What's Happening in Asian Art...: Asian Art News

Asia Week New York Returns March 11-20, 2021

February 26, 2021

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), Fujiwara Yasumasa Plays the Flute by Moonlight, ca. 1883, woodblock printed triptych, 14 1/8 by 28 1/2 in., 36 by 72.4 cm. Scholten Japanese Art

Asia Week New York is almost here.  We are very excited to present the 12th annual Asia Week New York, which continues to delight collectors and connoisseurs with its spectacular trove of Asian works of art–both ancient and contemporary– spanning the Far East and South Asia.  Opening on March 11th through March 20th, the 29 international galleries will present their exhibitions virtually and by-appointment, with six auction houses–Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage, iGavel, and Sotheby’s mounting their respective sales.

Says Asia Week New York chairman Katherine Martin: “We are very pleased to have a significant number of participants this year. Up until the pandemic, Asia Week New York focused our energies on the March event, and we also supported our exhibitors who participated in the smaller September Asia Week schedule. However, the ‘new normal’ prompted us to consider a new direction, so we decided to extend membership to dealers, auction houses and museums on an annual basis, which allows us to provide additional and sustained outreach through our website and social media platforms as well as a program of virtual panel discussions throughout the year.”

This year the wonderful and varied works at Asia Week New York’s participants can be viewed in an online exhibition featuring all 29 galleries and highlights from the sales at the six auction houses. 13 gallery exhibitions and viewings at five auction houses are open by-appointment and free to the public.  Each reveals the rarest and finest examples of Asian ceramics, paintings, prints, textiles, sculpture, jewelry, bronzes, representing artistry, ingenuity and imagination from every time period and corner of Asia.

Organized by category, here is a round-up of the highlights at the galleries:

Ancient and/or Contemporary Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art

Among the offerings at Art Passages is A Bird and Blossoms, a Safavid period tile, circa 17th century. Richly illustrated with a scene depicting a multi-colored bird in flight approaching a blossoming branch and a cypress tree, this was part of a larger composition inspired by the natural world and used to decorate the walls of palaces and houses of the nobles in Isfahan, an Iranian city known for its Perso–Islamic architecture, grand boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, tiled mosques, and minarets. Online only

Prahlad Bubbar will present a series of outstanding works from the Persian, Indian and Himalayan worlds, connected to the theme of his exhibition, The Abundance of Nature, which reflects the innate generosity and regenerative power of nature, a quiet observer in all these works. Krishna, Radha and Yamunaji Dance in the Lotus Ponds of the Yamuna–a rare and remarkable pichhvai (devotional Indian paintings) from Kota or Nathdwara– illustrates a masterful interpretation on textile of Krishna playing his magical flute in tribhanga pose amongst a web of lotus blossoms. Online only

Among the notable Indian paintings at Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch Ltd, is Rustam before Kai Kavus having knocked down Tus, Folio from a Shahnama, circa 1610, a rare survivor from the court of Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1571 – 1627), the fifth sultan of Bijapur, who was a great patron of music and painting. The extraordinary quality of the paper used is incredibly thin, refined and burnished and is in near impeccable condition. The lavish use of gold leaf is one of the hallmarks of painting in the Deccan and gives us a glimpse into the confident opulence of the world of the Bijapur court under the Adil Shai sultans. Online only

This rare and exquisite 17th century gilt copper and blue champlevé enamel container or pandan, Mughal, from North India–featured at Francesca Galloway–was intended for the storage of betel nut and belongs to a group of four gilt copper enameled pandans to survive from this period. Only the most skilled craftsmen with substantial knowledge of the highly complex firing processes, were able to produce enameled objects. Two of the pandans from this group are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum and in the Jagdish and Kamala Mittal Museum and the third is now available at Francesca Galloway. Online only

Uma Parvati
Uma (Parvati), South India, Tamil Nadu, Chola period, 11th-12th century, Copper alloy, 15 x 8.5 in. (38.1 x 21.59 cm.), Kapoor Galleries Inc.

