Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


  • Selections for the Summer
  • 01-Jul-2006 - 01-Sep-2006
  • Asia Gallery, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Guest curator Mary Dusenbury has selected from the Spencer’s collection a variety of paintings, prints and ceramics for the Asia Gallery, each small group with its own theme.

•Mountain Retreats
Two artists have brushed paintings that address the idea of retreating into nature for refreshment, contemplation and inspiration. On the opening wall, Shukuya Aoki invites us to join a fourth-century group of scholars who have gathered somewhere deep in the mountains. The shared wine and mountain setting induce a rarified state of mind in which to compose poetry. On the east wall, Okuhara Seiko, who scandalized and intrigued her contemporaries, has brushed a poem and painting of her own small mountain retreat.

•Earth, Wind & Fire
Ancient and contemporary potters alike experiment with earth, air and fire to explore form – whether for a functional purpose or not – and the transformations that occur within the kiln.

•Flora & Fauna
Okuhara Seiko, Yamada Kōun and Zhao Shao’ang have created vignettes of the flora and fauna that surround us. Their vision helps us to see our own surroundings with more clarity.

Two artists address the idea of a journey. The 17th-century courtier Karasumaru Mitsuhiro’s brushed poems and paintings illustrating a journey between Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) are in the scroll case on the back wall. On the opposite wall Tanaka Ryōhei’s etchings of an empty road disappearing around a curve in the trees or between thatched-roof houses invite us on an imaginary journey deep into the countryside.
•Social & Political Upheaval
Four artists view China from 1941 to the end of the century. Their varied responses to that tumultuous period are on the southwest wall of the gallery.

We hope you enjoy the exhibition and leave refreshed and with a renewed sensitivity to – and pleasure in – the world around us.