TAASA Review Issues

December 2007

Vol: 16 Issue: 4
Editor: Sandra Forbes

Cover Image
Religious Standard (alam) In the form of the hand of Fatimah, India (Deccan), 18th Century (late Mughal period). Gilt silver, 63.0 x 33.0 CM. Collection art Gallery of South Australia, Gift of Geoffrey Hackett-Jones in memory of his brother Frank 2007. See James Bennett’s article about South Australia’s collection of Islamic art, unique in Australia for its breadth and scope, on page 16 – 18 of the December 2007 issue.

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Editorial

TAASA Review is the journal of The Asian Arts (note the plural!) Society of Australia. However, even though the stated aims of the Society are broad, the journal is often thought to cover only the visual and decorative arts. I believe it is among the editor’s jobs to keep the other arts – performance, music, film, architecture and so on – in mind for coverage too. In this issue, for example, Catriona Mitchell provides an assessment of the work of the famous Japanese film-maker Imamura, the subject of a retrospective at the Melbourne International Film Festival earlier this year. On other pages, a very different area of the arts of Japan is analysed by Melbourne conservator Suzi Shaw in her fascinating and scholarly article on contemporary Japanese lacquer.

This issue moves happily from Japan to Toronto, from where curators Dale Gluckman and Roxane Shaughnessy provide the experts’ view about the increasingly vital use of websites, specifically those of the Textile Museum of Toronto, for ‘virtual’ exhibition of textiles. For a more hands-on approach to viewing (and purchasing) textiles, the location moves to the Indonesian islands east of Bali: TAASA members Ann Proctor and Sabrina Snow tell of a recent marvellous voyage by Bugis schooner around these islands, under the Review’s occasional headline ‘Traveller’s Choice’. I’m sure this article will be popular, because it seems that travel and textiles are a heady combination for many TAASA members.

Review readers always appear to enjoy ‘Traveller’s Choice’ articles, probably because they identify with the personal enthusiasms revealed. The same can be said of articles we publish under the heading ‘Collector’s Choice’ (in this issue, we have one from Shanghai on art deco furniture). I think we should publish more articles in both categories above: think about it – why not submit one?

A more frequently-occurring header is ‘In the Public Domain’, under which the journal aims to present information on important works of Asian art in Australia’s national public collections. For the current issue, the advent of an exhibition entitled Krishna: Love and Devotion (works from the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria), called up the idea of simultaneously presenting two other significant Krishna works from the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales respectively. Our cover image, meanwhile, provides a spectacular introduction to the treasures of Islamic art held ‘in the public domain’ by the Art Gallery of South Australia.

I’m both sad and pleased to say that this is my last issue as editor of TAASA Review: sad because it is a wonderful job in which I’ve learned so much and met such terrific people; pleased because I know I’m handing over to someone good, and also because, after seven years as editor and having been responsible for producing 31 issues of the journal, I am very ready for someone else to take over.

I’m delighted to let you all know – if you don’t know already – that Josefa Green will take up the editorship from January 2008. Josefa, a Sydney-based scholar and consultant, has held senior management positions in the Federal public service in both Canberra and Sydney. From 2003, she and her partner John Millbank have been travelling to the nine main sacred mountains of China as part of their project to write a book on this subject (for their article on the little-known temples of Shanxi province, see TAASA Review Vol.14/2 of June 2005). Josefa is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Asian Art offered by the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, with the British Museum. I hope a full profile of Josefa will appear in a future issue. Meantime, towards the back of this issue you’ll find a photo of me handing Josefa over to our journal designer, Ingo Voss.

Thank you, Ingo, for being such a skilful, reliable, charming and thoughtful person to work with over the years. And many, many thanks to the TAASA Publications Committee, whose support has been invaluable – in particular, that of previous editor Ann MacArthur and ideas man Jim Masselos. We all do our best to make TAASA Review a quarterly journal that members look forward to receiving and reading, and (importantly) that presents the arts of Asia enthusiastically from an Australian viewpoint. But don’t forget, it is for you – without your membership of TAASA, and the support of our loyal advertisers, the journal wouldn’t exist.

Thank you all for the opportunity to edit TAASA Review.

Table of contents

3 Editorial: Personal Enthusiasm – Sandra Forbes

4 Wajima-Nuri, A tradition in lacquer – Suzanna Shaw

6 Travellers’ choice: The patterns of Flores – Ann Proctor and Sabrina Snow

10 Strong, greedy, humorous, deceitful people – Catriona Mitchell

12 Exhibition: Krishna: Love and devotion. National Gallery of Victoria International – Carol Cains

13 In the public domain: Krishna’s divine play. National Gallery of Australia – Lucie Folan

15 In the public Domain: A pre-Mughal Krishna folio. Art Gallery of New South Wales – Jackie Menzies

16 A commitment to Islamic art. Art Gallery of New South Wales – James Bennett

19 Collector’s Choice: Sitting on art deco – Hua Lee

20 Exhibiting textiles in the digital age – Dale Carolyn Gluckman and Roxane Shaughnessy

22 Book review: Considered and persuasive – Jim Masselos

23 Book review: Filling the gaps – Pamela Gutman

24 Thanks to Sandra Forbes – Jim Masselos

25 Reports: Recent TAASA activities

25 TAASA members’ diary

26 Profile: Ann Guild

27 What’s on in Australia: December 2007 to February 2008

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