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Asia Week New York Contemporary: Selections from Joan B Mirviss LTD

Takegoshi Jun (b.1948)
Porcelain square vessel decorated with animated blue crested ibises amongst lotus in kutani-style enamel glazing
10 1/4 x 9 1/8 x 8 7/8 in.

This elegant and powerfully painted vessel was recently created by the master of kutani porcelain, Takegoshi Jun (b.1948). On this square vessel with an upraised neck are depictions of animated blue crested ibises amongst lotus, all created with abroad array of artfully applied, colorful glazes based on the ancient kutani five-color tradition. Created specifically for this exhibition, it is one of more than twenty porcelain works by this highly-sought-after ceramist, whose list of international collectors include the Emperor of Japan as well as The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Below are more selections from Joan B Mirviss LTD's Asia Week New York Contemporary exhibition, Beyond Kutani: Innovations in Form and Color, on view at 39 East 78th Street, Suite 401, from May 2 to 10:

Nakamura Takuo (b. 1945)
Softly pleated stoneware vessel with summer and fall floral design and separate ladle-rest in polychrome under and overglaze
a. 7 7/8 x 11 x 11 in. b. 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.

Takegoshi Jun (b. 1948)
Porcelain box with kutani-style enamel glazing depicting a flock of blue kingfishers
4 1/8 x 10 5/8 x 6 1/8 in.

Nakamura Takuo (b. 1945)
Stoneware Box that is not a Box with ivy design in polychrome under and overglaze 
19 x 21 x 13 in.

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Asia Week New York Contemporary: Selections from Navin Kumar Gallery

S. H. Raza
Village dans la Nuit
Oil on Canvas
39.5 × 32 in.

S. H. Raza is amongst India's leading modernists. After being a founding member of the Progressive Artists' Group in 1948, Raza soon moved to France in 1950. During these early, formative years in France, he started experimenting with his oil paintings and was influenced by the landscape and architecture of the countryside.

In this night-time landscape, the houses adorning the undulating surfaces of the French countryside are revealed by reflections of moonlight off of their light colored walls. The gentle movement leads the gaze slowly away from the village, towards the unilluminated nature nearby, leaving the viewer to imagine the realm of experience that awaits there.

This work displays Raza's landscape style at its evolved heights. Compared to the early 1950's, Raza has moved away from sharp delineation of shape, tending instead to prefer the coalescence of form through movement in amorphous polychormatic strokes. The affinity for abstraction shown here foreshadows the progression of his artistic career, first towards highly deconstructed landscapes, and eventually a complete change in subject to the geometric and symbolic.

Below are more selections from Navin Kumar Gallery's Asia Week New York Contemporary exhibition, Selections: Modern Indian Masters, on view at 24 East 73rd Street, Suite 4F, from May 2 to 10:

F. N. Souza
Untitled (Landscape)
Oil on Canvas
40.5 × 37.5 inches

M. F. Husain
Blue Woman with Monkey
Oil on Canvas
54.5 × 20.75 inches

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Asia Week New York Contemporary: Selections from Kang Contemporary Korean Art

Seungmo Park (b. 1969)
b-3, Maya7616
Stainless steel mesh
64.6 x 3.9 x 64.6 in (164 x 10 x 164 cm)

Park creates giant ephemeral portraits by cutting layer after layer of wire mesh. Each work begins with a photograph, which is superimposed over layers of wire with a projector, then using a subtractive technique Park slowly snips away areas of mesh. Each piece is several inches thick as each plane that forms the final image is spaced a few finger widths apart, giving the portraits a certain depth and dimensionality that’s hard to convey in a photograph. The Maya series is in line with the artist’s idea of constructing a space or scene that transcends its existence. Prompting viewers to interact with the portrait and their own immediate surroundings, the artist enacts a way of seeing beyond what is real and visible. 

Below are more selections from Kang Contemporary Korean Art's Asia Week New York Contemporary exhibition, Korean Art: Now and Then, on view at 9 East 82nd Street, 3rd Floor, from May 2 to 10:

Ik-Joong Kang (b. 1960)
Happy World – Blue Jumbo Airplane
Mixed media on wood
47 x 47 in (119.5 x 119.5 cm)

Minjung Kim (b.1962)
Pieno di vuoto
Mixed media on rice paper
59 1/8 x 82 5/8 in (150 x 210 cm)

Jongsook Kim
Mixed Media on canvas, made with Swarovski’s cut crystals
27 1/2 x 27 1/2 in (70 x 70 cm)

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Asia Week New York Contemporary: Selections from Kaikodo LLC

Wang Mansheng (b. 1962)
Red Lotus
Hanging scroll
Ink, walnut ink and color on paper
179.0 x 97.0 cm. (70 x 38 in.)