Uma (Parvati) stands guard at Kapoor Galleries. This striking 11th-12th century Chola bronze deity from Tamil Nadu, is representative of the most important of South Indian Hindu temple images; it is part of a 'Somaskanda' image which describes the divine family constituted by Shiva, Parvati and Skanda. The present figure of Parvati, or ‘Uma’ in the native language of Tamil Nadu, seated in the posture of royal ease, belonged to a group of three portable bronze images essential to worship within each South Indian temple. The bronze figure is also processional, as indicated by the holes fit for poles enabling worshippers to carry the divine figures into the streets for all to experience darshan. 34 East 67th Street, for gallery hours, phone 212-794-2300

Thomas Murray presents an early 19th/early 20th century Nuo Mask of a Wise Leader, from southwest China.  Rooted in a shamanic/animistic tradition dating back thousands of years and preserved in remote mountains by the tribal minorities of Southwest China, the dramas feature heroic battles between the forces of good and evil and serve as a means to drive out devils and malevolent ghosts. This mask is thought to capture the character of a wise but strong leader; it comes from an old French collection and is one of the finest known. Online only

At Susan Ollemans’ exhibition, Recent Acquisitions of Asian Jewelry 8-19th century, a spectacular 19th century gold pectoral from Sumba, Indonesia stands out among her stunning collection of jewelry and adornments. Made from a single rod of gold, it was hammered out into two triangular flanges. This piece would have been part of a nobleman’s treasury and exposed to daylight only for ritual purposes and under the guidance of a priest. Online only

Route Map of Experience, by Jayashree Chakravarty at Akar Prakar is a monumental work in two parts, one measuring 10.5 ½’ x 41’ and the other 10.5’ x 14.5’.   Chakravarty creates immersive painted installations, comprising great, supple, and shape-shifting walls of rice paper, tissues, fabric and brown paper. In them, she arrests fleeting moments from the flux of experience. This is space where she can hold conversations with her inner self. As the eyes get used to this monumental twilight landscape, the details begin to reveal themselves. It’s as if some natural formations were playing with your vision in the semi-darkness and creating fantastic images in your mind’s eye. Online only

Made as a unique commission for a person of importance and taste, this 17th century Khatamkari dagger from the Ottoman Empire is one of the rarities on view at Runjeet Singh.  The carved wooden handle and case is inlaid with gold, mother of pearl, ebony and ivory. Khatamkari refers to a technique that originated in Persia, most probably Shiraz and Isfahan, and travelled throughout the Middle East and India. Online only

Ancient and/or Contemporary Chinese Art   

Spring 2021 Exhibition of Chinese Porcelains and Works of Art, at Ralph M. Chait Galleries, will feature a magnificent Chinese green porcelain bowl with the Imperial mark–a very rare type and usually dated toward the beginning of the Kangxi reign. The decorative motif of eight sacred horses leaping over waves strewn with precious things originates from the early Ming dynasty. The vibrant colors combined with this classic decoration was a bold artistic expression of the Kangxi period in the pages of Chinese history. 16 East 52nd Street,

10th floor, for gallery hours, phone 212-397-2818

Hongmu Stools
A pair of hongmu square stools, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, early 18th century, height 47 cm / 18 1/2 in, width 55.6 cm / 21 7/8 in, depth 55.6 cm / 21 7/8 in. Nicholas Grindley LLC

A pair of early 18th century hongmu square stools, from the Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, is among the offerings at Nicholas Grindley LLC.  What is particularly interesting about these stools, especially when they survive in pairs, is their scale. They are rarely 22 inches square, making them not only particularly useful as end tables in a domestic setting, but also strong enough to stand on their own in a museum installation. Online only

On view at Ink Studio, is Almost Full Moon, by Peng Kanglong, a literati-recluse artist who paints in the traditional landscape and flower genres and is considered the singular artist of modern times. His major stylistic influences include the 17th century Monk artists Shitao and Kuncan, as well as the Modern landscape master Huang Binghong. In classical Chinese painting there are three major subjects—the figure (including portraiture), landscape, and plants and flowers. Kanglong’s painting epitomizes the best in his category. Online only

Among European admirers of Asian art was the incomparable Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966). While conversant with Chinese painting, Giacometti might not have known that his signature cast-bronze sculptures with surfaces appearing rough, crusty, and eroded, the human and animal forms attenuated, their limbs stretched thin and spindly, had predecessors in the ancient art of China. From the standpoint of Asian art specialists, the oxen featured in Earthly Agendas at Kaikodo LLC– are clear examples of a Han period regional artistic norm. Presently they serve as appropriate symbols of this lunar year, advancing under the spell of the metal ox. Online only

