Ensô painted by the accomplished, 20th century, Zen master Inaba Shinden depicts a symbol central to Zen meditative practice. The ensô, meaning “circle”, is one of the most common subjects of Japanese calligraphy.
Did you know that tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water? Tea is believed to have been drunk in China since the Shang dynasty (1700-1027 BC) and may have begun as a medicinal tonic.
As a follow-up on our previous Art Terms For Beginners post where we demystified European art terms, this post will look at terminology specific to Asian art.
In July, Curator Emeritus Barry Till led the curator’s tour of Remembering A Patron: Asian Art Donations from Dr Judith Patt, to a room full of Asian art enthusiasts and friends of the late Judith Patt.
1. The famed blue and white wares of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) has its origins in the preceding Mongol-ruled Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) when Chinese potters were free from imperial obligation to experiment in new designs and methods of porcelain production.
By Charlene Brown, Gallery Associate Barry Till, the Gallery’s Asian Art Curator Emeritus, was guest speaker at the May Gallery Associates’ meeting. He spoke about the archaeology of the Khmer Empire, concentrated on the most famous site at Angkor. When this magnificent 12th century city was ‘discovered’ in the mid 19th century, it was declared […]
By Betsy Tumasonis Dr. Judith Patt March 12, 1939 – July 11, 2017 Judy Patt was a stalwart supporter of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria for decades, contributing time, expertise, money, and works of art. She frequently delivered public lectures on Asian art at the Gallery. She co-curated the exhibition, “The World Tea Party”, in […]
Botanical drawings and paintings have been seen in Chinese art since Neolithic times. Not only are attractive flowers, birds, and insects used for decoration, but the subject-matter is also loaded with a multitude of symbolism. A proliferation of “bird and flower” painting in the Song dynasty (960-1279) cemented the popularity of floral images as a genre […]
BY BARRY TILL, AGGV CURATOR EMERITUS The AGGV Asian art department has received a large number of very important donations this past year. These include a fine collection of ancient ceramics from China, Thailand and Vietnam, from the Estate of the late Canadian Ambassador to Indonesia, William Thomas Delworth; eight impressive and large 18th century […]
1. Linear Perspective Linear perspective is a system of creating the illusion of depth and space on a flat surface. In drawings or paintings, all parallel lines converge into a single vanishing point in the picture’s horizon. The concept of linear perspective was first recorded by the Italian Renaissance philosopher artist Leon Battista Alberti in […]
As winter approaches, we’ve put together a collection of Japanese prints in the AGGV’s Asian Art collection to mark and celebrate the season. In the same way that many Japanese prints and paintings depict the beloved sakura blossom to fete the arrival of Spring, the winter landscape is also a theme of celebration that many […]
1. What is a mandala? The mandala is a Buddhist devotional image that represents the ideal universe. The Sanskrit word can be roughly translated as “the container of the true nature or essence of things”. 2. What is the mandala used for? The mandala is considered a sacred realm and therefore an aid to meditation. […]
As Barry Till recently announced his retirement as the Curator of Asian Arts, AGGV staff had some burning questions about his 36-year tenure at the Gallery and his travels throughout Asia. Here’s the nitty gritty: 1) Why art – what led you down this path? BT: My first choice for a career would have been to […]
In Christian iconography, the apple symbolizes Original Sin, the fall of man and temptation. In Chinese culture, the word for apple, “ping guo”, is a homophone for the word “ping”, meaning peace or tranquility, so an apple symbolizes a wish for peace. Apples also feature prominently in Greek myths. Fruits and vegetables are depicted in […]
1. What is snuff? Snuff is powdered tobacco, used in China during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) for medicinal purposes. 2. Snuff bottles are small, designed to fit into the palm of the hand, and easily carried on your person. 3. Chinese snuff bottles are made in a multitude of materials. These include porcelain, glass, metal, […]