Asian Arts
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Asian Arts
Requests for Information

We particularly welcome letters with photographs of interesting or puzzling objects for which the letter-writer would like some information. If you have photographs you would like to have posted in this section, please send to: Asian Arts, 129 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe NM 87501 U.S.A. Fax is also available at (505) 983 7613. The photographs should be accompanied by a description of the object and what you know of its origins etc.
November 14, 1995: I am currently tracing the changes in Japanese sculptures of Kannon (Avalokitesvara) from the Nara to Kamakura periods for an undergraduate honors thesis. I hope to look at questions of patronage and how the portrayals of Kannon changed with the sects sponsoring their creation, what purpose the sculptures served in worship and how that worship changed through time, and so forth. Hopefully I will be able to tie the changes in sculptural trends to the changes in the way Kannon was portrayed in literature of the same time periods. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to look for answers to these questions (Please don't tell me Japan; I'm a poor undergrad and can't afford to get back there as soon as I'd like!)? I can read Japanese (albeit slowly and with a dictionary), so Japanese references are also welcome. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me!

November 14, 1995: Author's Query
For a book of historical fiction based in the 1960s and '70s in the Himalayas, I would like to interview people who have true stories of spiritual quests, exotica, adventure and political intrigue in south Asia. Please leave me your phone number and a good time to call. Thank you.

Broughton Coburn (author of Aama in America; A Pilgrimage of the Heart and Nepali Aama; Life Lessons of a Himalayan Woman, published by Anchor/Doubleday, May '95)

November 9, 1995: I would like to find out about an Indian artist named G.D.Paulraj. We received this picture as a wedding gift some thirty three years ago. It depicts two young girls in rice paddy stands guarding the rice crop. I would appreciate any help you can give me in learning more about this artist. Thank you.

May 22, 1995: I am looking for small provincial Korean Buddha statues. Can you tell me of any that you know of that are on the market?

Feb. 28, 1995: In my possession is a small Tibetan gilt metal figure of a figure astride a ram (left: download for a JPEG: 32K). I am puzzled by the iconography and would like to have any suggestions on the identity of the figure.

Mar. 16, 1995: I purchased the Chinese scroll painting on the left in Hong Kong; it may have come from Tibet. I do not know enough about the painting to accurately place or date it. Can anyone help to date the painting or explain its subject?

April 13th, 1995: I acquired these figures in Manila, Philippines approximately 20 years ago, the seller told me that they originated in Burma. They are approximately 28" in height, and are in excellent condition. A similar set was found in the National Museum in Canberra, Australia identified as "Mogalana and Sariputa, the two chief disciples of the Buddha." I would like feedback from anyone who has researched or catalogued this genre. I would also like to verify the identification, origin and age of these figures. I would like to read about the historical characters represented and their significance in Buddhist history.

Any suggestions on the origin/dating on this piece? I purchased it from an antique store in Phuket town , Phuket Is, Thailand in 1993, its origin was alluded to be Indonesian, no specific Island. Afghanistan, N. Burma, S. India have all been suggested as alternative locations of origin, with the tight weave, the mica chips woven in, the style of tools given, etc. as the reasoning for each possible origin. It is a Betel-nut/Tobbaco bag? The cloth (cotton) bag measures apprx. 12" long by 8" wide. The silver chains are 12" long. The gold colored beads are hollow-core with what appears to be a resin center, one looking copper-ish, the other silver with gold leaf. The tools all measure 4 1/2 " long and appear to be a medium grade silver (50-75%). Any suggestions or information would be appreciated.

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