A veritable “Treasure Box” of ancient objects deserves attention in Ceramics and Works of Art from China, Japan and Korea, the exhibition at Zetterquist Galleries. Housed in this magnificent 18th century scholar’s objects box are relics dating from the Shang to Ming Dynasties.  With a lid and two doors, it is constructed of huanghuali with recessed white copper hardware, and each tray and drawer has been custom-fitted for 13 ancient gilt and silvered bronze, stone and porcelain objects.  In the left drawer sits a rare revolving porcelain stem-cup with Qingbai glaze from the Yuan Dynasty, a 12th -13th century Cambodian bronze necklace is in the top drawer and a Tang Dynasty gilt and silvered lotus-shaped chariot hubcap beckons from the bottom drawer. 3 East 66th Street 2B, by appointment

Ancient and/or Contemporary Japanese Art

In the foothills of the mountains, Atagoyama 1932; Fall and Summer is one of several woodblock prints on view at The Art of Japan. This print depicts Fall and Summer views of Mt. Fuji. Merely by altering pigments, baren techniques and adding a block to create the effect of rain, the publisher and artist worked together to create two completely different moods using essentially the same blocks and the same subject. Although these designs were published in an edition of 200, they have become scarce, and because of the large format, they are difficult to find in fine condition. Online only

Chambers Fine Art, which specializes in Asian contemporary works of art, turns its attention to a young Japanese artist for its return to Asia Week New York. In Egami Etsu: Facebook a single artist show debuts the work of Egami Etsu, the 26-year old Japanese artist, who is in New York on an artist residency program sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Cultural Affairs. 55 East 11th Street, by appointment only

Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd., will present Erosion, a ceramic work by Shingu Sayaka, a young emerging ceramist, in the exhibition, The Passage of Time.  Internationally recognized for her ceramic flower series, her work represents transience, fleetingness and immortality. 18 East 64th Street, by appointment

Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints is presenting Chiura Obata (1885-1975): Woodblock Prints and Paintings. One of the highlights in this single artist exhibition is Evening Glow at Mono Lake, from Mono Mills (1930), one of the finest designs from the “World Landscape Series: America”, the ground-breaking effort which represents the apogee of woodblock printing in the 20th century. Obata collaborated with the Japanese publisher Takamizawa, who employed more than 32 carvers and 40 printers for eighteen months for this project. Each of the finished prints in the series required between 120 and 205 separate hand printings, and some required 15 to 20 blocks just to replicate a single brushstroke. Although a professor at Berkeley, in 1942 Obata and his family were incarcerated at the Topaz internment camp, where he then opened an art school for fellow internees. His colleagues at Berkeley were able to preserve many of his artworks; he returned to teaching there in 1945. Online only

Toto ryogoku yusen no zu (View of pleasure boats at Ryogoku, the Eastern capital), a polychrome triptych woodcut by Utagawa Hiroshige, is one of the woodblock prints available at Hara Shobo. It’s a traditional scene depicting pleasure boats on the Sumida River with people gathering to celebrate beginning of summer and view fireworks from the Ryogoku Bridge, on the riverbank of the Sumida River. Online only

Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865): His World Revisited is the single artist exhibition at Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art, which showcases A Tipsy Courtesan from Fukagawa, from the series: Three Fashionable Tipplers, signed Gototei Kunisada. This very lively and expressive woodblock print portrays a hard-drinking Fukagawa geisha drinking wine from a crystal goblet with a cup of sake ready in the other. She can indulge in alcohol for seven days and nights without ill effect, and once drank a total of one hundred shots and one hundred “bull’s eyes” in five days, earning her the title of itagashira, given the highest-ranking women in the local argot. 17 East 76th Street, 3rd Floor, by appointment

Master of an enormous range of glazes, Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959) produced superb functional vessels and tableware in stoneware and porcelain that were initially created for his celebrated and exclusive eating club in Tokyo. Today, globally, Rosanjin, whose work will be on view in the exhibition–Tradition Redefined: Rosanjin and His Rivals–at Joan B Mirviss LTD., is the best-known Japanese ceramist of the twentieth century. This powerful vessel of 1955 flaunts Rosanjin’s genius for imbuing a classical form with a striking sense of modernity–– in terms of form, with the thick rising neck, texture, with the irregular rippling combed lines and surface patterning, with the flung splashes of mottled glaze. 39 East 78th Street, 4th floor, by appointment

One of the most recent works that Ōsumi Yukie has produced, Araiso, or ‘Rough Shore’ on view at Onishi Gallery references the artist’s signature motif: the ceaseless movement of nature. Ōsumi employs a centuries-old technique known as nunomezōgan, or ‘textile imprint inlay’ in which the surface of the object is incised with a fine chisel, then inlaid with gold and lead. 521 West 26th Street, by appointment

