TAASA Review Issues

June 2002

Vol: 11 Issue: 2
Editor: Sandra Forbes

Cover Photo
The Gyuto monks of Tibet at the early stages of construction of the ‘Sand Mandala of Guhyasamaja’ during the BUDDHA Radiant Awakening exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, January 2002. The Venerable Tenzin Lektzog captures the relationship of such events to the exhibition on pp.14-15 of this issue. PHOTO: DIANA PANUCCIO

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Editorial

By Judith Rutherford and Sandra Forbes

At the first TAASA Committee meeting following our AGM on 9 April, it was unanimously agreed that Honorary Life Membership be awarded to Jackie Menzies in acknowledgement not only of her services to TAASA as the immediate past President, but also of the role that she plays generally in the Asian art world. Jackie’s most recent achievement was the organisation of the magnificent exhibition BUDDHA Radiant Awakening – an undertaking she has written about for this issue of TAASA Review (pp.12-13).

TAASA is very fortunate that so many talented people in the field are prepared to give their time in a voluntary capacity to the Society in order to further the cause of Asian art. Many people over the years have performed sterling service for TAASA, and retiring Management Committee member       Dr Pamela Gutman is no exception. Pam was one of TAASA’s founding members; a member of the Committee for many years, her experience, knowledge and contacts have been invaluable to the Society. At TAASA’s recent AGM, Pam stepped down from the committee for a well-earned break, but we’re sure she will continue to be a vital part of TAASA.

TAASA President Judith Rutherford attended Asia Week in New York in March, and reports that it was wonderful to meet up there with former TAASA Committee member Melissa Chiu at the Asia Society, where Melissa is now Curator of Contemporary Asian Art. ‘She looked wonderful, very New York, and is making a great impression with her colleagues there,’ says Judith.

Judith also reports that it was interesting to attend the many functions and events connected with the Asian arts scene in New York. It is an exhilarating time, with endless openings at the many galleries and auction houses. ‘The more I see what happens both in Britain and the US, 1 realise that we have nothing to apologise for in Australia. What we may lack in opportunities for viewing wonderful works of art we make up for in the enthusiasm with which the Asian arts community embraces what is on offer here.’

It seems as if New York is back on its feet again, Judith says. ‘They say you should always talk to taxi drivers to find out what is happening in a city. Perhaps an equivalent would be the doorman at Christies New York – “its like old times” was his comment when more than 500 people turned up for their Gala Evening Auction Viewing.’ One recent event here which would compare well with anything on show in either London or New York was the recent National Gallery of Victoria’s Spring Flowers, Autumn Grass, composed entirely of pieces from the NGV’s own collection. The show is reviewed in this issue by Tonia Eckfeld (p,25). Acknowledging inspiration from another important recent Australian exhibition, Monet and Japan (2001), Eichii Tosaki on pp.18-20 writes about the ‘waves of influence’ which continue between European (and Australian) art and that of Japan. To further illuminate us, Chiaki Ajioka previews an exclusive loan exhibition from the British Museum, 100 Views of Mount Fuji (Art Gallery of NSW, June-August 2002).

While this issue of TAASA Review is a general issue, three of the articles arise from the recent BUDDHA exhibition – Jackie Menzies’ piece mentioned above, plus a moving tribute to the exhibition’s Wisdom Room from a monk who participated in its daily activities, and a shortened version of a dramatic paper by Suhanya Raffel which was originally presented at TAASA’s three-day symposium held last November in conjunction with the exhibition. There is not much doubt that the ‘waves of influence’ flowing from BUDDHA will also continue for many years to come.

Beijing Bicycle, a recent film set among the crowded tenements of contemporary Beijing, is reviewed in this issue. The Hedda Morrison photograph reproduced on p. 27 depicts different Chinese bicycles in a very different, more spacious and contemplative Peking. Morrison’s photographs of that city during the 1930s and 1940s form an extraordinary historical archive, and 85 of them have been lent by the Powerhouse for exhibition in Beijing during May-June as part of the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and China. To further celebrate this anniversary, TAASA hopes to organise two China focussed events in November. For advance notice, see the TAASA Members Diary on p. 21. We’ll keep you posted.

Table of contents

EDITORIAL – Judith Rutherford and Sandra Forbes

THE DANCING LION – Heleanor Feltham

REDEMPTION THROUGH REPETITION: SUGIMOTO’S HALL OF THIRTY-THREE BAYS – Suhanya Raffel

10  MAPPING THE CHINESE-AUSTRALIAN LANDSCAPE: PLACES OF WORK, LEISURE, WORSHIP – Edited by Gia Nghi Phung

12  ORGANISING BUDDHA: SOME THOUGHTS ON THE EXHIBITION – Jackie Menzies

14  GAINING WISDOM IN THE BUDDHA EXHIBITION – Venerable Tenzin Lektsog

16  HISTORY REVITALISED: JAKARTA’S NATIONAL ARCHIVES BUILDING – Liz Oley

18  ‘JAPONISME’ AND AFTER: ‘IMPRESSIONISM’ AND AFTER – Eiichi Tosaki

21  COLLECTOR’S CHOICE ENRICHED IN KOREA – Neil Keir

21  TAASA MEMBERS’ DIARY JUNE – AUGUST 2002

22  REVIEWS AND PREVIEWS 

REVIEW: BOOK • VIETNAMESE JIGSAW – Ann Proctor
Vietnamese Blue and White Ceramics

REVIEW: EXHIBITION • HOMAGE TO A MOUNTAIN – Chiaki Ajioka
100 Views of Mount Fuji

REVIEW: FILM • COOL AND SUBTLE – Freda Freiberg
Beijing Bicycle

REVIEW: EXHIBITION • A SENSE OF Qi – Tonia Eckfeld
Spring Flowers, Autumn Grass: The Spirit of Nature in Asian Art         

WHAT’S ON:  A SELECTIVE ROUND-UP OF FORTHCOMING EXHIBITIONS/EVENTS IN AUSTRALIA AND OVERSEAS

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