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Margaret Medley

English diplomat, collector and art historian. In 1947, as a member of the British Diplomatic Service, he was posted to Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, then the capital of the Nationalist Chinese government. He became interested in Chinese art and history and began a collection of porcelain, furniture and textiles at a time of political and economic uncertainty, when Chinese collectors were forced to sell. When he moved to the British embassy in Beijing in ...

Article

T. I. Zeymal’

Buddhist monastery of the 7th century ad to first half of the 8th, in the valley of the Vakhsh River, 12 km east of Kurgan-Tyube, southern Tajikistan. During this early medieval period it belonged to Vakhsh (U-sha in Chinese sources), one of the 27 domains of Tokharistan. Excavations between ...

Article

Agano  

Richard L. Wilson

Japanese region in Buzen Province (now part of Fukuoka Prefect.), northern Kyushu, where stonewares were manufactured at various sites from c. 1600 (see also Japan, §IX, 3, (i), (d)).

The first potter to make Agano ware was the Korean master Chon’gye (Jap. Sonkai; ...

Article

Michael Spens

Japanese architect, teacher and writer. He graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1960 and obtained his MArch in 1966 and DEng in 1971. He began teaching architecture at Shibaura Institute of Technology in 1962, becoming a lecturer in engineering there in 1966 and subsequently assistant professor (...

Article

Ainu  

Hans Dieter Ölschleger

Peoples who once lived in northern Japan and are now restricted to the islands of Hokkaido (Japan), southern Sakhalin and the Kuril chain. The Ainu live in an area that has been influenced by Chinese, Siberian and especially Japanese culture. Until the 17th century, when the Ainu began to practise small-scale agriculture in south-western Hokkaido, they subsisted by fishing and hunter–gathering. Although the gradual Japanese colonization of Hokkaido had almost eradicated Ainu culture by the early 20th century, the post-war period has witnessed a revival of Ainu culture and language....

Article

Alchi  

W. A. P. Marr

Buddhist monastery in a small valley on the left bank of the River Indus, c. 64 km west of Leh in Ladakh, India. Tradition attributes the monastery’s origin to the Tibetan scholar and temple-builder Rinchen Sangpo (ad 958–1055), the ‘great translator’, and although its buildings mostly date from the 11th century, the site is replete with his memory, from the ancient tree he planted to his portraits and images in the temples. A treasure-house of art, Alchi has been preserved because of its isolation from trade routes and the decline of its community, the monks of the Dromtön sect of the Kadampa order....

Article

Patrick Conner

English painter, engraver, draughtsman and museum official. The son of a coachbuilder, he was apprenticed to Julius Caesar Ibbetson before enrolling in 1784 at the Royal Academy Schools, London. In 1792 he accepted the post (previously declined by Ibbetson) of draughtsman to George, 1st Earl Macartney, on his embassy to China. As the embassy returned by inland waterway from Beijing to Canton, Alexander made detailed ...

Article

Yasuko Furuichi

Alternative spaces have stimulated and disrupted bureaucratic and static environments that stem from situations unique to Asian countries. As opposed to the definition provided in the Euro-American model in which alternative spaces are positioned against the mainstream, alternative spaces in this discussion are a group of contemporary art spaces which can be loosely identified as artist-run and independent curator-run spaces that do not have direct support from the state and government bodies in general. These spaces provide exhibition venues for national and international artists, develop educational programmes, raise the profile of curatorial methods and publish art magazines. In addition, the staff of alternative spaces can provide foreign curators with the latest local information, whereas in the past, certain curators were able to monopolize negotiations between arts professionals and local artists. Some of these alternative spaces have since attained privileged positions that have also exposed them to criticism....

Article

Yi Am  

Korean calligrapher. He is considered one of the last great calligraphers of the Koryŏ period (918–1392). Born into a noble family, at the age of 17 he passed his first examinations and entered the Confucian academy in Kaesŏng, where he eventually rose to prominence in the central administration. Information on his life, and in particular on his career as an official, can be found in the ...

Article

Yi Am  

Henrik H. Sørensen

Korean painter. A descendant of the royal Yi family—founders of the Chosŏn dynasty—in the line of King Sejong and mentioned in the Injong shillok (‘Veritable records of King Injong’), he was considered one of the most important Academy painters of his day. He was renowned for his rendering of dogs and cats and of flowers and birds, placed usually in highly formalized garden settings. His paintings exude an innocent and peaceful atmosphere. In his work he combined the ‘outline’ style with the ‘boneless’. His paintings bear some resemblance to the type of animal paintings produced at Huizong’s Northern Song Academy in the 12th century in China, although his subjects are more dynamic, if less realistic....