One of the highlights in On the Vanguard: Meiji Period Woodblock Prints, the exhibition at Scholten Japanese Art is Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s masterpiece triptych, Fujiwara Yasumasa Plays the Flute by Moonlight, ca. 1883, easily the artist’s most famous work and one of the most memorable designs from the entire genre of Japanese woodblock prints. It illustrates a dramatic kabuki scene with the famous court musician, Fujiwara Yasumasa (958-1036), playing his flute while passing under a moonlit sky dramatically streaked with dark clouds. ‘The Flute Player’- as he is known, is apparently unaware that his outlaw brother, Kidomaru, is creeping up behind him with the intention of robbing him of his robes but is instead mesmerized by the Yasumasa’s music and leaves his brother unharmed. 145 West 58th Street, Suite 6D, by appointment

Thomsen Gallery will feature a solo exhibition of 10 new works by the Kyoto lacquer artist Yoshio Okada (b. 1977). The exhibition is centered around two series: “Celestial Phenomena” and “Jellyfish.”  Ocean creatures resembling multiple moons reflected on the surface of the night sea inspired Okada to create “Jellyfish.” An immersive sense of depth is achieved by executing the decoration in two layers.  Okada uses meticulous processes to achieve the lightest and most evanescent of visual effects. The resulting works are compelling fusions of time-honored skills with contemporary sensibility. 9 East 63rd Street 2nd floor, by appointment

This Fallen Pine Needles basket, made from madake, bamboo and rattan, is one of the intricately woven bamboo baskets featured at TAI Modern. Creating complex details and a beautiful sense of depth, artist Monden Yuichi employs a technique he inherited from his father by using long, thin strips of bamboo intertwined in seemingly random layers. To help achieve the tightness of the weave in this piece, Yuichi used a tool he fashioned from the rib of a discarded umbrella. Online only

Gozu Tennō a menacing Buddhist deity with hair rising up like flames and two bull horns emerging from its head, stands guard at Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art. In Japan, Gozu Tennō, known as “Ox Head Heavenly King,” was thought to quell epidemics and has been worshipped since the Heian period. The sculpture is exceedingly unusual as it lacks the bull’s head that is commonly perched atop the deity’s human head. Online only

Kokon Biannual: Spring 2021 at Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts, will present an appropriately titled Landscape, an ink-on-paper hanging scroll, by Kano Motonobu (1476-1559) from the Muromachi-Momoyama period, 15th-16th century. This beautiful landscape painting is a recent and exciting discovery. Motonobu was a talented and politically savvy painter who played an essential role in the success of the Kano school of painters. 17 East 71st Street #4, by appointment

Ancient and Contemporary Korean Art

This elegant, yet simple, late 19th century inkstone case, or Yeonsang, at HK Art & Antiques LLC, is a superb example of the wood furniture used in a Sarangbang or scholar’s study.  In the Joseon Dynasty, the study was a multifunctional room in the men’s quarters of an upper-class home. Made of persimmon wood, this inkstone case was used to store important scholar’s objects: inkstone, ink stick, brush, and paper, known collectively as the Four Friends. 49 East 78th Street, by appointment only

For gallery hours and auction schedules visit: www.asiaweekny.com

Asia Week New York Presents "Transported by Art" February 24, 5:00 p.m. EST

February 19, 2021

Chinese Export Watercolor of Junk, 19th Century, Courtesy of iGavel Auctions

New York: Who better to explain the harrowing twists and turns of transporting a precious work of art to its final destination than a team of art dealers, collectors and transport specialists? Providing useful tips on how to navigate this oftentimes convoluted process, Asia Week New York presents a panel of experts who discuss the road from seller to buyer from their individual perspectives on Wednesday, February 24th, 5:00 p.m. (EST) To reserve a spot, visit: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_z-CiaSxkQgee-EhUxsB3ZQ

Says Lark Mason, founder of iGavel Auctions and president of the Appraisers Association of America, who will moderate the discussion: “Our intent is to provide practical information about how to get from A to Z–avoiding as much stress as possible–after purchasing a work of art.”

The experts include:

Mark Aiston has worked in the art and antiques shipping and storage business since 1983. He founded his own company, Aiston Fine Art Services, in 2002 catering to the demanding needs of the discerning art collecting and auction worlds, both locally and internationally.

