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Asian Arts Council 2023-24 General Meeting Lectures

Each month the Asian Arts Council presents a program featuring a distinguished scholar, curator, collector or Asian arts enthusiast of note. We meet the last Thursday of the month on Zoom. Members and Docents are sent a link every month as part of membership. We welcome new members! Non-members may register by finding the date on the calendar of The San Diego Museum of Art. Click here! Once registered, an invitation email will be sent. Donations are welcome to help bring speakers.

Archives: Lectures by fiscal year
FY24 lecture images panel
 

Click on a date line below for a lecture summary from the Asian Arts Council Newsletter. Lectures are recorded, if the Speaker agrees. Videos are available to AAC members and docents if the title has a star after it.

Jul. 27, 2023 - 1:00 p.m. The Art of Literacy in Early Modern Japan*  Mai Yamaguchi, PhD, Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) 

July 27, 2023 Japanese literacy through art, Mai Yamaguchi, MIA
Toad and Mouse, Getsuji
Ink on paper MIA 2013.29.157

  The rapid development of literacy in the Edo Period (1603-1868) made Japan one of the most literate countries of the time. Reading and writing was taught in temple schools to people of the merchant and lower classes, and due to the expansion of the printing industry, books were readily available from lending libraries and bookshops. Woodblock printing allowed books to be illustrated with images that enhanced the text and captivated readers. Literature such as The Tale of Genji that was once available only to the elite became widespread and familiar to the lower classes. Sometimes colorful images of animals and insects or landscapes were borrowed from books, then hand-copied and made into picture books with no text or into hand scrolls. The Art of Literacy in Early Modern Japan was presented by Mai Yamaguchi, Ph.D., Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Curator of Japanese and Korean Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art who is curator of the exhibition of the same name at MIA. A virtual tour allows a leisurely stroll through the galleries of the exhibit. (Turn the image to the right or left and follow the circles on the floor).

  Prior to joining MIA, Dr. Mai Yamaguchi was a Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she curated the exhibition, Animals and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Japan, at the Princeton University Art Museum. She received her MA and PhD in Art and Archaeology from Princeton University.

Aug 31 - 1:00 p.m. Books and Things: Korean Joseon Dynasty Screens  Almiede "Allie" Arnell, JD, Docent, San Diego Museum of Art, in charge of Virtual Tours, Art History Instructor  

Aug 31, 2023 Korean Screens, Allie Arnell
Books and Scholars' Accoutrements (Ch’aekkŏri), Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 2014.198
  So powerful and adaptable is Chaekgeori, an 18th century Korean style of painting showing screens with multiple shelves of “books and things,” that it continues into contemporary art today. Introduced by King Jeongjo (r. 1776-1800), his scholarly love of books and the power of knowledge, caused him to commission a large eight-panel screen depicting bookshelves full of books as a backdrop framing his throne. In her fascinating presentation, Books and Things: Korean Joseon Dynasty Screens, Allie Arnell, SDMA docent, illuminated how this genre spread throughout Korean society. The elite class adapted these screens to depict their appreciation for scholarly pursuits, and included auspicious symbols to ensure prosperity, longevity and many sons to look after them in later years. Although a rigidly hierarchical form of Confucianism reinforced the stratified society of the time, this art form expanded to all classes, moving beyond the early dictates of style, to more colorful depictions of many flowers, fruits and even eyeglasses and watches, untethered from the shelves of a bookcase, simply floating in space. Modern Chaekgeori paintings provide artists with an opportunity for social commentary on consumerism and materialism, and the clutter of useless knickknacks.

