Education About Asia

(culture, history, art, marriage, etc...)

NOTE: Archive articles may be downloaded and reproduced for personal or classroom use only.

Book Review, Resources

Ideas and Art in Asian Civilizations: India, China, and Japan

BY KENNETH R. STUNKEL ARMONK, NEW YORK AND LONDON ENGLAND: M.E. SHARPE, 2012 305 PAGES, ISBN 978-0765625410, PAPERBACK Ideas and Art in Asian Civilizations: India, China, and Japan is set apart from other surveys of Asia by a succinct examination of the cosmology and traditions of thought underlying seminal art and literary works from these three cultures. Explanations such as “[the] Chinese way of thinking is profoundly relational rather than sequential” (98) and “[the] poignancy of ...

Book Review, Resources

Things Chinese: Antiques, Crafts, Collectibles

BY RONALD KNAPP TUTTLE PUBLISHING, 2011 144 PAGES, ISBN: 978-0804841870, HARDCOVER Defining culture through a collection of objects is a challenging task. How are history, aesthetics, technology, and belief systems revealed in a sampling of material artifacts? How many and what objects are required to tell such a story? In a handsomely designed compendium of things Chinese, cultural geographer Ronald G. Knapp has selected and explained sixty items that together exhibit a distinct sense of ...

Resources, Web Gleanings

Website Resources: Asian Visual and Performing Arts, Part II

VISUAL ARTS ASIA, GENERAL Art of Asia Home Page URL: http://www.mfa.org/collections/asia The Museum of Fine Arts Boston has a noteworthy collection of Asian art. Their site has hundreds of images from the collection. The focus is Chinese and Japanese works of art, including paintings and prints. The images are easily accessible through the links at the bottom of the home page. Asia Contemporary Art Show URL: http://www.asiacontemporaryart.com/gallery/ Over fifty art galleries have...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Calligraphy as a Resource in the East Asian Studies Curriculum

Brush calligraphy, a fundamentally intercultural and interdisciplinary art form, can be extremely useful as a teaching tool in K-12 and undergraduate education about East Asia. The complexity of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean writing systems presents language instructors with formidable tasks in developing student literacy skills. For many students, however, the writing system is the major factor of their appeal. Though brush calligraphy in its sophisticated forms requires considerable traini...

Feature Article

An Environmental Ethic in Chinese Landscape Painting

Landscape painting in Western art did not develop into an important category of painting until the seventeenth century. In contrast, landscape painting in China was already a prized art form by the ninth century. (note 1) In fact, when Chinese art was systematically introduced to the West during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the prominence afforded nature—as opposed to humans— in Chinese art startled Western audiences. One reviewer of a pioneering exhibition of Chinese art at the B...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Between the Floating Mist: Poems of Ryokan, and Lotus Moon: The Poetry of Rengetsu

Between the Floating Mist Poems of Ryōkan TRANSLATED BY DENNIS MALONEY AND HIDEO SHIRO BUFFALO, NY: WHITE PINE PRESS, 2009 96 PAGES, ISBN 978-1935210054, PAPERBACK Lotus Moon The Poetry of Rengetsu TRANSLATED BY JOHN STEVENS BUFFALO, NY: WHITEPINEPRESS, 2005 130 PAGES, ISBN 978-1893996366, PAPERBACK In addition to its importance as a major world religion, Buddhism has produced one of the longest-running, most multifaceted, and brilliantly textured literary culture...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Using Korean Bojagi in the Classroom

Bojagi: An Introduction Bojagi (sometime written pojagi) is a traditional Korean folk art consisting of patchwork cloths made from scrap fabrics such as cotton, silk, ramie, and hemp. These practical cloths of varying sizes were present in Korea as early as the fourteenth century and were used to cover and contain items such as gifts, beds, tables, and foods. The art has historically been passed down through generations of unnamed female artists and were used by Korean people from all classes, ...

Book Review, Resources

The Art of Modern China

When China first emerged on the world stage as an economic power some twenty years ago, not many Western scholars had attempted to define the trajectory of modern Chinese art, focusing instead on works created before the last dynasty ended. The reasons for this are complex but, besides a limited audience for more contemporary works, included such questions as what modern art really is in an era of globalization, what influence indigenous verses foreign stimulation played in its development in Ch...

Feature Article, Special Segment: Maritime Asia

Another Floating World: Maritime Japan through Woodblock Prints

Modern-day viewers can glimpse the maritime world of Edo period (1603–1867) Japan through the ubiquitous ukiyo-e, woodblock print. The majority of early woodblock prints were pictures of beautiful women often associated with the pleasure quarters and available for mass consumption. As printing techniques improved, artisans experimented with new perspectives, and subjects’ woodblock prints attained a higher status. Changes in society’s perception of actors, courtesans, and artists mirrored ...

Asia: Experiential Learning, Columns, Resources

Drawing Insights in Việt Nam

Every spring, Marlboro College offers one or two semester-long courses that include a travel abroad experience. A few years ago, I had the opportunity as part of a Freeman grant held by the college to participate, along with students, in a study course focused on Asia.1 The year that I participated, the course was titled Việt Nam: Revolution and Restoration, and it included a three-week trip to north and central Việt Nam. The classwork introduced our group of five faculty and twelve students...

