The Hallie Ford Museum of Art has a collection of approximately 250 works of Asian art. Included in that collection are Chinese export ware porcelains, Japanese netsuke, Chinese snuff bottles, Japanese paintings and prints, textiles and wood carvings from the Swat Valley along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Chinese and Japanese hanging scroll paintings, Chinese and Korean ceramics and bronzes, and Japanese woodblock prints. In 2008, the museum’s Asian Collection was catalogued as part of the ASIANetwork - Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project. This project taps collections of Asian art and visual culture on select college campuses to help faculty integrate these resources into their curricula. A selection of works from this collection is on permanent view in the museum.
See more artwork from this collection
This painting was produced on the island of Bali in Indonesia as an astrological calendar (pelelintangan). Because of the complexity of the calendrical systems in Bali, this calendar would have been used by a specialist, who would be consulted to determine auspicious days for various events.The style in which the figures are portrayed is rooted in the traditional Balinese shadow puppet plays (wayang kulit) that render human figures in three-quarter view and animals in profile. The subjects shown in the calendar derive from traditional narratives. The lowest row on the calendar is missing, and may have been damaged and removed.This label is based on the research of Alison Shives, Willamette University Class of 2007.
Although bats have negative associations in the West, in China they benefit from a lucky coincidence: the word for bat, fu, is pronounced just like the words for “blessings" and “riches" (even though the written characters are different). The red bats, seen here, are examples of another pun, as the word for red, hong, sounds like the word for “vast"; combining bats and the color red thus creates a wish for vast blessings and wealth. Furthermore, the group of five bats itself refers to the “Five Blessings": long life, health, wealth, love of virtue, and a peaceful death.
Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950)
Originally a Western-style (yoga) painter, Yoshida Hiroshi turned to prints in his forties and gained international fame. His work reflected both movements in twentieth-century Japanese prints. Like the shin hanga (new prints) artists, he utilized Western pictorial techniques and a division of labor process. And like the sosaku hanga artists, he could do every stage of the printing. Since this was not possible with larger print runs, he personally approved each stage, stamping his prints jizuri (self-printed).In this print, the main gate of Kyoto's scenic Chion-in temple is shown from an angle, its imposing gate and bare stairs lightened by the touches of color in the cherry blossoms and visitors' clothing.
Hoitsu Sakai (1761-1828)
Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)
Hiroshige's extremely successful final print series, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, was of a genre known as "pictures of famous scenes" (meisho-e) that became popular with the rise of the tourism industry in Japan in the early nineteenth century.Hiroshige was known for dramatic, asymmetrical compositions approached from unusual vantage points, and for utilizing newly available Western techniques of linear perspective to create depth. In this print the viewer, down at the level of the flowers, is looking over the famous gardens of Horikiri, the village that produced irises for the flower markets of Edo.
This elegant design skillfully combines a variety of symbols. At the center is trio of fruits: the "Three Abundances." The peach represents longevity; the pomegranate, with its many seeds, represents many sons. The third fruit is a Buddha's Hand citron, a name that plays on the resemblance of the fruit to a fingered hand. It represents "blessings and longevity," since in Chinese these words sound similar to those for "Buddha's hand."The repeated motif on the outer rim of the platter is the "wish-granting wand head." Combined with other motifs, it creates common lucky rebuses, pairing fulfillment of wishes with blessings and longevity (the red bats and "longevity" character), a harmonious marriage (the repeated lotus), and great joy (a pun based on the V-shaped stone chimes).
Paul Jacoulet (1896-1960)
Bodhisattvas are Buddhist deities dedicated to helping all beings to achieve enlightenment, and Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion, is one of the most popular deities throughout Asia. Avalokiteshvara appears in many forms, the Shadakshari ("Six-syllabled One") form representing the blessings of the mantra "OM MANI PADME HUM." Bodhisattvas are identified by their crowns, jewelry and fine robes, and this particular deity by the white color and four arms, two hands at the center in the gesture of greeting (Añjali Mudra), the proper, upper right hand holding a rosary, the upper left hand a lotus. Stylistic characteristics of the figures and certain decorative motifs link this painting with the lavish patronage of Tibetan Buddhist art by the imperial court of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).Among many Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama is believed to be a manifestation of this particular deity, and this thangka painting can be connected with the Gelug ("Virtuous") school with which he is associated, popularly known as the "Yellow Hat" school after the distinctive headwear worn by Gelug monks. Three important monks of this school appear in the upper left of the painting: Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), founder of the school, and his two most important disciples. Opposite these three in the upper right corner are the Three Longevity Deities: Amitayus Buddha, White Tara, and Ushnishavijaya. At the top center is the Buddha Amitabha, of which Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara is considered an emanation. Creating another trio with the central deity are Manjushri, Bodhisattva of Wisdom, at the left and Vajrapani, Bodhisattva of Power, at the right. At the bottom of the painting are three protector deities. Although they have unusual iconographic features, the figure at the left is probably Setrap, and the figure in the center is probably the "Black Horse" aspect of Dorje Shugden. At the right are the Five Long-life Sisters, with Tseringma at the center.