Saturday, October 10, 2020

KAAC fundraiser for democracy

The Korean American Artist Collective is running a fundraiser right now, though the end of Sun (Oct 11), to support non-partisan voter orgs. I've donated a small hanji dress (meant to hang on the wall) and there's tons of other artwork available this weekend for sale. This new basket has been slow going, too many distractions this week to finish.
I finally got to see the Korean embroidery exhibit at the museum this week, both in the textile gallery and in the Korean gallery. Need to get back to examine more of the rank badges in the latter; my meter was running and I was exhausted from skipping lunch that day.
This is a gorgeous screen of bronze vessels rendered entirely in gold thread, the men creating the images of the bronzework while women who were the court embroiderers sewed them.
Detail of a wedding bojagi.
Thimbles!! I remember my aunt and grandmother in Korea with the plain leather ones sewn together with red thread.
The back of the centerpiece, a wedding gown. I have always loved the imagery on the bottom of most Korean textiles, which looked to me like overlapping rainbows but are probably mountains (I've been extremely lazy finding out for sure and will check with my art historian/curator colleagues before I continue to guess!). What I found most intriguing of course were the paper pieces. This gown was used over and over, shared through generations, repaired and patched over time—but the sleeves and collar, which get the most wear, would be changed out each time. With paper! As was done in many other cultures.
The ubiquitous wedding goose. I get lazy in my telling of this wedding gift history and talk about wedding ducks. But originally, the gift was real geese (useful in agrarian times). Then, representations of geese. Not sure when it shifted over to representing mandarin ducks, but the whole point is that all birds represented in this way to give to newlyweds are ones that mate for life.
Since I rarely get to the museum in pandemic times, I peeked into the adjacent hallway to see if my favorite baskets were there, and they were! I fell in love with these about 7 years ago and all that has changed is my eyesight: harder to see the detail on these Pomo miniature baskets from the late 1800s–early 1900s, but the tag still reads the same: "Miniature baskets were made to demonstrate the basket-maker's virtuoso skill."
I did a very speedy sweep through the modern wing, which I rarely do, but I am always viscerally moved by Anselm Kiefer's work and his constant engagement with the difficult parts of German history and the present. This is Lot's Wife.
I never knew about Lee Bontecou until I saw an incredible retrospective of her work in Chicago during grad school nearly 15 years ago, and was glad to see this facing the Kiefer painting (hers is Untitled as many are).
This one was new to me and I was glad to have taken the time to rush through, then stop in my tracks: Alabama by Norman Lewis. Unsurprisingly, he was not as well known or exhibited or sold as his white counterparts in Abstract Expressionism, but this is so much more compelling to me than many abstract paintings (which used to be so exciting to me when I was first learning art history. My reactions are really different now).
After a long day of teaching and errands yesterday, I came home and wondered why my screen door was ajar. I realized there was a package left between it and the main door, which was very obviously from Europe. Once I saw the sender's name, I knew exactly what was inside, even without reading the description!
This was the most welcome way to start a weekend!! There will always be so much work to do but friends—and chocolate—always help.
And in my limited experience with planting flower seeds, I was so impressed by this button zinnia that came back after the entire batch in both the pot and planter dried up and died while I was away in Virginia this summer. The brick colors are no coincidence—I needed to work with really warm colors this time around with installation.

1 comment:

TK said...

What a nice day! I always visited "Lots Wife" when I went to the Museum. It's probably the artwork that taught me to really look and feel (emotionally, not physically!) art.