TAASA Review Issues

December 2000

Vol: 9 Issue: 4
China
Editor: Ann MacArthur

Cover Photo
Head with gold leaf, China, Late Shang dynasty (c. 1200-1100 BCE), bronze, height 42.5 cm, excavated from Sangxingdui Pit II (K2-2: 45) from the exhibition Masks of Mystery: from China’s ancient Shu kingdom 22 December 2000 – 18 March 2001, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

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Editorial

TAASA’s year will conclude with what promises to be an enjoyable end of year with parties in Melbourne on 2nd December and in Sydney on 7th December, so keep that evening free. This year’s Sydney Bazaar will be at Cito and Lyn Cessna’s Parkham Place Gallery, with plenty of fun as well as the opportunity to buy unusual Asian presents for Christmas. Our Sydney October weekend symposium ‘Lands of Gold, Intra-Regional Cultural Exchanges in Southeast Asia’ was well attended, and generated much enthusiasm and discussion. TAASA’s keynote lecturer, the highly respected textile scholar, Dr Mattiebelle Gittinger, Research Associate for Southeast Asian textiles at the Textile Museum in Washington D.C., presented an absorbing lecture at the Symposium as well as then going to Melbourne and Canberra for further lectures. The workshops on Vietnamese ceramics held in conjunction with the symposium were so popular an additional one had to be scheduled on the following Tuesday. The workshops were presented by TAASA Committee member Kerry Nguyen-Long, an expert in Vietnamese ceramics whom we are fortunate to now have living in Sydney. The ceramics were from the so-called ‘Hoi An shipwreck’, regarded as the most important single hoard of Vietnamese ceramics found to date. It was a great experience to be able to handle pieces from this significant find.

This issue is devoted mainly to aspects of Chinese art: to exhibitions of Chinese art, past and present; to contemporary Chinese painters; to the technical aspects of Chinese bronzes; and to Chinese taste in Federation architecture in Australia. There is also a profile on Joan McClelland, well-known to all Chinese art collectors to whom over many years she has shown, and maybe sold, beautiful pieces of porcelain and other fine Chinese works of art. Through another article, we note with the deepest regret the death of the very talented Thai artist Montien Boonma whose work had been shown many times in Australia, and who had many Australians among his global network of admirers and friends. In the hurly-burly of producing the Review, and devising and presenting new events, we sometimes overlook advising of changes to TAASA’s Committee. We are aiming to correct this oversight by including profiles of two more recent Committee members – Sydney member Gill Green and Melbourne member Tonia Eckfeld. While over the years many generous people have served on the Committee, giving of their expertise, time and patience, and maintaining TAASA’s energy by their fresh input, it is always sad when they move on, particularly if they have been involved with TAASA management for a long time. So it with regret I record that Paul Genney, a significant contributor to TAASA since its very beginning, is leaving the Committee. Paul has been TAASA’s secretary since its inception, was responsible for its establishment as a properly constituted body, instrumental in its successful launch and growth, and subsequently a prominent member of the Committee of Management. In addition, Paul has always been a most generous supporter of TAASA events, and his gallery Quadrivium has been the venue for several TAASA functions, including post-symposia drinks. Thank you Paul for a significant input over many years an input that has helped TAASA grow and gain the profile it now enjoys. Paul’s secretarial role has been filled by the indefatigable Gill Green who has been looking after Membership for a while, and will now gallantly assume full secretarial responsibilities.

As usual with the last issue of the year, membership renewal forms are enclosed. Please renew, please tell your friends. For the first time since our inception, we have had to raise subscription fees – the increases have been kept to a minimum, but rising costs have forced this upon us. TAASA’s funding is from your membership fees, the support of advertisers, and the events we organise. So please join, get your friends to participate, patronise advertisers, and come to our functions (if you do not come, suggest events to which you would come). Volunteers too are always welcome. Hope to see you at our end of year celebrations.

Jackie Menzies, President

Table of contents

EDITORIAL – Jackie Menzies

CHINESE INK PAINTING AND GAO XINGJIAN – Mabel Lee

FEDERATION ARCHITECTURE AND THE CHINESE TASTE – Amanda Jean

AT THE TURN OF CENTURIES – Jiawei Shen

10  IDENTITIES – JOAN MCCLELLAND

12  THE FALSE FACE OF AN ANCIENT SOCIETY BRONZE MASKS FROM SANXINGDUI – Liu Yang

14  MO PENG ON CHINESE BRONZES: CONSERVATION, COPIES AND FORGERIES

15  PROFILES: Gill GREEN, TONIA ECKFELD

16  SOULS IN PARADISE: DOCUMENTING DEATH IN THE TOMB OF THE TANG DYNASTY CROWN PRINCE LI XIAN -Tonia Eckfeld

18  OBITUARY: MONTIEN BOONMA

19  FILM REVIEW THE EMPEROR AND THE ASSASSIN – Freda Freiberg

20  EXHIBITION REVIEW – Sabrina Snow
FRAGRANT SPACE: Chinese bird and flower paintings from the Ming and Qing dynasties

22  REVIEWS AND PREVIEWS

26  MEMBERS DIARY

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