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Article

Margaret Medley

(b London, June 11, 1914; d Pembury, Kent, July 31, 1983).

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 1954 he continued his research into Chinese ceramic history with the help of specialists from the Palace Museum. In 1963 he became British ambassador to the Philippines and was largely responsible for organizing the Manila Trade Pottery Seminar (1968), to which he also contributed five of the nine discussion monographs. From 1972 to 1974, as British ambassador to China, he played an important part in promoting the Chinese archaeological exhibition The Genius of China, held in London at the Royal Academy in ...

Article

Michael Spens

(b Tokyo, June 5, 1937).

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 (1973) and professor (1976). In 1967 he opened his own office in Tokyo. A founding member of the counter-Metabolist group Architext (1971), Aida was one of the New Wave of avant-garde Japanese architects, expressing his theories in both buildings and writings. His journal articles clearly state his desire to question—if not overthrow—orthodox Modernist ideas of rationality, order and suitability of form to function. He likened architectural design to an intellectual game, and he was one of the first to equate deconstruction with the art of construction, for example in his Artist’s House (1967), Kunitachi, Tokyo, in which all the elements have arbitrary relationships with each other. In other buildings he focused on the creation of architectural experiences that reflect immediate events. In the Nirvana House (...

Article

Kathryn O'Rourke and Ramón Vargas

(b Mexico City, Mar 29, 1915; d Mexico City, May 25, 1959).

Mexican architect, theorist, and writer, of Japanese descent. The son of a Japanese ambassador in Mexico, he studied philosophy, espousing neo-Kantianism and becoming politically a socialist. He became a supporter of Functionalism, with its emphasis on the social applications of architecture, and was a founder, with Enrique Yañez, of the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas (1938), helping to draw up a socialist theory of architecture. He was one of the most active participants in the Unión and attempted to put his socialist theory into practice on two unexecuted projects in the same year: the building for the Confederación de Trabajadores de México and the Ciudad Obrera de México, both with Enrique Guerrero and Raúl Cacho. Later, when Mexico opted for a developmental policy, Arai became a standard-bearer for nationalism in architecture. He re-evaluated traditional building materials, such as tree trunks, bamboo, palm leaves, and lianas, using them in a plan for a country house that was adapted to the warm, damp climate of the Papaloapan region. The building of the Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, gave him his greatest architectural opportunity when he designed the Frontones (...

Article

Toshiaki Nagaya

(b Tokyo, July 7, 1918).

Japanese architect and writer . He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1942 and in 1946–7 he worked in the office of Junzō Sakakura in Tokyo. After receiving a master’s degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1953), he worked in the office of Marcel Breuer in New York (1953–6). In 1956 he returned to Japan and opened his own office in Tokyo. One of Ashihara’s principal concerns was the use of logical structural systems to create flexible, integrated space within buildings. He developed the use of split levels or ‘skip’ floors to combine spaces of various sizes, as in the Chūō Koron building (1956), Tokyo, for which he was awarded the Architectural Institute of Japan prize in 1960. The Sony building (1966), Tokyo, was designed as a cubic spiral of skip floors, creating organic spatial continuity throughout the building with spaces that interrelate with each other and with their environment. A similar concept was used for the Japanese pavilion at Expo ’67 in Montreal, for which he received an award from the Ministry of Education. The continuity and flow of space between interior and exterior, and in the spaces between buildings, were also addressed, for example in the Komazawa Olympic Gymnasium (...

Article

Toshiaki Nagaya

(b Osaka, Sept 20, 1933).

Japanese architect and writer . After graduating in 1957 from the School of Architecture, Osaka University, he worked for three years as a designer for the Ministry of Postal Services in Tokyo and Osaka and then joined Junzō Sakakura Architect & Associates (1960–67). He established his own office in Tokyo in 1967. Azuma’s architecture is characterized by the expression of opposing elements such as individuality and collectivity, enclosure and openness, inside and outside etc. For example, his own house, Tower House (1967), Tokyo, expresses the idea of defensive living in the modern urban setting. Standing on a tiny plot of land in the heart of the city, it has a closed concrete exterior with no windows on the street elevation; this, however, is extended outwards to the city by a slanting parapet and overhanging roof-terrace acting as transitional elements between inside and out. Inside is an ingenious sequence of spaces expressing individuality in an area of traditionally designed houses. A prolific architect, Azuma produced designs with simple and clear-cut images: for instance, in the Seijin Nursery School (...

Article

Tamaki Maeda

[Fu Pao-shih; ming Fu Ruilin]

(b Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, Oct 5, 1904; d Nanjing, Sept 28, 1965).

Chinese painter, seal carver, and art historian. He was one of the foremost painters of guohua (literally “national painting”), who worked in the traditional medium of painting in East Asia, namely, ink and color on paper or silk. His work helped transform literati painting, an age-old artistic pursuit of the elite scholarly class, to an idiom of expression in tune with the aesthetic and social values of modern era.

