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Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia are centres for the preservation of local artistic traditions. Chief among these are manuscripts, a vital source for our understanding of Buddhist ideas and practices in the region. They are also a beautiful art form, too little understood in the West. The British Library has one of the richest collections of Southeast Asian manuscripts, principally from Thailand and Burma, anywhere in the world. It includes finely painted copies of Buddhist scriptures, literary works, historical narratives, and works on traditional medicine, law, cosmology and fortune-telling. This stunning new book illustrates over 100 examples of Buddhist art in the Library's collection, relating each manuscript to Theravada tradition and beliefs, and introducing the historical, artistic and religious contexts of their production. It is the first book in English to showcase the beauty and variety of manuscript art and reproduces many works that have never been photographed before.
Indonesian art entered the global contemporary art world of independent curators, art fairs and biennales in the 1990s. By the mid-2000s, Indonesian works were well-established on the Asian secondary art market, achieving record-breaking prices at auction houses in Singapore and Hong Kong. This comprehensive overview introduces Indonesian contemporary art in a fresh and stimulating manner, demonstrating how contemporary art breaks from colonial and post-colonial power structures, and grapples with issues of identity and nation-building in Indonesia. Across different media, in performance and installation, it amalgamates ethnic, cultural and religious references in its visuals, and confidently brings together the traditional (batik, woodcut, dance, Javanese shadow puppet theatre) with the contemporary (comics and manga, graffiti, advertising, pop culture). Spielmann's Contemporary Indonesian Art surveys the key artists, curators, institutions and collectors in the local art scene, and looks at the significance of Indonesian art in the Asian context. Through this book, originally published in German, Spielmann stakes a claim for global relevance of Indonesian art.
One of the most distinctive features of Islamic design is the evolution of an increasingly abstract and repetitive repertoire of motifs, which are shared among all media - metalwork, woodwork, ceramics, tilework and textiles. In textiles the main themes are based on angular and geometric shapes - vertical and horizontal striped bands; hexagons and octagons, which can be linked and infinitely extended; stylized and rhythmic scrolls of foliage and flowers; and Arabic calligraphy, of which the letters can be formed into continuous borders, panels and medallions. These motifs can be used separately or combined into complex patterns, of which the repetitive and two-dimensional features are ideal for textile production, especially where varying lengths are required - for hangings, curtains, robes and shawls. Valued for their role in the subtleties of court ceremonial and fashion, these textiles were also much admired beyond the Islamic lands. The exceptional collection published here ranges widely in region, material and technique. There are textiles and garments from North Africa, Syria, Arabia, Iran, Turkey and the Indian subcontinent linked by a shared vocabulary of ornament - evidence of the international nature of Islamic design. Materials represented are silk - the most prestigious of fibres, requiring highly respected weavers - wool, cotton and linen. Decoration is based on variations of weave and colour and embellishment through embroidery, printing and applique and illustrates the work of both professional and domestic workers. The strengths of the collection are concentrated in the textile production of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which, thanks to the basically conservative nature of textile technique and design, preserve and continue the traditions established in the medieval Islamic world. They are important in an assessment of Islamic textiles both for their quality and as illustrations of survival and adaptation in a major industry. Their heritage reaches back well over a thousand years, even though their very high perishability means that for the earlier part of the tradition our knowledge is reliant very largely on written sources. These, however, attest to the superb quality and quantity of textiles at the courts of the period.
This is a luxuriously illustrated catalogue of more than forty extraordinary Persian miniature paintings, illuminated manuscripts and elaborately decorated bookbindings in The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, dating from the period before the Mongol invasions (11th12th centuries CE) to the early 20th century. It includes rare examples from the pre-Mongol invasion period; fine illuminations of Quran manuscripts; Munis al-Ahrar , an important early fourteenth-century anthology by Muhammad ibn Badr al-Din al-Jajarmi; material from dispersed manuscripts of Firdawsis Shah-nameh; two previously unpublished copies of Qazwinis Ajaib al-Makhluqat; three copies of Nizamis Khamsah; Sadis Golestan; and Jamis Yusuf and Zulaykha and Subhat al-Abrar as well as paintings from dispersed Safavid and post-Safavid albums, and seventeenth- century bookbindings and oil paintings from the Zand and Qajar periods.
