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Daily Art Moment: Sun Yi

This joyful, exuberant painting is an example of the rich vocabulary of auspicious symbols in Chinese art. The combination here of flowering peonies with pink crabapple and white magnolia blossoms, for example, can be understood as a visual-verbal rebus meaning “May your noble house be blessed with wealth and honor” (yutang fugui). The lively, full…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Korean Cup

One of the finest objects in our Korean art collection is one of the smallest, at only 4 inches high. This exquisite celadon cup forms the shape of an open flower with six petals. Crackles in the glaze were caused as the vessel cooled after firing. Underneath the crackles, you can see graceful, lightly carved…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Minami Keiko

Minami Keiko’s etchings offer the magic of fairy tale-like, narrative settings. Her fine touches on the printing plate and understated colors result in delicate, sometimes whimsical scenes. For me, she is often sweet without being cloying. Yet some prints hint at a deeper and more mysterious sense of ennui, loneliness, or alienation. Minami was orphaned…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Kitao Shigemasa

This print is one of 12 split-screen compositions that represent each month of the year. Much like writing resolutions or eating black-eyed peas, The First Month shows activities associated with New Year celebrations. At the top, a handsome young man writes New Year greetings on a sheaf of paper tied to the decorative pine. A…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Keisai Eisen

In 2021, the Year of the Ox begins. 1829 was also an ox year. Poets in Mino province commissioned the artist Keisai Eisen to design this special print to commemorate the new year. Privately commissioned prints like these are called surimono and feature expensive materials and techniques. This small ox figurine, sitting on layered futon…  Read more

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Jeannie Kenmotsu, Ph.D., appointed as Asian Art Curator of Portland Art Museum

The Portland Art Museum is pleased to announce that Jeannie Kenmotsu, Ph.D., has been appointed as The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art.  Dr. Kenmotsu, who joined the Museum’s curatorial staff in 2017 as Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art and was promoted to Associate Curator in 2019, has also been serving…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Zhao Zongzao

Zhao Zongzao’s mist-shrouded mountain landscape has reminded me of the foggy scenes of Oregon these last weeks. Zhao’s subject is the natural scenic area around Mount Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), south of the Yangtze River. One dramatic site is named for the celestial Mount Penglai, legendary island of the immortals. Here, the artist evokes the soaring…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Iwami Reika

“Iwami Reika passed away earlier this year, at the age of 93. I’ve been reflecting on her body of work for several months, and with rain pouring down in Portland today, the memory of wildfire smoke still fresh, her ‘Song of Water’ feels like an appropriate celebration of the drips and sloshes and susurrations. Iwami…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Lee Chunghie

“Fiber artist Lee Chunghie transforms the traditional Korean textile form known as bojagi into wearable art and wall installations. Bojagi became popular in the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) as a frugal way to repurpose fabric scraps, quilting them together to create new and often beautiful cloths that could be used for wrapping objects. Lee’s practice recognizes…  Read more

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Daily Art Moment: Tōdaiji Scriptorium

“The Avatamsaka (or Flower Garland) sutra is one of the best-known texts of Mahayana Buddhism in East Asia, describing a radiant, mystical universe of infinite realms. This fragment was created in the 740s as part of a set of sixty scrolls of the Avatamsaka sutra for Tōdaiji, the Great Eastern Temple of Nara. Elegantly calligraphed…  Read more