23 April 2018

5 Asian art books you need for your library this spring

From a newly published exploration of the Silk Road to beautifully illustrated exhibition catalogues, this list of 5 Asian art books is sure to bring your library collection up to date.

Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection
Focused on Chinese ceramics of the late 16th to the 18th century, this catalogue that accompanied the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, details 60 spectacular pieces from the never before seen Brazilian private collection. The entries demonstrate change in design reflecting Chinese and Islamic influences of the period, the transformation of dining styles and the story of the trade of Chinese Ceramics in Asia and its introduction in Europe and the Americas.  
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Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on the Silk Road
The famed Mogao grottoes along the Silk Road in northwestern China are one the world's most important sites of Buddhist art. Carved into the 45,000 square metres of cliff rocks at the edge of the Gobi desert, wall paintings and sculptures have been preserved for one thousand years and detail the intense spiritual and artistic history and cultural exchanges along the Silk Road. This book that accompanies the exhibition at LACMA celebrates more than 25 years of collection between Getty Conservation Institute and the Dunhuang Academy to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It represents more than 40 exquisite treasures discovered at Mogao in 1900 in Cave 17, known as the “Library Cave.” including sutras, prayer books, illustrated manuscripts and medieval silk paintings.
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Kamakura: Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan
The pinnacle of Japanese artistic expression is often considered as the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Devotees of the time sort to obtain salvation in the afterlife through making Buddhist imagery and believed the realistic form of deities would achieve the ultimate ritual unification. With the custom of placing relics and texts into miniature icons grew, these sculptures played an important role is bringing worshippers into closer proximity with deities. This richly illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition, contains essays by scholars exploring these magnificent sculptures of this period that display greater realism through stylistic and technical innovations such as naturalistic sense of movement in drapery and animated facial expressions. As sculptors began to sign their artwork, this catalogue examines the development of individual and workshop styles and allow us to trace generations through traditional and new practices. 
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Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is one of Japan's most famous and influential artists. This personal beliefs and encyclopedic knowledge of nature and myth are expressed in his paintings, woodblock prints and illustrated books along with his desire to live to one hundred years old. This publication shrines a light on the finest collection of Hokusai's paintings and prints in Japan and around the world created in the last thirty years of his life up to his death at the age of ninety. It also draws attention to his daughter Eijo (Ōi) and accomplished and accompanying artist in his later year. This catalogue accompanies the successful major exhibition at the British Museum, where a Hokusai inspired menu was also well receive in the Great Court Restaurant (read here
Arts of Korea: Histories Challenges and Perspectives
This beautifully illustrated volume presents 16 case studies of collecting and exhibiting Korean art from UK and US museums. This monumental addition to the field of Korean art and the varied experience of Korean art acquisition over the past century including topics such as gallery design at the British Museum, collectors and benefactors at the National Museum of Scotland, Buddhist paints at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the prevalence of ceramics at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It also represents the reception of Korean art internationally from prehistory to present through the reflection of Korean and Japanese scholars and the future challenges in introducing Korean art to an international audience.  
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