Volume 43 – Number 1
'Divine Power - The Dragon in Chinese Art' - The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong
Asian Collections at the Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam
'Dragons and Lotus Blossoms' - Vietnamese Ceramics at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama
Cover: Detail of a ‘pilgrim’ flask
Yuan dynasty, 14th century
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
Height 37.9 cm
From the collection of Sir Joseph Hotung
Fittingly for the Year of the Dragon, this issue begins in Hong Kong. Ahead of an exhibition of dragons in Chinese art by The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, Peter Y. K. Lam traces the origins and evolution of the motif in Yuan dynasty ceramics, while Tina Yee-wan Pang’s article encapsulates the history of the society. Moving to Europe, Stanley Bremer summarizes the Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam’s evolution from a royal sailing club to an ethnographic museum. The collections of Tibetan and Japanese Buddhist art at the museum, on loan from the Bodhimanda Foundation, are the focus of articles by Erik Bruijn and Michael Henss. Over in the US, dragons emerge again as the theme of an exhibition of Vietnamese ceramics at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama. John Stevenson and Donald A. Wood present an overview of this distinctive tradition through examples from the museum’s collection.
In other features, Emily Sano and Glenn Vinson pay tribute to textile scholar Mary Hunt Kahlenberg. Mark Schumacher reviews John Rosenfield’s new study of the 12th century Japanese Buddhist monk Chôgen. Jay Xu and Thomas Christensen tell us about recent happenings at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, in light of the museum’s rebranding initiative, and we look ahead to the opening of Asia Society Hong Kong’s new centre in February. Finally, Rob Linrothe comments on the rapid pace of change in the former Himalayan kingdom of Zangskar.