These fine-quality tear-out wrapping sheets feature twelve red and gold patterns, suitable for craft projects as well as for gift wrapping. An introduction details the history and meaning behind the designs Tuttle Gift Wrapping Papers are an excellent value a fraction of the price of a single sheet of gift wrap paper from stationery shops Each sheet is removable by tearing along a perforated line There are twelve sheets with six different patterns in each book
A catalogue of 108 portrait bronzes of great masters of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. It presents a history of these teaching lineages. The sculptures span the most productive period in the history of Tibetan Buddhist art, illustrating Tibetan portraiture's long and varied history. This is a catalogue of 108 portrait bronzes of great masters of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, it presents a history of these teaching lineages based on and illustrated by the collection. Ranging in date from the 12th to 18th century, the sculptures span the most productive period in the
These fine-quality tear-out wrapping sheets feature six whimsical watercolour patterns, suitable for craft projects as well as for gift wrapping. An introduction details the history and meaning behind the designs Tuttle Gift Wrapping Papers are an excellent value a fraction of the price of a single sheet of gift wrap paper from stationery shops Each sheet is removable by tearing along a perforated line There are six sheets with six different patterns in each book
This unprecedented volume celebrates the survival of the wall-paintings at Bundi by presenting a stunning photographic survey of these long-hidden treasures, most published for the first time, and including both abundant details and many scenes that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The royal fort at Bundi, an isolated town in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is home to elaborately decorated palaces that are among India's most beautiful buildings. That several of the palaces have been completely closed to visitors until very recently has kept their painted walls hidden from public view, but it has also helped their preservation. The paintings depict daily life at the Bundi court from the early seventeenth to the late nineteenth centuries, as well as scenes from traditional literary and religious texts. The illustrations together reveal the rich cultural interrelationships that gave these paintings their unique power and importance.
Many of the flowers and fruits growing in our gardens and greenhouses today were brought to the West by collectors or traders. This book describes the origins of these plants, with quotations from the people of Asia who first appreciated, cultivated and wrote about them. Almost all the illustrations are by Asian and Middle Eastern artists, some of them hired by European collectors. Celia Fisher begins with an account of the long history of gardens in the East, and of how Eastern plants and botanical knowledge came to be transmitted to Europe. This is followed by seventy-four alphabetical plant entries, ranging from acacia to wisteria, each illustrated with wonderful pictures from a range of books, manuscripts, paintings and drawings. A must-have for every gardener and appreciator of beautiful artwork, this sumptuously illustrated handbook describes over seventy plants that originated in Asia and the Middle East.
An illustrated guide to one of the most enduring masterworks of world literature Written in the eleventh century by the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji is a masterpiece of prose and poetry that is widely considered the world (TM)s first novel. Melissa McCormick provides a unique companion to Murasaki (TM)s tale that combines discussions of all fifty-four of its chapters with paintings and calligraphy from the Genji Album (1510) in the Harvard Art Museums, the oldest dated set of Genji illustrations known to exist. In this book, the album (TM)s colorful painting and calligraphy leaves are fully reproduced for the first time, followed by McCormick (TM)s insightful essays that analyze the Genji story and the album (TM)s unique combinations of word and image. This stunning compendium also includes English translations and Japanese transcriptions of the album (TM)s calligraphy, enabling a holistic experience of the work for readers today. In an introduction to the volume, McCormick tells the fascinating stories of the individuals who created the Genji Album in the sixteenth century, from the famous court painter who executed the paintings and the aristocrats who brushed the calligraphy to the work (TM)s warrior patrons and the poet-scholars who acted as their intermediaries. Beautifully illustrated, this book serves as an invaluable guide for readers interested in The Tale of Genji, Japanese literature, and the captivating visual world of Japan (TM)s most celebrated work of fiction.
Bringing the rich Japanese Shinto artistic tradition to life, this handsome volume explores the significance of calligraphy, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts within traditional kami veneration ceremonies A central feature of Japanese culture for many centuries, the veneration of kami deities-a practice often referred to as Shinto-has been a driving force behind a broad swath of visual art. Focusing on the Heian period (795-1185) through the Edo period (1615-1868), this generously illustrated volume brings the rich Shinto artistic tradition to life through works of calligraphy, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. Thematic essays authored by both American and Japanese scholars explore different dimensions of kami veneration and examine the significance of these objects-many of which have never been seen outside of Japan-in Shinto ceremonies.
