SOAS University of London

SOAS Alumna Yichien Tsai Co-Curated a Special Exhibition and Sale on Japanese Ceramics with Robert Bradlow in Asian Art Week

17 November 2021
SOAS Alumna Yichien Tsai Co-Curated a Special Exhibition and Sale on Japanese Ceramics with Robert Bradlow in Asian Art Week

Graduated with a BA from SOAS in 2013, the Taiwanese private collector Yichien Tsai manages the gallery Mujintang, which specializes in Chinese export porcelains. This year, Tsai collaborated with Mr. Robert Bradlow, the former director of Sotheby’s London and head of their Chinese department, to co-curate an online special exhibition and sale “Reflecting Nature: 17th Century Chinese Ceramics for The Japanese Market: Kosometsuke & Koake”. A two-day pop-up viewing was held on 30th and 31st Oct at St. James, as part of Asian Art in London. Prof. Shane McCausland led a viewing tour for students and alumni from the history of art and archaeology department.

Kosometsuke refers to old (ko), blue and white (sometsuke) Chinese wares made for the Japanese market at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi in the early 17th century, from the Tianqi period (1621-1627) of the Ming dynasty. These blue and white wares captured the imagination of the Japanese and were extensively used in the tea ceremony and kaiseki cuisine. Cultural, political, and economic factors in Japan, and the later Manchurian establishment of Qing dynasty in China, are all at play in the rise and fall of Kosometsuke wares. For their intriguing origin and historical significance, recently there has been an increased interest in Kosemtsuke wares in both academic research and auction markets. Presenting 23 selected pieces, this exhibition offers an overview of the charming variation of Kosometsuke wares, in addition to illustrating the trading and cultural outlook of East Asia in the 17th century.

SOAS Alumna Yichien Tsai Co-Curated a Special Exhibition and Sale on Japanese Ceramics with Robert Bradlow in Asian Art Week