Asian Tribal Art - Cast Iron Dragon Okimono, Japan

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Dragon okimono
Japan
Cast iron, remnants of gilding and green paint
Mid 20th century
5.5" (14 cm) high by 6" (15.2 cm) wide

Last year, a small group of cast iron animals was found in a burlap bag in a rural peddler's one-room home in Southwest China. Because of the language barrier, no explanation was provided, but their forms are obviously influenced by a mid-century aesthetic. In a few instances, there are multiple iterations of one animal showing increasing abstraction, as if the artist or studio was exploring the form over time. They may be representations of the zodiac and were made in Japan as there is a kanji on several of them, as can be seen in the photo above on the tail as it crosses the neck in the above photo.
#9550

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