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Upcoming Event: Art Gallery of South Australia

Events, meets and discussions around the Australian chapter.
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Postby AFNetsuke » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:13 am

I know many people come straight to the Forum without first navigating the home page so I'm posting here a bit of the info from the Upcoming Events section at the lower left of the home page. Please visit there for more details.

11 April to 31 August 2014
Free admission
Gallery 21
2014 is the centenary of the establishment of the Art Gallery’s important collection of Japanese netsuke, inrō and other carvings. This collection, numbering around 300 works of art, has been developed through the generosity of many South Australians including early notable art connoisseurs such as Sir Samuel Way (1836-1916) and more recently, Max Carter AO.

Netsuke were made as miniature functional toggles to secure small containers that were worn suspended from men’s belts during the Edo period (1615-1867). In the late nineteenth century, netsuke carvers applied the same traditional techniques to create ornamental sculptures, known as okimono, for export to the West at a time when Japanese art was highly fashionable and much sought after.

Netsuke, inrō and okimono are made from diverse materials and depict a vast array of subjects. The carvings in the display illustrate the themes of Auspicious animals, Myths and legends, Beliefs and superstitions, and Daily Life.

A richly illustrated book Netsuke and other miniatures from the Art Gallery of South Australia by Jennifer Harris accompanies the display and will be available from the Gallery Shop from late April.

Knowing Netsuke
Gallery visitors are always delighted by the detail of Japanese Netsuke, here is your chance to hear from the experts.
When: Saturday 19 July 2-4pm
2pm - Max Carter AO, gallery patron recounts his discovery of netsuke
2.30pm - Jennifer Harris, Curator, Netsuke and other miniatures discusses iconography, aesthetics and wonder
3.15pm - Catherine Truman, contemporary jeweller and object-maker speaks about her practice and the influence of netsuke
Cost: Free
Where: Radford Auditorium
Bookings essential: Ph 8207 7035 or email or Book online

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Postby DSW90049 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:08 pm

Article on this exhibition here:

7 July, 2014 1:08PM ACST

"The miniature wonders of Japanese tradition on display at the Art Gallery of SA

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of receiving their first piece, the Art Gallery of South Australia are showing their full collection of over 300 netsukes, inros and other Japanese fine carvings.
Netuske and other miniatures curator Jennifer Harris holds an 1880 okimono of two fishermen and a child (ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
A five-case Inro from the Kajikawa School. The 11cm inro features a scene of West Lake, Hangzhou, China, in the 19th century, on maki-e lacquer on wood. The two horse Netsuke are carved in ivory and 2.2 cm in size. M.J.M. Carter AO Collection , 2004 (Art Gallery of South Australia: supplied)
The minute Tosai, Anaborinetsuke, Gingko nuts with miniature landscapes carved in the late 19th century in ivory reveal incredible detail in the 1.5 x 4.4 x 5.2 cm piece. This piece was a gift from Brian and Barbara Crisp to the collection in memory of their son Andrew 2007 (Art Gallery of South Australia: supplied)
This 3.5cm mid-19th century netsuke made of boxwood and ivory depicts a 'professional sneezer'. To be sneezed upon was seen as a sign of good luck, so street workers would sit on the footpath and insert a stick or twig into their nose to force a sneeze and receive a donation for their 'service'. M.J.M. Carter AO Collection, 2004 (Art Gallery of South Australia: supplied)
This 4.0cm, late 19th century netsuke of a man weaving a basket shows the intricate details of the ivory carvings. M.J.M. Carter AO Collection , 2004 (Art Gallery of South Australia: supplied)

Netsukes were designed as a counterweight or stopper for Japanese men to attach a cord and small container which was then threaded behind their belts.

Originally built for a purpose, they soon became an ornate expression of wealth in the 17th to 19th Century.

"They were like bling - they were just worn as fashion accessories," curator Jennifer Harris explained.

With the traditional Japanese kimono not having pockets, the netsuke and inro were originally designed to allow the men to carry items such as tools, tobacco and smoking pipes.

The minute items progressed from bland to ornate pieces of art as they became a display of social status.

Artists previously tasked with creating ornaments for Buddhist temples began to carve the netsuke after their one-time employers fell out of political favour.

Netsukes were traditionally made from ivory, box wood, porcelain, stag antler and 'vegetable ivory', with one item on display made of cast iron.

"Ivory was considered expensive and exotic, but it provides the best medium for carving."

One of the gallery's netsuke, a collection of gingko nuts carved in one piece of ivory, show intricate microscopic carvings of houses, landscapes, bridges and people within the shells of the nuts.

"The detail of the carving, in such a small object, is extraordinary," Jennifer said.

One nut, the size of a small fingernail, reveals a temple, landscape, bridge and tree, all just millimetres in height.

145 of the netsuke in the Art Gallery's collections were donated by local collector Max Carter AO.

Netsuke and Other Miniatures will be on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia until 31 August 2014."
"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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