"There are many ways to find beauty, one lies within our own perception."



LATEST NEWS

Galerie Kommoss has been selected as Asian Art Society member!

We are thrilled to inform you that Galerie Kommoss has been selected as a member of the Asian Art Society. The Asian Art Society is a group of some of the world's leading dealers in Asian Art. To ensure highest standards, gallery membership is by invitation only and determined by a selection committee of influential gallerists, such as Gregg Baker, Christophe Hioco, and Renaud Montméat. We are feeling grateful, proud and honored for their approval and the trust the colleagues have placed in us as one of their youngest members.

The society issues a monthly online catalog listing high quality works of Asian art that have been thoroughly vetted by the selected members, who are the in-house experts. There is no cost to subscribe and we strongly recommend you to sign up. Follow them on Instagram!

Book recommendation: Memorial Landscapes. World Images East and West

Edited by: Uwe Fleckner, Yih-Fen Hua and Shai-Shu Tzeng. Warburg International Seminar, Mnemosyne, Vol. 6, De Gruyter 2020.

As an everyday fact and an object of artistic design, landscape is a central category of human experience. Political, social, cartographic, and economic, but also philosophical and aesthetic references define historically changing concepts of landscape, which are considered here from both a Western and Asian perspective.

One of the featured articles is written by Dr. Fabian A. Kommoß about the painting scroll "Dream Journey over Xiao Xiang" from the Tokyo National Museum and its historical implications of being a painterly expression of Zen Buddhist religious experiences of reality and illusionism. Get your copy here!

Galerie Kommoss is taking part in Civilisations - Art in Brussels

For decades, the Sablon district of Brussels has been host to numerous art events, as well serving as a well-recognized meeting place for collectors and dealers. “CIVILISATIONS – Art in Brussels” is a fresh concept arising from previous events and focusing on the ever evolving eclectic taste of our international clients and collectors. The fair also aims to seal the continuity of our important Sablon heritage, known worldwide as a the district of art and antiques. Ideally located in the magnificent historical building of Balthasar in Place du Grand Sablon, CIVILISATIONS will take place from the 20th to the 23rd of January 2022. Watch the latest catalog here. More information coming soon!



HIGHLIGHTS

Mochizuki Gyokkei (1874-1938): Pair of Six-panel Screens with Cranes

A striking pair of six-panel folding screens by Mochizuki Gyokkei showing a flock of cranes. Together the two screens disclose a gorgeous seven-meter wide composition of interacting individuals, painted in ink and mineral colors on a glittering gold background. Dated to 1906, Dr. Fabian Kommoss has discovered that the screens are bearing some iconic models of cranes which were used by Gyokkei in a later work, commissioned by the imperial family in 1912. By moving the Shōbi-kan pavilion as a present from the imperial palace to the gardens of the Heian Shrine in Kyōto, Gyokkei was asked as son of Mochizuki Gyokusen (1834-1913) - an official painter for the imperial household - to create a new wall design. The Heian shrine was erected to commemorate the 1100 anniversary of the foundation of the capital Heian-kyō (Kyōto). What seems to be more appropriate for this occasion than a flock cranes, an animal which is believed in East Asia to live 1000 years!

Large Shintō or Yamabushi Pilgrim Mask of the Beshimi Type

This early 19th-century mask is the only known extant example of a large ceremonial pilgrim or hanging mask of the beshimi type. Beshimi is some sort of Tengu who protects others from evil spirits and demons. His name refers to his firmly shut mouth, that can be read as a sign of his inner determination. Clues about the function of this mask gives us a woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige from his series 'The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō' from 1832/1833. In the 12th sheet of his series, Hiroshige is depicting travelers who are approaching the town of Numazu near Mt. Fuji, just as the full moon arises at the horizon. One of the travelers, however, is a pilgrim, possibly journeying to (or returning from) Kompira Shrine on Shikoku Island. The pilgrim is dressed in white and carrying a portable shrine on his back that has been adorned with a large Tengu mask, believed to offer talismanic protection.

Tanba Storage Jar for Japanese Pepper (sanshō)

Extremely rare early Edo-period storage jar from Sasayama in today’s Hyōgo prefecture. With its sharp-angled shoulders, its broad, flat base and slightly narrowed body, this jar illustrates a Japanese type of storage jars that was invented by Tanba potters for the promotion and export for one of the local famous goods, known as asakura sanshō, or “Japanese pepper”. Asakura sanshō (Zanthoxylum piperitum var. inerme) is a local variation of common Japanese pepper, that is closely related to Chinese Szechuan pepper. However, asakura sanshō only grew wildly in the mountains of the Hyōgo prefecture and gained popularity throughout Japan for its fresh and bright aroma since the late 16th century. Keeping the dried spice fresh in order to preserve its delicate aroma was not an easy task within the humid climate of the Japanese archipelago. That explains the distinct shape of this type of jars. They have very thick walls to protect the stored goods from humidity and the narrowed shape makes it easier to lift the heavy jars securely with both hands.

Hayakawa Shōkosai III (1864-1922): Tall Rattan and Bamboo Flower Basket with Handle

Tall, oval shaped bamboo flower basket for large flower arrangements made by Hayakawa Shōkosai III. Using a classic Chinese model of bamboo basketry,  Shōkosai III added some significant, more informal, Japanese details by using natural, intertwined bamboo stems. The Hayakawa family is regarded as the founding fathers of modern bamboo art in Japan, since Hayakawa Shōkosai I (1815-1897) is said to be the first one who started to sign his works in 1856. His fifth son, Shōkosai III, followed the footsteps of succeeding the family business due to the premature death of his elder brother, Shōkosai II, in 1905. Specialists agree, that Shōkosai III played possibly the most important role in "broadening the expressive capabilities of bamboo, and departed much further than his father from Chinese models." (Earle 2018, 17) With his flexible organic style he exerted an immense influence on later bamboo art. The basket is dated to Autumn 1912.

Nabeshima Dish with Court Carriage under a Cherry Tree

Hizen ware, Nabeshima type porcelain dish with court carriage under a cherry tree. Nabeshima ware is a high-quality porcelain from Hizen. It was produced by the similar-named Nabeshima clan in Okawachi near Arita between 1700 and late 19th c., either for their own use or as precious presents. The dish is of exceptional quality with fine brush details in the cobalt blue underglaze painting. There is an old Japanese gold lacquer repair to a glaze chip at the rim, which shows the high appreciation of this piece by its former owner. The plate was most possibly part of a set of which one piece is known to be in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (#93.3.16). The plates can be dated to 1770-1800 and was originally owned by Captain Frank Brinkley, Tokyo. The set was sold to Charles Stewart Smith in New York who donated one piece in 1893 to the MET.