Thursday, August 26, 2010

Asian Art Titles from Selections 102

The latest issue of our catalogue of new titles, Selections, has been released. This is a selection of titles from Selections 102 on Asian art:
  • Ramayana in Focus: Visual and Performing Arts in Asia by Gauri Parimoo Krishnan. This, the first volume from the Asian Civilisations Museum new research and publications unit, is a substantial account of the Ramayana as presented in the visual and performing arts of Asia. Twenty-one specialists reflect on the purpose and presence of Ramayana in the literary, visual, and performing traditions. The final four essays look at its place and presentation in contemporary culture and media. With illustrations from many sources, bibliographies and index.
  • Hidden Treasures of the Himalayas: Tibetan Manuscripts, Paintings and Sculptures of Dolpo by Amy Heller, Amy. In 1999, a hidden library was found in the Nesar Temple at a remote village of Bicher, in Dolpo, Nepal. It contains more than six hundred volumes of Tibetan manuscripts, ranging in date from the late 11th to the early 16th century. This library in many ways constitutes a cultural history of Dolpo in this period thanks to some sixty volumes with historical prefaces explaining the commission of the manuscripts for the Nesar Temple, while more than one hundred other volumes have illuminations of the scenes of the life of the Buddha and episodes from the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) texts. These illuminations inform us about the donors, their costumes, their Buddhist rituals while the dedications tell us about the systems of patronage and donation. Some illuminations reflect the ancient manuscripts of Tabo and Tholing, others reflect the sophisticated Newar aesthetic of Kathmandu and all these diverse tendencies reached Dolpo where they were appreciated. By studying these texts within and examining the styles of the manuscript illuminations, Amy Heller was able to shed light on the history of this remote Tibetan enclave, the spread of Buddhism in the Himalayas and its artistic legacy. The manuscripts, sculptures and mural paintings discovered in Dolpo are the concrete expression of the complex economic, political, artistic and religious interactions between the people of Dolpo and their neighbours in India, Nepal, and Tibet.
  • Modern Chinese Art: The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection - Revised and Expanded. Khoan and Michael Sullivan began collecting modern Chinese painting in Sichuan in western China in the 1940s, and their collection has developed over the course of more than half a century to include paintings by the principle artists of late 20th-century China, as well as works by a new generation. Many of the works presented in this complete catalogue were given to the Sullivans by the artists themselves, so that this is at once a work of scholarship and a record of many friendships. This edition has been revised and extended to incorporate new works collected since this book was first published in 2001, and an updated further reading section.
  • Islamic Art: The Past and Modern by Nuzhat Kazmi. Islamic Art is a product of certain forceful factors that created a cultural milieu which was centred on the religious ethos and intellectual affinities inspired by Islam and its followers. This lavishly illustrated book looks at the artistic output of the Islamic civilization through the centuries, from the time of its inception to its interpretations in the contemporary world. The material is organised into: Art of Painting; Art of Calligraphy; Art of Carpet and Textile Weaving; Decorative Islamic Arts; Art of Architecture; Islamic Arts and the Modern World; and Major Dynasties.
  • Gao Xingjian by Gao Xingjian. The 2000 Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Beijing-born Gao Xingjian (b. 1940) is also a notable playwright and painter in Chinese ink. An essay introduces his oeuvre and career which since 1983 has largely been in Europe. Fifty of his ink paintings on canvas or paper are reproduced. Many feature the solitary man theme for which his earlier paintings were noted. With chronology of exhibitions.

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