Tuesday, 19 May 2015

That Elephant Guy

#samantabhadra #buddhistart #boddhisattva #fugen

Wandering thru stores that sell chinese ceramics or buddhist supplies one could be forgiven for thinking Chinese and other Mahayana Buddhists only revere Kuanyin Hotei and the Buddha. I suspect there's a factory somewhere where some one said ... just change the hands in the mold!

There are other Boddhisattvas.




Patron of the Lotus Sutra Speaker of the 10 Vows of the Boddhisattva

Boddhisattva of Action and law this entity is also known as 
Chinese Fu Hsien Pu Xian Bo Hsian 
Korea PoHyon
Vietnam Pho Hien
Mongolia Qamugha Sain
Tibet Kuntuzanpo 

Paintings and sculptures usually depict him in a trinity or group with the Buddha or other Boddhisattvas but also sometimes on his elephant and other times standing or on a lotus throne.

The Tibetans seem to prefer depict him in Tantric congress. 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Chinese Blue and White Ceramics

I started this series showing you a medley from various Asian nations and I'ld finish it just showing ceramics from China.

The Classic David vases

A Qing period piece

Ming dynasty

Note this has been reposted cos I just find out I uploaded it to the wrong blog!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Sometsuke Japanese blue and white

#SOMETSUKE #japaneseceramics

The Japanese like other Asian nations started doing blue and white ware as soon as they could source a good white stone ware clay and the the cobalt ore for blue slip.

While the Japanese do copy some Chinese motifs they also attend to have a greater use of geometric or textile inspired patterns probably influenced by the experimentation with mixing weaving tiedyeing handpainting and embroidery you see on many Noh and Kabuki costumes and the kimono of the wealthier merchants and aristocrats. Bear in mind most people had to wear ramie hemp or cotton or a much rougher  lower grade "raw" silk.

My first example is "Old" KO Imari. Its very similar to Chinese ceramics and yet  the same kilns were also producing the first Japanese polychrome wares.

This is from the Seto kilns Note the box shape probably influenced by lacquer ware and the beautiful composition.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Kingfisher Blues

Kingfisher Blues
Two Examples of Korean Blue and White Ware
#korean #ceramics

Who ever throw these vase shapes was a master of their craft with skills equal to the finest Chinese potters.  Korean painting while always vigorous on ceramics and other medium shows both a "folk" style with broad strong bold strokes and yet also very refined minimalism images like the bamboos in the top image.
Its also noteworthy how beautifully Korean paintings on ceramics flow around the form whether faceted or smooth.

The koreans also tend to avoid overall complicated patterns unlike some chinese pieces covered from footing to brim.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Vietnamese Blue and White Ware

The #Chinese #ceramics industry was not the only one using cobalt underglaze.
Certainly they were the first to use cobalt and NOT in a lead based glaze but other nations soon adapted to using it as well.

The #Vietnamese potters tended to use a darker more indigo underglaze and smaller shapes. Its a lesser known ware possibly because the export trade peaked and then dropped off during the 16th and 17th centuries as the Vietnamese like the Japanese exploited the disruptions to trade caused by conflicts between a failing Ming dynasty and the spread southwards of the Manchus.

Plus the introduction of polychrome wares and the European ceramics industry learning to adapt white EW clays to create their own wares reduced demand.

Here's some pictures to enjoy. The underglaze pigments seem a little coarser but the brushwork is often delightly fluid.

The pieces I have shown here actually date back to the 15th century.

This final image although looking more "chinese" is indeed Vietnamese!

Some sites  use the word Annamese rather than Vietnamese.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Translating Haiku the word break problem

Translating #Haiku
the word break problem

An example from  #Chiyo

( this applies to other #japanesepoetry too! #tanka #waka )

So you have in front of you a copy of the #Japanese text in #kana or a mixture of kana and #kanji and maybe # romaji too ?
And you have a fair idea of what it means but you go to check the exact verb form being used to add to the notes for readers and you can't find the verb form of particle or whatever?

Is it your poor knowledge of Japanese or is it just possible some editor combined two words or split up a word when they should not have?
Plus Japanese word play giving something two meanings ...

Here's an example ... a well known haiku by #Chiyo (though I have come across one writer who claims the poem pre exists her  ... however as its a well known poem)

I'm not disputing the usual translations just pointing out a couple of features

the haiku in romaji

shibu karo ka
shiranedo kaki no

Now I've seen several texts giving the first line as shibu karo ka but what if its
shibukaro ka ? A Verb? Most texts don't bother to explain this is a volitional form ... she's saying it is possible that an experience will be bitter but she does not ... shiranedo know  and  the use of the shiranedo form heightens this uncertianity!

Though shiranedo possibly should be printed shirane + do ?

Do is described by McCullough in her Bungo Manual as a concessive conjunctive particle that could be translated as even though or but

So perhaps the romaji text should be shibukaro ka shirane do hatsuchigiri ?

Whatever your choice but bear in mind while reading this haiku that there's both doubt and irony being expressed

Next time on Technozi Kaki Persimmons the first of which are appearing in Sydney's fruit stores !

Whether karo and do should be printed with a word break or as part of the verb in romaji knowing even a little bungo helps ?

Do try to get a cop of McCulloughs book if you can!

Ten Thousand Blessings to the person who gifted this to me a few years back!

Monday, 16 March 2015

A blue and white mystery!

Cobalt Blue stains or underglaze or slip over a white clay body or white slip is probably one of the most revered innovations created by Chinese artists AND OTHER ASIAN ceramicists.

However its a @##$$%@# to evaluate as an antique cos there's ware created for the Imperial court and export ware to SE Asia and export ware to Europe and then the Europeans started copying it.

The Viets and Koreans and Japanese also fell in love with making it!

OH and to complicate things they all starting copying each other and making replicas of older works or reusing or reviving the same  decorative themes as popular taste swayed back and forth between monochrome and polychrome wares.

Can you spot the difference and the place of origin of these three pieces?

Each one is from a different country and time?

I suspect some of you will identify the first pair of vases but the other two?

Now you want to know where all three are from?

I'll post the answers if I get at least 10 comments likes and shares !