TAASA Review Issues

June 2018

Vol: 27 Issue: 2
Editor: Josefa Green

Cover Image
One Line, Chiharu Shiota, 1994, performance/installation, beans, paper glue. School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Photo: Ben Stone. See p22 in this issue.

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Editorial

We can look forward to some interesting Asian art events in the next months, as evidenced by the exhibition previews covered in this June issue of the TAASA Review.

Min-Jung Kim explains her curatorial intention behind the MAAS (Powerhouse) exhibition Reflections of Asia: Collectors and Collections on show from 7 July which will display 680 objects from the MAAS collection, while Ann MacArthur closely examines the delightful detail found on one particular object in this exhibition: a Satsuma vase made by Yabu Meizan, probably in the early 1900s.

From 21 July, Fearless: Contemporary South Asian Art will be shown at the Art Gallery of NSW, and again we have the opportunity to read about the background and curatorial approach to this exhibition, provided by its curator, Natalie Seiz.

From Adelaide, this issue covers two quite different exhibitions, though both with Japanese origins. The David Roche Foundation in Adelaide presents the exhibition Edo style: Japanese art from the Art Gallery of South Australia Collection from 5 September.  As Russell Kelty points out, the array of folding screens, ceramics, robes, woodblock prints and lacquer ware presented all serve to demonstrate the pervasive interest in the Edo period of projecting cultivation, prestige and even power through the acquisition and display of art and material culture. Russell Kelty together with Leigh Robb also introduce us to the first major solo survey exhibition in Australia of Chiharu Shiota’s internationally renowned work, held at AGSA from August.

Following her presentation at the last meeting of the Textile Study Group in Sydney, we publish Barbara Leigh’s account of the past, rich silk weaving tradition in Aceh, connected to the sumptuous court of the Acehnese sultanate and influenced by Aceh’s geographical position on various sea routes connecting it to the Islamic world, Chinese and Indian trade routes.

A textile tradition that is being revived in the contemporary world is the production of textiles using natural indigo dye. Christina Sumner reports back on a major conference called Indigo Sutra which she attended in Kolkata towards the end of 2017, reflecting a burgeoning worldwide interest and investment in natural indigo and covering all aspects of the production and distribution of natural indigo based products.

Ceramic interests are covered in this issue by two articles. Based on her contribution as a panelist at the TAASA Ceramics Study Group meeting in Sydney early this year on trade ceramics found in Southeast Asia, Linda McLaren writes further on what archaeological finds, both from land and maritime sites, can tell us about the movement of trade through major entrepôts such as Palembang in Srivijaya (modern day Sumatra) from around the 7th to 13th centuries.

Still in Southeast Asia, Margaret White shares her keen interest in the story behind Thow Kwang, the last remaining operating dragon kiln in Singapore, an interest that also took her to Shiwan Town, Foshan in Guangdong Province to see the Ming period Nanfeng dragon kiln, one of three dragon kilns still in use today in China. She ends her account with a plea that the Thow Kwang kiln should be designated as a national living treasure to keep one of the more interesting aspects of Singapore’s history alive.

Finally, following our obituary in the March issue of the TAASA Review for Carole Muller, Siobhan Campbell outlines her important academic contribution to the subject of the Bali Aga, the Old or Original Balinese, who trace their origins to the pre-Majapahit period. She notes that Carole’s research project was immense and resulted in a rich record of documentary photographs of which preliminary results have been analysed and published.

TAASA’s AGM was held on 7 May and an account of this meeting can be found on p28. TAASA President Jackie Menzies in particular thanked all those who have contributed to our activities during the year, including our members who continue to support TAASA through their membership and attendance at events. The two outgoing members of the TAASA Committee, Ann Proctor and Jillian Kennedy, were thanked for their valuable contribution to TAASA.

Congratulations to the three new members of the TAASA Committee: Janet Tomi (who will take over the position of Secretary), Carol Cains and Greg Doyle. Following the AGM, Carol Cains was elected TAASA’s new Vice President. Carol has been a strong supporter of TAASA over many years and we are delighted that she has been willing to take on this role.

Table of contents

3  EDITORIAL – Josefa Green, Editor

REFLECTIONS OF ASIA: COLLECTORS AND COLLECTIONS – AN EXHIBITION AT MAAS – Min-Jung Kim

7  SATSUMA STORY: DISCOVERING A KIMONO TROUSSEAU ON A YABU MEIZAN VASE IN THE MAAS COLLECTION – Ann MacArthur

9  A GLIMPSE OF PAST GRANDEUR: SILK WEAVING IN ACEH – Barbara Leigh

12  EDO STYLE: JAPANESE ART AT THE DAVID ROCHE FOUNDATION – Russell Kelty

14  TRADE WINDS TO PALEMBANG: TRACING CERAMIC TRADE WARES THROUGH SOUTHEAST ASIAN ENTREPÔTS – Linda McLaren

16  FEARLESS: CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIAN ART  AT THE AGNSW – Natalie Seiz

18  CAROLE MULLER AND BALI: HER ACADEMIC LEGACY – Siobhan Campbell

20  STILL BREATHING FIRE: THOW KWANG, THE LAST OPERATING DRAGON KILN IN SINGAPORE – Margaret White

22  CHIHARU SHIOTA: EMBODIED AT AGSA – Russell Kelty and Leigh Robb

24  INDIGO SUTRA, KOLKATA, NOVEMBER 2017: CONFERENCE REPORT – Christina Sumner

26  RECENT TAASA ACTIVITIES

28  TAASA MEMBERS’ DIARY: JUNE – AUGUST 2018

29  WHAT’S ON: JUNE – AUGUST 2018

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