Saturday, November 21, 2009
Strange Japanese Art 1: Dog Chasing
On a whirlwind tour of the permanent collection of the Asian Art Museum this week, the most interesting "newly on view" section seemed to be in the Japanese wing on the second floor.
From the Avery Brundage collection, there is an amazing pair of six-panel screens from 1640 called "Dog Chasing."
It depicts a large stadium ground for people to watch the Samurai sporting event, which consisted of two teams consisting of 17 men each.
The wall signage tried to allay animal abuse revulsion with the following: "The riders used softly padded arrows in order not to seriously hurt the dog, which was released within a circle of rope to begin the game."
Next to the newly on view screens is one of Masami Teraoka's prints from the 1985 series "31 Flavors Invading Japan."
Around the corner is the most consistently fascinating display in the museum...
...a constantly rotating selection of Japanese bamboo baskets from a collection of 900 donated in 2001 by the ex-CEO of Neutrogena, Lloyd Cotsen.
The fly basket is some kind of genius.