Born into a humble family, Fu received a modest education in Nanchang. He later studied at the Imperial School of Fine Arts in Japan, and in 1935 became a faculty member at the National Central University in Nanjing. During the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), Fu fled to the hinterland, where he developed his mature style of painting—semi-abstract landscapes often combined with human elements—and earned considerable repute through exhibitions and publications. After the Communist takeover of China in 1949, Fu produced paintings inspired by poems by Mao Zedong and the Red Army, as well as those emphasizing the beauty of the land in China. He continued to serve in important positions in the art world, most notably, director of the Jiangsu Provincial Chinese Painting Institute....

Article

Gabriel P. Weisberg

(b Hamburg, Feb 26, 1838; d Vaucresson, nr Paris, Sept 6, 1905).

French art dealer, critic and patron, of German birth. Often misnamed Samuel, he was a major promoter of Japanese art and Art Nouveau. From a wealthy, entrepreneurial Hamburg family, he trained as an industrial decorator for ceramics under the guidance of his father and independently in Paris during the Second Empire (1852–70). After the Franco-Prussian War (which he spent in Belgium) Bing established a thriving Oriental trading business, primarily of Japanese arts, the success of which permitted the opening of his Oriental crafts shop in Paris in the late 1870s. Following a trip to Japan, he expanded the business in the 1880s, selling both contemporary and ancient Japanese objects, to meet the demand for Oriental merchandise. At the end of the 1880s, as Japonisme developed, Bing founded a monthly periodical, Le Japon artistique (pubd simultaneously in Eng., Fr. and Ger., 1888–91), and organized a series of exhibitions of rare Japanese art, featuring ceramics and ...

Article

Margaret Medley

(b Shanghai, Dec 18, 1909; d Hong Kong, Jan 1941).

English art historian. Fluent in Chinese, he was employed as a civil engineer in China from 1933 to 1934. He then helped with cataloguing, photographing and arranging the exhibits for the International Exhibition of Chinese Art at the Royal Academy in London (1935–6; see China, People’s Republic of §XXI). This was followed during the next 18 months by visits to Beijing and Jingdezhen as a Universities China Committee Scholar to study Chinese ceramics. He returned to London in 1938 and became assistant keeper in the Department of Oriental Antiquities in the British Museum. In July 1940 he moved to Hong Kong to enter government service, where he died in 1941. He is best remembered for his pioneering work on Ming ceramics, Early Ming Wares of Ching-tê-chên.

Early Ming Wares of Ching-tê-chên (Beijing, 1938/R Hong Kong, 1970) ‘Yüeh Ware of the “Nine Rocks” Kiln’, Burlington Magazine, 73 (1938), pp. 257–62...

Article

Margaret Medley

(b Ash, Kent, July 28, 1844; d London, Dec 18, 1908).

English art historian. Trained in medicine, he became interested in the history of Chinese ceramics during his years as physician to the British embassy in Beijing (1868–1900). In 1891 he drafted a translation (pubd 1910) of Zhu Yan’s Tao shuo (‘Description of Chinese pottery and porcelain’, 1774), the first comprehensive account of Chinese ceramics written for connoisseurs by a Chinese critic. Bushell’s greatest achievement was his catalogue of the William T. Walters Collection in Baltimore, sumptuously published in ten folio volumes in 1896; its text, published as a single volume in 1899, is the earliest systematic study in English of Chinese ceramics in which the subject is treated chronologically and in which particular aspects such as reign marks, forms, technical matters and decorative motifs are considered separately. Bushell also translated a handwritten copy of Xiang Yuanbian’s Lidai mingci tupu (‘Illustrated description of the celebrated porcelain of different dynasties’, ...

Article

Kōzō Sasaki

[Tanomura Kōzō; Chikuden; Chikuden Rōho; Chikuden Sonmin; Kujō Senshi]

(b Takeda, Bungo Prov. [now Ōita Prefect.], Kyushu, 1777; d Osaka, 1835).

Japanese poet, painter and theorist. He was born into a family of physicians in service to the Oka clan of Bungo Province. He first studied medicine, but later became an instructor in Confucian studies at the clan school, the Yūgakukan. In 1801–2 Chikuden studied the verse of China’s Song period (960–1279) in Edo (now Tokyo). During this time he was also painting landscapes in the style of Dong Qichang, a painter of the Ming period (1368–1644). From 1805 to 1807 he continued his literary training in Kyoto, where he befriended Uragami Gyokudō and Okada Beisanjin, who were exponents of literati painting (Bunjinga or Nanga; see Japan §VI 4., (vi), (d)), and from this time he was determined to establish himself as a literati poet and painter.

Chikuden continued painting after his arrival in Kyoto, and his style became more experimental as a result of his contact both with Japanese painters who copied Chinese painting and woodblock-printed books and with original works by Chinese artists. He executed portraits of beautiful women (...