tea Party!

Luckily, the Dallas Museum of Art has a fantastic collection of tea sets and related works of art to help me get in a cozy state of mind, regardless of the weather!

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Featured artworks:

  • Jean-Emile Puiforcat, Tea and coffee service, c. 1925, Dalals Museum of Art, the Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, gift of Patsy Lacy Griffith by exchange
  • Étienne-Henri Le Guay (gilder), Sèvres Porcelain Factory (manufacturer), Tea service (déjeuner),1789, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Michael L. Rosenberg
  • Reuben Haley (designer, Fulper-Stangl Pottery (manufacturer), “Square Modern” tea service, 1925, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Sidney and George Perutz in honor of Kevin W. Tucker
  • James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Afternoon Tea, 1895, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg
  • Harold Stabler (designer), Adie Brothers, Ltd. (manufacturer), Tea service, Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection, gift of the Hoblitzelle Foundation by exchange
  • Thomas Wilkinson and Sons (manufacturer), “Pelican Ware” tea service, 1885, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift
  • Michael Graves (designer), Fratelli Alessi (manufacturer), Tea and coffee service (from the “Piazza” series), 1980, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund
  • Margarete Heymann-Marks (designer), Hael Workshops for Artistic Ceramics (manufacturer), Tea service, c. 1930, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund
  • Nicholas Krushenick, Boston Tea Party, 1975, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Michael L. Rosenberg
  • John C. Moore (designer), Mulford, Wendell & Co (manufacturer), Tea and coffee service, c. 1851, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of T. Peter Townsend and Joanna Townsend
  • Antonio Pineda, Tea set, c. 1960, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund
  • Tea stand with cover and bowl, Tibet, 18th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Alta Brenner in memory of her daughter Andrea Bernice Brenner-McMullen

Pilar Wong
McDermott Intern for Community Teaching

Longtime Curator “Travels” DMA’s Silk Road

Following her new installation in the third-floor galleries of objects that reflect transport along Eurasia’s  Silk Road, “seasoned” curator Dr. Anne Bromberg sat down with us to discuss her fascinating career. A lifelong Dallasite—except for her years at Harvard getting her B.A. in anthropology and M.A. and Ph.D. in classical art and archaeology—Dr. Bromberg has been on the staff of the Dallas Museum of Art for more than forty years, first as a lecturer and docent trainer beginning in 1962, then as head of the education department, and currently as The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art. What’s more, she has led an inspired life, traveling extensively to little-known locales, researching and experiencing the cultures within her discipline.

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Q: How would you describe your job at the DMA?

AB: Most curatorial jobs involve trying to acquire art for the museum, organizing exhibitions and/or working on exhibitions that come to us from elsewhere, publishing, lecturing, working with volunteers, [and] cultivating donors. In terms of legwork, it’s going around and seeing dealers and other collections, visiting other museums, going to conferences, and giving lectures outside the museum.

Q: You are in charge of a very diverse area of the Museum’s collections. What is your particular area of expertise?

AB: Classical art, meaning the art of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and all Asian art, but I’m mainly working with South Asian art.

Q: How did you become interested in Asian art?

AB: One of the really outstanding teachers I had taught evolution in her biology courses, including historical geology, and I was really fascinated with historical geology and that got me into reading about archaeology. And I thought, this is what I want to do. A good teacher makes a difference. I’ve actually been interested in Asia for a long, long time. When I was an undergraduate, I was reading books on Zen Buddhism and haiku, the Ramayana, and things like that. Books stimulate your passion to go see these things in reality.

Q: What are some of your favorite places you’ve traveled to?

AB:  I think both my husband, Alan, and I would say the single favorite place we’ve been is Isfahan in Persia. Italy, of all the European countries, is easily the most seductive, and everybody I know who has been to India is dying to get back. We’ve been there so many times, and you feel like you’ve just scratched the surface.”

Q: What is your favorite object within the ancient and Asian collections at the DMA? Within another collection?

AB: The Shiva Nataraja, because that image is the single most important iconic image in Hinduism generally, and many Hindus would agree with that. It is exceptionally beautiful both aesthetically and because it represents the loving quality of the god Shiva. South Indian Hindu poems describe worship as falling in love with the god, and our Shiva Nataraja is the embodiment of that Chola period poetry.

Brancusi’s Beginning of the World. because of my background, I personally have a strong response to pure geometric forms and classical idealism, and I’m certainly not alone in believing that the ancient Greeks would appreciate that classical, pure, and geometric vision of the beginning of the world.

Q: Do you personally collect art? What types of objects are you most drawn to?

AB: Primarily we’ve collected what I would call third-world contemporary art—things that at the time were being made wherever—New Guinea, India, South America, Mexico, etc.

Q: Why do you think it is important for people to study non-Western art?

AB: If you study non-Western art, you’ll learn what human beings create and why. If you stick only to your own civilization, you are much less likely to think about why these things are being made . . . or about a much more serious question to me, why do we call it art?

Q: Describe your current project, an installation of objects from the DMA’s collections focusing on the Silk Road.

AB: The Silk Road installation is something that has interested me for a long time. We do have a lot of artwork that really displays the meaning of the Silk Road, which tied Eurasia together for millennia. So I was delighted when I got a space where I could show the ties between the Mediterranean world and Asia.

The Silk Road is an ancient transcontinental network of trade routes that spread across Eurasia from the Mediterranean to China and Japan. The phenomenon of the Silk Road is constantly studied and has recently been featured in museum exhibitions around the world. The new installation, organized by Dr. Bromberg, addresses six themes related to the Silk Road, including the development of cities and trade, the importance of animals to early societies, and the spread of religions. The installation presents well-known DMA favorites, such as the Javanese Ganesha and the bust of a man from Palmyra, and new works from several local private collections. Opening this weekend, come see the new installation on Level 3 the next time you visit the DMA.

Ashley Bruckbauer is the McDermott Intern for Programs and Resources for Teachers at the Dallas Museum of Art and Madelyn Strubelt is the McDermott Curatorial Intern of Ancient and Asian Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Spring is Almost Here

It’s almost spring, and the flora is just about to bloom here at the Museum.  I’ve captured some of the blossoming trees along with some perpetual blossoms on vases in our Japanese Meiji period gallery.  Enjoy!

Molly Kysar
Head of Teaching Programs


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