Conversations: Asian Influences

National Building Museum Auditorium

Lectures are complimentary with paid attendance


Thursday, April 26, 1:30 pm    

One Thousand Years of Porcelain: The Universal Influence of the Imperial Porcelain Capital of China

Enjoy a lively discussion with Shoji Satake, Director of the West Virginia University China Ceramics Program. Professor Satake’s research is intertwined with the Asian Ceramics of both Japan and China. He has conducted workshops and exhibits nationally and internationally.


Friday, April 27, 10:30 am   

The Smithsonian’s Historic Collections from Taiwan and Taiwan’s Dynamic Crafts Today

Noted Smithsonian researchers Paul Michael Taylor, Jared M. Koller, and Robert Pontsioen discuss The Smithsonian’s Historic Collections from Taiwan and Taiwan’s Dynamic Crafts Today. The Forum will also introduce the Taiwanese artisans who will demonstrate bamboo weaving and pottery making during the show, as well as the exhibition of Taiwan craft on exhibit in the Auditorium throughout the show.


Friday, April 27, 1:30 pm   

Flowers Suspended in Emptiness: the Beauty of Ikebana in Time

Unlike the other traditional arts that came into being during the fifteenth century in Japan, ikebana has continually changed throughout the centuries, and is today practiced in over 3,000 different schools. At its heart, however, ikebana has always embodied kuu kan no bi, “the beauty of space.” Join St. Mary’s College of Maryland Professor Bruce Wilson as he walks us through this panorama of continuity and change using several of his own arrangements as illustrations


Friday, April 27 3:00 pm  

Tiny Trees, Big Stories, Living Arts


Living for tens and sometimes hundreds of years, bonsai and penjing – single trees or forest plantings in pots or trays –  all have a story. Author Ann McClellan brings these tales to life, highlighting world famous examples from the U.S. National Arboretum.


Saturday, April 28, 1:30 pm   

Japanese Woodblock Prints and Painting


Pictures of the floating world called Ukio-e are a genre of Japanese art. Listen to University of Pennsylvania Professor Julie Nelson Davis explain this beautiful form that flourished from the 17th to 19th centuries. The expressive images of female beauties, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, folk tales, and landscapes will fascinate you.

Sunday, April 29, 1:30 pm   

Unbelievable! Japanese Kimono Textile Crafts


Textile production continues to be a revered craft in Japan with a myriad of techniques used to create breathtakingly beautiful fabrics. Thanks to skilled artisans, kimonos often rise to the level of art. Japanese textile scholar Ann Marie Moeller will discuss several of the labor-intensive textile crafts that are still used to make modern kimonos and that have also inspired American textile craftspeople to create unique interpretations of this Asian aesthetic.