The Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas is kicking off 2021 in a bold fashion with three exhibitions showcasing the powerful contemporary works of a Texas-based Asian woman artist, recent works by Japanese women ceramicists, and an exploration of one of the most iconic gods in Hindu culture.
Headlining the trio is Divine Spark, the second offering of the multi-year Texas Asian Women Artists exhibition series, which is dedicated to making visible the work of emerging and established Texas-based contemporary Asian women artists.
For her first solo exhibition at the Crow Museum, Dallas-based artist Kana Harada has created several new works during this time of global pandemic that blend messages of hope and positivity with visual innovations that create an imaginative universe of awe, wonder, and intimacy. Divine Spark will be on view Jan. 30-Sept. 5, 2021, at the Crow Museum, located in the Dallas Arts District at 2010 Flora St.
The two other exhibitions are Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists, which features stunning works by living Japanese women ceramic artists from the collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, and Vishnu: Across Time and Space, from the museum’s vast collection. These two exhibitions also open Jan. 30. Dr. Jacqueline Chao, the Crow Museum’s senior curator of Asian art, is the curator of all three exhibitions.
“For her first solo exhibition at the Crow Museum, Kana Harada has created a delicate and immersive world for us to explore – we are her guests in her heavenly garden.”Dr. Jacqueline Chao
“For nearly a year, our nation and world have faced their most difficult times, so we’re delighted to enter 2021 with an array of exhibitions that celebrate the promise of the coming year – from the exquisite works of a remarkably talented Texas artist and Japanese ceramicists, to a revival of the timeless Vishnu, who looks to restore balance during a period of upheaval,” said Amy Lewis Hofland, senior director of the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas.
The Texas Asian Women Artists Series is a landmark multi-year series of exhibitions that the Crow Museum announced in January 2020 to honor the cultural traditions of Asia with new contemporary voices from Texas-based women artists. The artists presented in these exhibitions focus on contemporary issues in Texas and abroad, giving voice to multifaceted, humanized stories of identity, place, tradition, and modernity.
DIVINE SPARK (Open through Sept. 5, 2021)
Divine Spark, which features new works created by Dallas-based artist Kana Harada during this time of a global pandemic, embodies the artist’s wishes for a peaceful and bright future for all. In this exhibition, she continues to push sculpture, foam, and acrylic, and watercolor painting to new heights in her practice.
Using vivid colors and intricate patterns formed with an elegant handmade touch, Harada’s titles of her works reflect newborn optimism – Fearless Hope, Freshly Picked, Home Sweet Home, Love Letter from the Future, Ingrained, Moon Kissed, and the exhibition’s namesake, Divine Spark.
“For her first solo exhibition at the Crow Museum, Kana Harada has created a delicate and immersive world for us to explore – we are her guests in her heavenly garden,” said Dr. Chao. “Consisting largely of nature-inspired black foam sculptures with intimate moments of colorful painted details, intricate paper cuts, and bright acrylic and watercolor paintings, she expresses the extraordinary that can be found in the ordinary, and the light that can always be found in the dark.”
Born in Tokyo, Kana Harada studied graphic design, Japanese fine art and drawing at Ochanomizu School of Fine Arts in Tokyo, Japan. Her artwork has been exhibited in such venues as the Amon Carter Museum; Nasher Sculpture Center; The Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont; and The Old Jail Art Center, Albany; as well as in various venues throughout the state of Texas, and in New York and Tokyo. She lives and works in Dallas.
BORN OF FIRE: CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE WOMEN CERAMIC ARTISTS
Women have traditionally played only a minor role in Japan’s long history in clay. Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists features a selection of works by living, emerging, and internationally established Japanese women ceramic artists.
Pioneering new forms and technical and aesthetic innovations in the medium, these remarkable artists are breaking barriers and forging new ways of creating and thinking about ceramics that reflect changes occurring in contemporary Japanese art and society. The works express the influence of nature, innovations in ceramic-making techniques, and a diverse array of practices.
This exhibition draws from the collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, who have amassed an important encyclopedic collection of major Japanese modern and contemporary ceramics. Their collection of more than 1,000 works is the largest public or private assemblage of contemporary Japanese ceramics outside of Japan.
VISHNU: ACROSS TIME AND SPACE
Vishnu: Across Time and Space focuses on Vishnu, one of the most powerful and popular gods in the Hindu pantheon. Vishnu’s followers celebrate him as the Preserver and for his ability to restore the cosmic balance of the universe.
Vishnu can be recognized in Hindu art by the objects he carries. He has two favorite weapons: the chakra, which is depicted as either a razor-sharp discus or a spoked wheel, and the mace, which is a kind of club. He also carries a lotus flower or bud, and his conch shell, which he blows like a trumpet. Vishnu often flies down from heaven on Garuda, who is part-man, part-eagle, and he is sometimes accompanied by his female consort Lakshmi, goddess of fortune.
For worshippers of Vishnu, Vishnu is omnipresent and omnipotent; he has every form and no form. In order to save the world from peril, Vishnu descends to earth in a limited concrete body called an avatar. The different avatars are in fact Vishnu, but they represent specific aspects of the god. Avatars are Vishnu’s signature method of action; because of them, he is a god of many faces and personalities.
The artistic and visual representations of Vishnu change in style and appearance across time and place, and may look completely different depending on the context. Through a selection of works of art from the museum’s collection, guests are invited to contemplate the multiple facets of this deity.
The Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas is open Tuesdays-Sundays (11 a.m.-5 p.m.). The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission is free. The museum is located downtown at 2010 Flora St., Dallas, Texas, 75201. For more information, please go to crowmuseum.org or call 214-979-6430.
Face coverings are required, and social distancing of at least 6 feet is in effect. For visitors who may have forgotten to bring a face covering, masks are available at the entrance. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the museum, and museum staff will practice heightened cleaning procedures throughout the day.
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