Course Syllabi, Online Supplement

“Beyond Cultural Tourism: Experiencing the Arts in Bali” Syllabus

Editor’s Note: The syllabus that follows complements “Beyond Cultural Tourism: Experiencing the Arts in Bali” by Jui-Ching Wang from the EAA spring 2016 issue online supplements (vol. 21, no. 1). If you have any questions about the readings and course materials listed in the syllabus, you may contact Jui-Ching Wang at jcwang@niu.edu. Experiencing the Arts in Bali July 4 – July 25, 2014 Study Abroad Office, the School of Music, and the School of Art Northern Illinois University PROGR...

Online Supplement

Beyond Cultural Tourism: Experiencing the Arts in Bali

Music, dance, theater, and arts and crafts are important parts of Balinese culture. Their ceremonial nature reflects the multiple layers of Balinese Hindu religious practices and philosophies within the complex social-cultural structure of Balinese society. The inseparable relationships among these arts provide a vivid soundscape and landscape for students to experience the functions of arts in a living environment. Since the early twentieth century, Bali has been staged for the consumption of c...

Book Review, Resources

Chinese Religious Art

It seems hard to believe that there has not been a volume prior to this one devoted to Chinese religious art, but this work by Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky is the first comprehensive volume on the subject. It thus fills an important gap in literature on Asian art by providing a less- familiar lens for examining dynastic art. In this book, the Tang Dynasty, instead of being characterized by its frequent artistic symbols, tricolor horses and polo-playing women, is analyzed through objects such as ...

EAA Interview, Resources

An EAA interview with the 2016 Franklin R. Buchanan Prizewinners Dorinda Neave, Lara C. W. Blanchard, and Marika Sardar for Asian Art

This is our twentieth consecutive interview with the recipients of the AAS Franklin R. Buchanan Prize. This year’s winners are Dorinda Neave, Lara Blanchard, and Marika Sardar, who are coauthors of the textbook Asian Art (Pearson, 2014). Asian Art is an accessible introduction for students to Asian art history, the emergence and evolution of Asian art in all its diversity, and the patterns of continuity and change between the arts and cultures of various regions comprising Asia. Dorinda Neave ...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Asian Art

A Book from the Sky by Xu Bing is the opening image from chapter 10, “The Push for Modernization: 1912 to the Present” in the textbook Asian Art by Dorinda Neave, Lara Blanchard, and  Marika  Sardar  (Pearson, 2014), winner of the 2016 Franklin R. Buchanan Prize. Xu’s statement opens the text of the chapter, framing the essence of the big ideas in this section of the book. Each chapter of Asian Art opens in this manner, with a fullpage, richly colored image of a work of art and...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Chinese Calligraphy, a Dance on Paper: The Art of Professor Yang Xin

Calligraphy is among the most recognizable markers of Chinese culture. Even Americans who have never stepped foot in a Chinatown have likely encountered Chinese characters gracing a takeout restaurant sign or peeking out from a neck tattoo. Partly for this reason, Chinese characters provide an accessible entry point to learning about China and East Asia. It is a process that can begin as simply as it did for me when, as a young child, I was shown at my local public library how the character ...

Feature Article

Cultivating Enlightenment: The Manifold Meaning of Japanese Zen Gardens

While Zen gardens have been a fixture of Japanese aesthetics since the Muromachi Period (1336–1573), the purposes and meanings of these austere landscapes have been far less fixed, and indeed have changed somewhat since their first appearance as places for meditation in the Zen temples of medieval Japan. For those of us who have been fortunate enough to visit such magnificent sites as Ryōanji or Tenryūji, the primary function of Zen gardens today seems to be to remind the busloads of tour...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime

Tezuka Osamu is hardly a household name in the United States, even in the fan communities that so eagerly consume the products of the Japanese pop culture industry that Tezuka was instrumental in building after World War II. In Japan, however, Tezuka is revered as a “god of manga,” a pioneer in the development of comics and animation, and, as one recent biographer described him, an almost-superhuman figure, “like Walt Disney, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Tim Burton, Arthur C. Clarke, and Carl Sag...

Feature Article

Another World Lies Beyond: Three Chinese Gardens in the US

After more than a decade in the making, a groundbreaking ceremony took place for a grand classical Chinese garden in Washington, DC, in October 2016. The US $100 million project, expected to be completed by the end of this decade, will transform a twelve-acre site at the National Arboretum into the biggest overseas Chinese garden to date. Interestingly, the report allures that the garden project is meant to implant “a bold presence” of China near the US Capitol and “achieve for Sino-US rel...

Feature Article

Constructing Communism Teaching about Revolutionary Societies through Chinese Poster Art

The images are striking: Brilliant smiles on happy peasants, proudly driving their tractors, harvesting their crops, fields bright yellow with grain. Workers in steel mills, their serious faces illuminated by orange glowing metal. Soldiers, airmen, sailors in their green and white uniforms, sternly on guard, holding their weapons and red books against an unseen enemy. A happy family, enjoying urban prosperity under the all-seeing gaze of Chairman Mao Zedong. Angry youth contemptuously smashing a...