Sep. 28 - 1:00 p.m. The Ramayana Travels from India to Southeast Asia  Ravi Reddy, MD, Docent, SAAC 

AAC Newsletter – October 2023, p 2     

Oct 26, 2023 Washi Paper, Hanging Sail, Meher McArthur
The Ramayana Travels from India to Southeast Asia was elucidated by Ravinder Reddy who outlined the themes of the several-thousand-year old Hindu epic, the Ramayana, which tells the tale of the righteous Rama, his devoted wife Sita, and his loyal brother Lakshmana, and the tribulations of their 14-year travels in exile. The episodes of the abduction of Sita by the lustful Ravana, the alliance with the Monkey God, Hanuman’s army for help in her rescue, and the vanquishing of Ravana in a final battle provide compelling stories that have conveyed moral and spiritual guidance to the listeners through the oral storyteller tradition for centuries. As the Ramayana traveled with Indian traders, it spread throughout Southeast Asia, and was adapted in different versions, sometimes with changed names, new stories or different traits of the key figures. The popular stories are also performed through music and dance with elaborate costumes, precise footwork and hand gestures, and expressive facial expressions, and remain a vibrant part of modern cultural life.

Ravinder Reddy, MD, is a psychiatrist, author and teacher. He has been deeply interested in many aspects of Indian art, and is the coordinator the South Asian Arts Council Study Group.

Oct. 26 - 1:00 p.m. Washi Transformed: Nine Contemporary Japanese Artists Take on Traditional Handmade Paper  Meher McArthur, Asian art historian, Asian art curator, Author and Educator   

AAC Newsletter – November-December 2023, p 2 & 3     

Oct 26, 2023 Washi Paper, Hanging Sail, Meher McArthur
Extraordinary works of art created from simple sheets of paper were revealed by Japanese art historian Meher McArthur in Washi Transformed: Nine Contemporary Japanese Artists Take on Traditional Handmade Paper. Washi paper is made from the inner bark of gampi, mitsumata or paper mulberry plants through a laborious process of boiling, beating, then spreading the pulp thinly onto a screen for drying into sheets of paper. The nine artists discussed created astonishing, mesmerizing and whimsical works of art from this washi paper. Kyoko Ibe’s layered sheets of washi in Hanging Sail, evoke a gentle sea breeze, while Kakuko Ishii’s army of twisted and tied paper cords appear to march along a wall like curious alien creatures.
Oct 26, 2023 Washi Paper, Paper Strings, Meher McArthur
Kakuko Ishii, Japanese Paper Strings Musubu W1

Oct 26, 2023 Washi Paper, Stone Light Objects, Meher McArthur
Eriko Horiki, Ishi (Stone) Light Objects
Eriko Horiki, who transitioned from a career in banking to master and preserve traditional paper-making for future generations, uses washi to create monumental architectural works as well as illuminated, textured paper sculptures that are simultaneously ethereal and functional.


Oct 26, 2023 Washi Paper, Butterfly, Meher McArthur
Hina Aoyama, Papillon



Hina Aoyama creates delicate lace-like and extraordinarily finely detailed works using very fine scissors to express the beauty of nature.

Yuko Nishumura is a paper sculptor whose series of three mandala-like white pleated disks evoke a hypnotic and meditative effect through the undulating lines of their repetitive folds.
Oct 26, 2023 Washi Paper, folded mandalas, Meher McArthur
Eriko Horiki, Ishi (Stone) Light Objects
 
To view the creations of all of these artists, the exhibit, Washi Transformed: New Expressions in Japanese Paper, is on display at the Mingei International Museum thru January 7, 2024.

Meher McArthur is an Asian art historian specializing in Japanese art, with degrees from Cambridge University and London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She was Curator of East Asian Art at Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA (1998-2006), and for over a decade has curated traveling exhibitions for International Arts & Artists (IA&A), including the Mingei’s current exhibition.

Jan 25 - 1:00 p.m. Modern and Contemporary Art in Nepal: An Introduction    Owen Duffy, Ph.D., Nancy C. Allen Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas     

A summary of this lecture will be posted here a month or two after the lecture is given.


Feb 29 - 1:00 p.m.         

A summary of this lecture will be posted here a month or two after the lecture is given.

Mar 28 - 1:00 p.m.      

A summary of this lecture will be posted here a month or two after the lecture is given.

Apr 25 - 1:00 p.m.      

A summary of this lecture will be posted here a month or two after the lecture is given.

May 30 - 1:00 p.m.      

A summary of this lecture will be posted here a month or two after the lecture is given.

Jun 27 - 1:00 p.m.      

A summary of this lecture will be posted here a month or two after the lecture is given.