Susan L. Beningson is an independent curator based in New York City. Her current project is part of Triennial now on view at the Asia Society Museum entitled: "We The People: Xu Bing and Sun Xun Respond to the Declaration of Independence." From 2013 through 2019 she was a curator of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum where she organized the reinstallation of the Arts of China galleries and the exhibition "One: Xu Bing" as well as co-curating the reinstallation of the Arts of Korea gallery and the exhibition "Infinite Blue." A well-known collector of Asian art, Dr. Beningson's collection of 150 objects of Indian temple jewelry was the subject of an international traveling exhibition organized by the Asia Society Museum and toured with the American Federation of Arts to six venues and is now part of the permanent collection of the Newark Museum.

Steven Chait is the President of Ralph M. Chait Galleries in New York City. The Gallery was founded by their namesake and Steven's grandfather, Ralph M. Chait in 1910. The Gallery today is the oldest specialist gallery in the United States dealing in fine antique Chinese porcelains and works of art. Over its remarkable long history, the gallery has worked with and sold to museums and private collectors throughout the world.

Mee-Seen Loong is a director of INKstudio, a gallery based in Beijing focused on contemporary Chinese Ink art and provides art advisory services to collectors, corporations and museums. She is a consultant to Sotheby’s where her long career of 40-plus years has included the roles of Managing Director of Sotheby’s Hong Kong and Vice-Chairman, Chinese Art and Asian Paintings worldwide.

For the past twenty-five years, Ellen Hoener Ross has provided significant guidance and innovative solutions to meet the changing risk management and insurance needs of the art world. As the Managing Director of the Fine Arts and Cultural Institutions Practices at Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, her team specializes in fine arts insurance for art collectors, cultural institutions, artists, galleries, and nonprofits. Before joining Gallagher, Ms. Ross was the Fine Arts Practice leader at Wells Fargo. She also worked as the property claims manager for Hanover Insurance Co. and as a fine arts/jewelry claims specialist and Underwriter for Hartford Insurance Co.

About Asia Week New York
The collaboration of top-tier international Asian art galleries, the five major auction houses, Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, iGavel, and Sotheby’s, and numerous museums and Asian cultural institutions, Asia Week New York is a week-long celebration filled with a non-stop schedule of simultaneous gallery open houses, Asian art auctions as well as numerous museum exhibitions, lectures, and special events. Participants from Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, and the United States unveil an extraordinary array of museum-quality treasures from China, India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Japan, and Korea.

Asia Week New York Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade membership organization registered with the state of New York. For more information visit www.AsiaWeekNewYork.com @asiaweekny #asiaweekny

About Songtsam, Presenting Sponsor
Founded by Baima Duoji, in 2000, the Songtsam Hotels, Resorts, & Tour is the only collection of luxury Tibetan-style retreats found across the Tibetan Plateau that offers guests sophisticated elegance, refined design, modern amenities, and unobtrusive service in places of natural beauty and cultural interest. With his long-standing and strong interest in Chinese, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian art, Mr. Baima started collecting art long before he established his first hotel, Songtsam Lodge Shangri-La, which is located next to the famous Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La. Many of the properties across the Tibetan plateau are decorated with Mr. Baima’s personal collection, with each hotel acting as a private art museum. Songtsam aims to share the beauty of humanity’s imagination and creativity with people from all over the world and has been exploring and preserving the essence of Tibetan culture, all the while maintaining a commitment to supporting economic development, local communities, environmental conservation, and sustainability within Tibet and Yunnan. For more information, visit www.songtsam.com/en

Party Like an OX Star! Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!

February 12, 2021

Four bronze long-horned bulls and a horse, Dian kingdom, Yunnan, Western Han dynasty, 3rd-1st century B.C. Lengths: 17.8 to 24.8 cm. (7 to 9 3/4 in.), courtesy of Kaikodo

Looking forward to a less eventful year and wishing you a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous New Year of the Ox!

The Chinese zodiac is a 12-year cycle where each year is represented by an animal, and 2021 is the year of the dependable Ox. According to a myth about how the order of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac calendar was established, the ox came in second in a race to reach the emperor’s party. He had been the frontrunner, but just before the finish line, the rat asked him for a ride across the river and then got off his back and claimed first place. A very trustworthy beast of burden and indispensable in an agricultural society, the ox has always been much valued in Asia. Known for being hardworking and reliable, oxen have frequently been portrayed in Chinese and Japanese works of art.