Hokusai Great Wave Wire-O Journal from Galison is the perfect companion notebook. The cover features The Great Wave, the famous woodblock print by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai, lined pages, and a large functional spiral binding.
Hokusai: the blue, foam-crested wave rearing above Mount Fuji; the celebrated volcano idealized and reinventedby the artist in every nuance of view, season and painting; extraordinary bridges, the waterfalls of Japan, the contortions, costumes, gestures - the very breath of men, women, peasants, townsmen, warriors, artisans, leaping horses, birds, insects, fish, almost live on the ground on which they are painted - the countless imaginative drawings or the lively sketches done on the spot for the Manga, Hokusai's record of shapes and forms drawn from life or imagined over time. With a body of work comprising more than 30,000 drawings and paintings, Hokusai (1760-1849) was the most prolific, varied and indisputably the most creative artist of old Japan. A universal genius in everything that constituted drawing and painting in his time, he practised all genres of ukiyo-e, those `images of the floating world', as his contemporaries liked to describe their pleasures and their daily life. This book traces the career of this child from a working-class district of old Tokyo, then known as Edo, evoking the special atmosphere of this great city and of Japanese life, when Japan - closed to foreigners - developed in a vacuum a powerfully original culture. Hokusai became one of the great masters of the woodcut, this `brush gone wild', as he called himself, being rediscovered by the Impressionists and aesthetes at the end of the 19th century. He remains one of the greatest and - thanks to his personality - one of the most attractive figures of world art.
Netsuke have once again come to the fore in the popular imagination of the public. In part this is due to the phenomenal success of Edmund De Waals 2010 book, Hare with the Amber Eyes, which highlights a treasured netsuke collection that was challenged by war and the vicissitudes of time. Intricately carved from various materials including ivory, wood and metal, these small toggles served a practical purpose in Japan: a netsuke was used to fasten a mans sash, an integral part of Japanese costume. Up until the seventeenth century netsuke were relatively insignificant objects that were rarely of artistic interest, but as time passed they evolved in terms of both materials and workmanship, and were then used by men to flaunt their wealth or as an expression of status. Today netsuke are considered an art form in their own right and are prized by collectors around the world. They are found in a variety of forms and depict a wide range of subjects including figures of human and legendary form, ghosts, animals, botanical subjects and masks. Skilfully worked, these miniature carvings are of great artistic value, but they also provide a window into Japanese culture and society. This book brings together one hundred of the most beautiful and interesting netsuke from the extensive collection of the British Museum, each of which has its own special charm and story to tell. Uncovering the stories behind these netsuke and coupling them with stunning new photography, this book reveals why these tiny objects have captivated so many, the meaning they have held for those who wore them, and what they can tell us about Japanese everyday life.
This fascinating history by famed Tibetologist and adventurer Alain Presencer features beautiful reproductions of never-before-seen items from the author's private collection. Tibetan Buddhist Art draws on the author's decades' worth of experience at the forefront of his field and his manifold adventures to provide a comprehensive and entertaining overview of a hitherto underrepresented subject. Presencer complements his erudite yet accessible introduction to Tibet's fascinating history, and its astounding variety of artistic processes and objects, with stories from his intrepid travels, including a rare sighting of a `sky burial' and an even rarer venture down into a torture chamber deep in the bowels of the Potala Palace. The book contains 59 pages devoted to showcasing artefacts collected over the years during the author's many trips to the Tibetan plateau. The pieces in question were recently put on sale to private collectors at Bonhams but many are available here for the general public to view for the first time. The collection, comprising beautiful examples of statuary, religious and ritual implements and thangkas (a Tibetan form of textile painting), is reproduced with high-quality full-page spreads, allowing the objects to retain all their magic and mystery.
