Friday, June 18, 2010

Books on Asian Ceramics

These are recent additions to our titles on ceramics:
  • The Bei Shan Tang Legacy: Gifts Of Chinese Art edited by Peter Lam. The Bei Shan Tang collection, the personal collection of Chinese art of JS Lee was very comprehensive - ranging from painting, calligraphy, ink rubbings, jade, ceramics, to sculpture, scholar objects, bamboo carvings, seals and bronzes. This catalogue was published to accompany the large scale tribute exhibition "Bei Shan Tang Legacy: Gifts of Chinese Art" organized by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Art Museum, introducing the creams of the Bei Shan Tang gifts to the Museum over the years. The 113 selected gifts of Chinese art are sorted by categories: epigraphy, rubbings, calligraphy, painting, bronze and jade, ceramics, and others; with detailed descriptions in Chinese and English, and illustrated in colour plates.
  • Chinese Ceramics by Stacey Pierson. This history of Chinese ceramic design draws on the major collections at the V&A Museum. The extensively illustrated chapters are on: patterns of production, manufacture and industry including blue-and-white ceramics; aesthetics, design and style including decoration and the meaning of dragons over the centuries; consumption in China and beyond including religious usages, global trade and evidences from shipwrecks; and Chinese ceramics in the modern world, including artist-designed and politically motivated post-Imperial artefacts. With map, chronology, bibliography and index.
  • Song Ceramics from the Kwan Collection. Ceramics of the Song Dynasty were produced in many famous kilns for the local market as well as for exports to Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe. Potters of the Song Dynasty achieved distinguished improvements in the clay, glaze, and techniques of ceramic production, forming a unique dynastic style. This catalogue features masterpieces of Song ceramics drawn from the cream of Dr. Simon Kwan's collection. An introductory essay and descriptions of the individual pieces are in Chinese.
  • The Ming Gap and Shipwreck Ceramics in Southeast Asia: Towards a Chronology of Thai Trade Ware by Roxanna Maude Brown. Shipwrecks discovered throughout Southeast Asia and the precious cargoes they contain represent invaluable information for the study of international trade networks. However, these treasure troves of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese ceramics have been unsystematically studied and rarely published. This book addresses this issue with the author tracing the developments and fluctuations of the international ceramic trade between China and Southeast Asia focusing specifically on the 14th-15th centuries, a period known in ceramic scholarship as the "Ming gap", a term which arose to describe the ban placed on the export of Chinese ceramics by the Ming dynasty. The author illustrates how, as a result, Southeast Asian ceramics began to fill this void and for over a century became the dominant ceramic trade ware throughout the region. Analysing over 120 shipwrecks, the author for the first time proposes a chronology of ceramic production placing Thai ceramics into five chronological periods and discussing issues such as the relationship between Sukhothai and Sawankhalok kilns, the discovery of exported Burmese celadon wares and the location of Vietnamese production sites for ceramic exports. The text is supplemented by a database presented through 30 tables, 73 plates featuring 295 reproductions of colour photographs and eight drawings, a bibliography, and indexes.
  • Southeast Asian Ceramics: New Light On Old Pottery edited by John N Miksic. Southeast Asia Ceramics: New Light on Old Pottery accompanies the exhibition of the same name, held at the National University of Singapore Museum. In this present volume, notable archaeologist and scholar John N Miksic reconstructs a vivid image of the development of Southeast Asia's unique ceramic technology. Along with Pamela M Watkins, Dawn F Rooney and Michael Flecker, he summarises the fruits of the research of the last 40 years, beginning with the founding of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society in Singapore in 1969. The result is a comprehensive and insightful overview of the technology, aesthetics and organisation, both economic and political, of seemingly diverse territories in pre-colonial Southeast Asia.
  • Treasures from Shanghai: Ancient Chinese Bronzes and Jades edited by Jessica Rawson. Published to complement an international loan exhibition at the British Museum, this catalogue celebrates the Shanghai Museum's outstanding collection of ancient bronzes and jades. Over fifty selected pieces, from the Neolithic period to the end of the Zhou dynasty, and including comparative ceramics, are described by Professor Jessica Rawson, together with contributors from both the Shanghai Museum and the British Museum. Introductory essays additionally place these ancient pieces in their historical and archaeological context, and trace the history of the Shanghai Museum. With glossary, notes and bibliography.

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