In addition, each year of the Chinese calendar is associated with one of the ten elements, such as fire, water, air. 2021 is the Metal Ox year so this group of four bronze long-horned bulls and a horse is most fitting. From the Dian kingdom in Yunnan and dating to the Western Han dynasty (3rd-1st century BC), these pieces attest to the ox’s long historical importance in Chinese life.

The approach is more fanciful in a Japanese print by Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III), Fifty-three Stations Along the Tokaido: View of Kanbara, from a bijin landscape series, in which a beautiful young woman is shown riding an ox in a snowbound landscape.

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) 1786-1865, Fifty-three Stations Along the Tokaido: View of Kanbara, signed Kochoro Kunisada ga, ca. 1838, chuban tate-e 9 7/8 by 7 3/8 in., 25 by 18.7 cm, courtesy of Scholten Japanese Art

Oxen have been depicted in paintings, stone sculpture, wood, jade and other materials as well as in pottery and porcelain. A perennial favorite throughout these media is the image of a boy riding an ox or a water buffalo, and here is a classic porcelain example of that, a Chinese blanc de chine water dropper in the shape of a boy riding an ox, from the Kangxi period/ early 18th century.

Chinese blanc de chine water dropper in the shape of a boy riding an ox, Kangxi period/early 18th century, Height: 3 inches (7.5 cm) Length: 3 1/2 inches (9 cm), courtesy of Ralph M. Chait Galleries

An online conversation on Zoom at Joan B. Mirviss LTD
Thursday, February 11 at 5pm EST

February 8, 2021

To accompany the online exhibition opening on February 8, Cascades and Glacial Landscapes, New clay sculptures by Jeff Shapiro, Joan Mirviss will moderate a discussion with prominent clay artist Jeff Shapiro and ceramic collectors Halsey and Alice North on Jeff's unique journey: from ceramic training in Japan as a young man, through his decades-long evolution into an independent artist creating highly original works that draw from his varied experiences.

The audience is invited to submit questions they may have for Jeff and the Norths, which may be selected for the Q & A portion of the event.

To RSVP to this event and send in your questions: director@mirviss.com

It’s about time!

February 5, 2021

Maharaja Sarabhoji Accompanied by His Minister, Tanjore, Company Style, circa 1790, Opaque water-based pigments with raised gold on board, 23 1/2 x 17 1/4 in. (60 x 44 cm.), Kapoor Galleries

Given as a gift to Lady Henrietta Clive (1758-1830) in 1800 by the Maharaja Sarabhoji (r. 1798-1832).
Sophus Andreas Bergsøe (1838-1896), Aalborg circa 1880.
Thence by descent.

It seems incongruous to include an elaborate European ormolu clock in an Indian Tanjore Company Style painting of Maharaja Sarabhoji Accompanied by His Minister, circa 1790. The maharaja, depicted as a heavily bejeweled figure with an elaborate turban and side-whiskers, stands formally facing outward with the index finger of his left hand pointing downward towards his ceremonial sword, and a minister with pressed palms faces the maharaja awaiting instructions. They are framed on one side by a curtain with gold fringe and tassels and are flanked by two European-style gilt-legged tables. The clock is placed upon one of the tables. The European accoutrements of the room are inspired by European portraiture, and this portrait is painted in a style that developed in the mid-eighteenth century, which catered to the tastes of the British colonials. The raised gold is typical of Tanjore painting.

Maharaja Serfoji II of Tanjore (also known as ‘Sarabhoji,’ r. 1798-1832), the last ruler of the Maratha Bhonsle Dynasty of Tanjore, was installed by the British as the titular head of Thanjavur. He was the adopted son of Maharaja Thulajah. As a young man, he was entrusted to the care of a Danish missionary, Reverend Christian Freidrich Schwartz, who sent him to Madras for his formal education. He enjoyed an excellent relationship with the British after he acknowledged their administration of Tanjore and was then granted sovereignty over the lands surrounding the Fort of Thanjavur as well as a pension (see Archer, Rowell, and Skelton, Treasures from India: The Clive Collection at Powis Castle, London, 1987, p.124; and John Chu, Game of Thrones in an ‘Asiatic World’: Henrietta Clive and Anna Tonelli in British India, National Trust Historic Houses & Collections Annual, 2018, p. 40.).

Meet our new Intern!

January 29, 2021

Sosi Mehren is our new social media coordinator. She has been posting to our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts for a week, and already her fresh approach has boosted Asia Week New York numbers of followers significantly.