Part of a series of exciting and luxurious Flame Tree Notebooks. Combining high-quality production with magnificent fine art, the covers are printed on foil in five colours, embossed, then foil stamped. And they're powerfully practical: a pocket at the back for receipts and scraps, two bookmarks and a solid magnetic side flap. These are perfect for personal use and make a dazzling gift. This example features Owen Jones's Indian Lacquer
This is a luxuriously illustrated catalogue of more than forty extraordinary Persian miniature paintings, illuminated manuscripts and elaborately decorated bookbindings in The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, dating from the period before the Mongol invasions (11th-12th centuries CE) to the early 20th century. It includes rare examples from the pre-Mongol invasion period; fine illuminations of Qur'an manuscripts; Mu'nis al-Ahrar, an important early fourteenth-century anthology by Muhammad ibn Badr al-Din al-Jajarmi; material from dispersed manuscripts of Firdawsi's Shah-nameh; two previously unpublished copies of Qazwini's `Aja'ib al-Makhluqat; three copies of Nizami's Khamsah; Sa`di's Golestan; and Jami's Yusuf and Zulaykha and Subhat al-Abrar- as well as paintings from dispersed Safavid and post-Safavid albums, and seventeenth-century bookbindings and oil paintings from the Zand and Qajar periods.
In this first systematic introduction to contemporary Chinese art, Wu Hung provides an accessible, focused and much-needed narrative of the development of Chinese art across all media from the 1970s to the 2000s. From its underground genesis during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), contemporary Chinese art has become a dynamic and hugely influential force in a globalized art world where the distinctions between Eastern and Western culture are rapidly collapsing. The book is a richly illustrated and easy-to-navigate chronological survey that considers contemporary Chinese art both in the context of China's specific historical experiences and in a global arena. Wu Hung explores the emergence of avant-garde or contemporary art - as opposed to officially sanctioned art - in the public sphere after the Cultural Revolution; the mobilization by young artists and critics of a nationwide avant-garde movement in the mid-1980s; the re-emphasis on individual creativity in the late 1980s, the heightened spirit of experimentation of the 1990s; and the more recent identification of Chinese artists, such as Ai Weiwei, as global citizens who create works for an international audience.
You can discover Japanese art like no other. Originally created by the artists of the ukiyo-e school of the floating world to advertise brothels in 17th-century Yoshiwara, these popular spring pictures (shunga) transcended class and gender in Japan for almost 300 years. These tender, humorous and brightly coloured pieces celebrate sexual pleasure in all its forms, culminating in the beautiful, yet graphic, work of iconic artists Utamaro, Hokusai and Kunisada. This catalogue of a major international exhibition aims to answer some key questions about what shunga is and why was it produced. Erotic Japanese art was heavily suppressed in Japan from the 1870s onwards as part of a process of cultural modernisation that imported many contemporary western moral values. Only in the last twenty years or so has it been possible to publish unexpurgated examples in Japan and this ground-breaking publication presents this fascinating art in its historical and cultural context for the first time. Within Japan, shunga has continued to influence modern forms of art, including manga, anime and Japanese tattoo art. Drawing on the latest scholarship and featuring over 400 images of works from major public and private collections, this landmark book sheds new light on this unique art form within Japanese social and cultural history. Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanese art is published to accompany an exhibition at the British Museum from October 2013 to January 2014.
The world-famous Buddhist monastery of Alchi lies at 3,500 metres in Ladakh (Northwest India) and is the best-preserved temple complex in the Himalayas. Inside it houses thousands of rare and incomparable paintings and sculptures dating back to 11th century Western Tibet. For the first and only time in their history the Dalai Lama has authorised their comprehensive Alchi was proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1996. It provides fascinating insight into the spiritual and secular life of medieval Kashmir and Western Tibet with artworks revealing influences from India and Tibet across Central Asia as well as Iran, even reaching back to Ancient Greece. The photographs were produced in the highest possible digital resolution by Peter van Ham using a special camera; they capture the miniature-like delicacy and broad range of colour of the originals with a unique wealth of detail. In cooperation with the renowned Tibetologist Amy Heller and her pioneering deciphering of the complicated inscriptions of Alchi, van Ham has succeeded in producing a unique and highly fascinating cultural document.
An innovative and compelling presentation of world-class Tibetan Buddhist art, elucidating its esoteric themes through visual storytelling Encouraging personal engagement with Tibetan Buddhism, this dynamic book presents spectacular Himalayan art and explores the philosophical tenets encoded in its imagery. Taking as its theme the universally accessible experience of Awakening, the book's main text leads readers along an immersive journey of self-discovery, aided by a virtual guide, or lama, and traditional art meant to support meditative practice. Complementary essays examine Tibetan Buddhism's ritual tools, paintings, symbolic imagery, and artistic traditions. Beautiful color images of all artworks, including three by contemporary Nepalese-American artist Tsherin Sherpa, and selected important details enhance our understanding of their complex iconography.
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