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A one-day symposium considering the two artists of Lotus Moon and Nandina Staff, open to the general public and scholars alike. The symposium will look at the work of artists Ōtagaki Rengetsu and Nakahara Nantenbō from multiple perspectives, including Japanese Buddhism, the materiality and functions of the work, the role of literature, and the aesthetics of calligraphy. Speakers include Paul Berry (independent scholar, Kyoto, Japan), Patricia Graham (University of Kansas, Center for East Asian Studies), Ray Kass (artist and collector, Christiansburg, VA), Melissa McCormick (Harvard University), and Morgan Pitelka (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

The symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is required as space is limited.

This event is made possible by the Ackland’s Ruth and Sherman Lee Fund for Asian Art and the Carolina Asia Center.


Image Credit:

Left to right: Ōtagaki Rengetsu, Japanese, 1791-1875, Waka Poem: “The Blood…” (detail), early 1860s, hanging scroll; ink, color, and tarnished silver flakes on textured paper, mounted, overall: 55 × 12 1/4 in. (139.7 × 31.1 cm), Gift of Ray Kass ’67 (’69 MFA) and Jerrie Pike in honor of Burl Ives, 2022.18.13; Nakahara Nantenbō, Japanese, 1839-1925, Staff, with Inscription: “Speak – Nantenbo! …” (detail), 1920, hanging scroll; ink on paper, mounted, overall: 81 1/8 × 19 11/16 in. (206.1 × 50 cm), Gift of Ray Kass ’67 (’69 MFA) and Jerrie Pike in honor of Mountain Lake Symposium and Workshop, 2022.18.22



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