From Tucson Arizona, Sosi is a third-year student at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, majoring in Middle East Studies with a focus in Visual Culture. She is especially interested in Mughal Painting and Architecture and will enjoy seeing images from several of our members. She is also studying Arabic, in which she hopes to become fluent, and pursuing this in Jordan is part of that plan once it is again possible to travel.

“My favorite thing so far about Asia Week New York is experiencing the beautiful images that come from the variety of galleries and the depth of expertise across these fascinating areas of study,” said Sosi, who promises to be a valuable addition to our team.

Tibet House US 34th Annual Benefit Concert

January 28, 2021

One of the longest-running and most renowned live cultural events in New York City, The 34th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert will return this year for a special virtual edition combining live and pre-recorded segments streaming via Mandolin, the premiere concert livestream platform for artists, venues, and fansFor the first time ever, this year’s concert offers viewers around the world the unique opportunity to experience the warmth, sense of community and amazing music the evening has provided for so many years at Carnegie Hall. Joining esteemed composer and artistic director Philip Glass, who once again curated this year’s line-up, will be Eddie VedderPatti SmithIggy PopFlaming LipsPhoebe BridgersBrittany HowardValerie JuneAngélique KidjoLaurie AndersonChocolate Genius Inc. , Tessa ThompsonSaori TsukadaJesse Paris SmithTenzin ChoegyalRubin Kodheli and manymany more to be announced soon.

Tibet House US is also deeply honored to announce that the concert will begin with a personal video message from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. 

There are few events that stand the test of time, and for more than three decades this annual event has been a standout. For over 33 years, this consistently sold-out concert has assembled some of the most legendary and exciting names in music and art, dazzling concertgoers with its unique mix of surprises and mesmerizing performances.

Tickets for this year’s special virtual concert are on sale now ($25-$250). Also available now are unique sponsor level cyber-tables starting at $5,000.

To Register: https://boxoffice.mandolin.com/pages/tibet-house

Kyushu University & Yale University Organize Five Day International Symposium Repositioning Japan in the First Global Age (1500-1700)

January 27, 2021

This international symposium explores Japan’s role in the “First Global Age” through a comprehensive and interdisciplinary investigation of its cultural, material, and intellectual production from about 1500 to 1700. The thematic focus lies on transcultural exchange and its related processes, such as shifting taxonomies and iconographies; translation, interpretation, and appropriation; re-evaluation and re-interpretation; and the construction of social biographies of moving objects.

A key goal is to advance the discussion beyond prevalent yet limiting models such as, for instance, a narrowly conceived, bilateral exchange between Iberia and Japan. Instead, this symposium aims to complicate and deepen our understanding of the complex amalgam of actors and trajectories of exchange by exploring the pre-existing cultural, political, and economic spaces of an “East Asian Mediterranean;” transfer routes via South and South-East Asia as well as the Americas; diasporas and hybrid communities; continuities, ruptures, and innovations in the conceptualization of self and other; and processes of mapping, labeling, and appropriation.

Researchers from top institutions around the world and from a wide disciplinary range will convene to bridge the classical humanities (history, art history, literature, religious studies, intellectual history) and history of science (astronomy, cartography). The aim is to find a balance between established and emerging scholars as well as between the academic cultures of Japan, Europe, and the Americas.

This symposium is co-organized and co-funded by Kyushu University’s Faculty of Humanities and Yale University’s Council of East Asian Studies.

Register: https://www.imapkyudai.net/beyond-the-southern-barbarians 

The Art of Japan at the West Coast Print Fair

January 26, 2021

Kuniyoshi, Beauties admiring the cherry blossoms at Toeizan, 1846-48

The Art of Japan is exhibiting fine Japanese prints in the virtual edition of the West Coast Print Fair from Friday, January 22 to Monday, February 8. www.WestCoastPrintFair.com

46 dealers from the United States, Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom exhibit selections from inventory in the same place at the same time. Browse through over 800 fine prints from old masters to contemporary.

Look for new acquisitions soon at www.theartofjapan.com

Asia Week New York Zooms in on the Allure of Indian Paintings on January 28 at 5pm EST

January 21, 2021

A party of hunters returning to camp, Leaf from the British Library-Chester Beatty Library Akbarnama, Mughal India, 1603-04
9 by 5 in., 22.9 by 12.7 cm., painting; Image courtesy Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch Ltd.

