Collecting, Collections and Collectors:
Talk & Q&A with Asian Art in London
Join us for an evening talk exploring cultures of collecting, collections and collectors in the world of Japanese art and design as part of the 25th-anniversary celebrations of Asian Art in London.
The event includes three short presentations by esteemed Japan-specialist collectors and curators followed by an audience Q&A chaired by Japan House London’s Programming Director Simon Wright.
Asian Art in London director Simon Pilling discusses the development of collecting Japanese artwork outside Japan – the process and the motivation – focusing on Japanese lacquerware, one of Japan’s best-known and most long-standing crafts.
Yamada Masami, Curator for Japan in the Asian Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum explores the principles behind the V&A's extensive collections of Japanese art and design shining a spotlight on several recently acquired contemporary pieces.
Finally, Rosemary Bandini looks at notable collectors of netsuke throughout history. Small toggles used to suspend items from an obi sash, worn as part of a Japanese men’s ensemble from the 17th century onwards, netsuke and related accessories have evolved from their utilitarian origins into objects of high art, highly sought after by collectors all over the world.
The talk accompanies the display The Art of Collecting: Japan, held in partnership with Asian Art in London.
The event in the Hall at Japan House is followed by a drinks reception. Guests can also enjoy an exclusive late-night visit to The Art of Collecting: Japan display and the Gallery exhibition The Carpenters’ Line: Woodworking Heritage in Hida Takayama until 21:00 (last gallery entry is 20:30).
About the Speakers
Rosemary Bandini has been involved in the Japanese art world for over 40 years and now deals privately, specializing in netsuke and sagemono. She has written several books on the subject and in 2013 curated the loan exhibition In a Nutshell held at the Embassy of Japan in London. She has organized three netsuke conventions for the International Netsuke Society, where she is a member of the board. She is also chairperson of the European Chapter of the INS and edits its biannual review, Euronetsuke. She is also a member of the committee of Association Franco-Japonaise and a contributor to its quarterly publication, Bulletin.
Simon Pilling deals in fine Japanese Art from pre-modern times to contemporary. Virtually all his stock is sourced directly in Japan where, through regular travel, he has developed a trusted network of Japanese artists and dealers. Particular emphasis is placed on 20th-century artistic development and the work of contemporary artists, whose dedication ensures the continuation of Japan’s rich artistic tradition. His primary focus, and passion, relates to urushi (Japanese lacquer), once described as “the most perfect and finest objects ever issued from the hand of man” (Louis Gonse, L'Art Japonais, 1900).
Yamada Masami is Curator for Japan in the Asian Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Her responsibilities include Japanese netsuke, lacquerware and ukiyo-e woodblock prints. She contributed extensively to the organization of the V&A’s major exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk (2020) and the publication of the accompanying book. Her current area of research is Japanese contemporary craft and design, particularly the work of contemporary urushi (lacquer) makers.
About Asian Art in London
Asian Art in London is an annual programme that promotes London as a centre of excellence in the arts of Asia. Each October/November in and around Central London an intensive programme of specialised exhibitions, auctions and lectures is offered by its Participants – respected dealers, major auction houses and cultural institutions specializing in Asian Art. Visit the Asian Art in London website for more information and to view the 2022 guidebook.