New York: Continuing its lively series of virtual panel discussions, Asia Week New York is delighted to present Tales in Connoisseurship: Appreciating Indian Painting with an all-star panel of specialists including Brendan Lynch, co-director of London-based Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch Ltd., Marika Sardar, PhD, Curator, The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and collector Gursharan Sidhu, PhD. These renowned experts will reveal their personal journeys of connoisseurship within the rich and wonderful world of Indian paintings. The presentation will be held on Thursday, January 28 at 5:00 p.m. (EST), 2:00 p.m. (PST). To reserve, visit: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ksNoWmVSRzagAi5UYrouCg

Says moderator Anu Ghosh-Mazumdar, Senior Vice President & Head of the Indian & Southeast Asian Art Department at Sotheby’s: “Any collecting category requires three lynchpins to thrive and survive – the collector, the curator and the dealer. We are excited to host this panel which brings together these three key elements, showcasing the synergy of interest, curiosity, discipline, scholarship and commerce in forging connoisseurship.”

About the Experts:
Anu Ghosh-Mazumdar has been with Sotheby’s since 2003 and was appointed Head of the Sotheby’s Indian & Southeast Asian Art department in 2011. A specialist for both Classical as well as Modern Indian art, she plays a key role in securing major consignments for Sotheby’s sales of Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art and Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art held in Asia, Europe and the United States. Landmark sales of Indian and Himalayan art for which she recently provided her expertise include: Indian paintings from the Estate of Dr. Claus Virch (2015 & 2016), The Richard R. and Magdalena Ernst Collection of Himalayan Art (2018), and most recently an historic collection of Mughal and Ottoman textiles from the Estate of H. Peter Stern, co-founder of the Storm King Art Center (2020). Ms. Ghosh-Mazumdar has lectured widely on the South Asian art market at both private and public international forums.

Brendan Lynch is a London-based dealer in Indian and Islamic Art. He spent twenty years at Sotheby’s, working in London and New York, and left in 1997 as Director of the Islamic and Indian Art Department. In 1998 he set up, with former colleague Oliver Forge, an art consultancy dealing and acting as agents in Indian and Islamic Art and Art of the Ancient World. The company has exhibited Indian Court Paintings annually at Asia Week New York since 2009.

Gursharan S. Sidhu holds degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Madras) and Stanford University. After a long career in academia and the technology sector at Apple Inc. and Microsoft, he now focuses on his lifelong passion for the arts of India. Currently, Sidhu is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum, as well as on the Acquisitions Committee of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the Board of Trustees of the Museum for Art and Photography (MAP), in Bengaluru. He served as co-chairman of the Board of the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington DC. He and his wife collect traditional and vernacular paintings from India and art from Mexico.

Marika Sardar is Curator at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. She previously worked at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her major exhibitions include: Interwoven Globe (2013), focusing on the worldwide textile trade from the 16th-18th century; Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1750 (2015), examining the artistic traditions of the Muslim sultanates of central India; and Epic Tales from Ancient India (2016), looking at narrative traditions and the illustration of texts from South Asia. Ms. Sardar, along with John Seyller and Audrey Truschke, has recently published the Mughal-era Persian-language manuscript of the Ramayana in the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art.

About Asia Week New York
The collaboration of top-tier international Asian art galleries, the six major auction houses, Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, iGavel, and Sotheby’s, and numerous museums and Asian cultural institutions, Asia Week New York is a week-long celebration filled with a non-stop schedule of simultaneous gallery open houses, Asian art auctions as well as numerous museum exhibitions, lectures, and special events. Participants from Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, and the United States unveil an extraordinary array of museum-quality treasures from China, India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Japan, and Korea.

Asia Week New York Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade membership organization registered with the state of New York. For more information visit www.AsiaWeekNewYork.com @asiaweekny #asiaweekny

About Songtsam, Presenting Sponsor
Founded by Baima Duoji, in 2000, the Songtsam Group is the only collection of luxury Tibetan-style retreats found across the Tibetan Plateau that offers guests sophisticated elegance, refined design, modern amenities, and unobtrusive service in places of natural beauty and cultural interest. With his long-standing and strong interest in Chinese, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian art, Mr. Baima started collecting art long before he established his first hotel, Songtsam Lodge Shangri-La, which is located next to the famous Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La. Many of the properties across the Tibetan plateau are decorated with Mr. Baima’s personal collection, with each hotel acting as a private art museum. For more information, visit www.songtsam.com.

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