Mansheng is noted for the creation of bold paintings of lotus ponds, dense with giant leaves in seductive brown and black, cradling lotus blossoms in bright red. The present vertical scroll is a departure from the horizontal formats he normally uses for this subject, such as those now gracing the Baltimore Museum of Art and private collections as well.  The image here successfully and strikingly conveys both the organic nature of the subject and the compelling abstract qualities of color and form.  

Below are more selections from Kaikodo LLC's Asia Week New York Contemporary exhibition Twenty Years of Ink Art, on view at 74 East 79th Street, Suite 14B, from May 2 to 10:

Wucius Wong (b. 1936)
Casual Ideation
Ink and color on board
Group of 8
24.9 x 22.2 cm. (9 ¾ x 8 ¾ in.)

Qiu Mai (Michael Cherney) (b. 1969)
Map of Mountains and Seas #18
Photography, ink on mitsumata paper
Mounted as a hanging scroll
128.7 x 56.6 cm. (50 ½ x 22 ¼ in.)

Wu Qiang (b. 1977)
Spirited Away
Ink and color on silk, framed
28.5 X 7.0 cm. (2 3/4 X 11 1/4 in.)

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Asia Week New York Contemporary: Selections from Scholten Japanese Art

Paul Binnie (b. 1967)
ca. 1993-94
Watercolor on paper
10 5/8 by 15 1/8 in. (27 by 38.5 cm)

A reclining male nude lies horizontally against a deep teal background, bearing a blue koi tattoo down the sides of his chest, while hiding his face with his left arm. The dappled light dances on the subject's body in much the same way that light would hit the surface of water, enlivening the tattoo of stylized waves and carp swimming upstream.

Paul Binnie, a Scotsman living in London, has over the past 25 years become one the most important artists working in the Japanese tradition of woodblock printmaking. He has taken up the mantel of the shin-hanga ('new print') artists of the early to mid-20th century, producing works that can only be described as innately Japanese. This painting is one of an array of early Binnie paintings, sketches and prints of nude and tattoo (and nudes with tattoos) subjects being shown alongside his beloved woodblock print series A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo (Edo Zumi hyaku shoku), which playfully references timeless imagery from classic ukiyo-e and inventively placed them on modern nude subjects. 

Below are more selections from Scholten Japanese Art's Asia Week New York Contemporary exhibition, on view at 145 West 58th Street, suite 6D, from May 2 to 10:

Paul Binnie (b. 1967)
A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo: Yoshitoshi’s Ghosts
Woodblock print
17 by 11 3/4 in., 42.5 by 29 cm

Paul Binnie (b. 1967)
A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo: Utamaro’s Erotica
Woodblock print
16 3/4 by 11 3/8 in., 43 by 30 cm

Paul Binnie (b. 1967)
A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo: Sharaku’s Caricatures
Woodblock print
16 7/8 by 12 1/4 in., 43 by 31 cm

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Asia Week New York Contemporary: Selections from Michael Goedhuis

Wei Ligang
The Mountain Residency Seizing The Origin of The River
Ink and acrylic on paper
37 3⁄4 x 35 1⁄2 in (96 x 90 cm) 

This abstract calligraphic painting, with gold acrylic and ink on a black background, recreates, in a modern idiom, the characters for 'mountain' and 'river'.

Born in Datong, Shanxi, in 1964, Wei Ligang has been at the forefront of contemporary ink painting’s development from its beginning, and he was one of the organizers of the June 1999 “Bashu Parade” exhibition. Wei studied mathematics at the Nankai University in Tianjin and he became the president of the calligraphy society at the university. His training in mathematics has contributed to his abstract form of calligraphy. He constantly deconstructs and re-forms the characters in his paintings while hinting at traditional script-forms (such as formal, running, or “grass” script), thus declaring his deep roots in Chinese culture. 

Below are more selections from Michael Goedhuis' Asia Week New York Contemporary exhibition Changing China: Contemporary Ink Painting, on view at Traum Safe, 1078 Madison Avenue, from May 4 to 10. An opening will be held on the evening of May 4 from 6–9pm.

Yao Jui-chung
Dust in the Wind: Mountain Road
Ink and gold leaf on hand made paper
79 x 33 in (200 x 84 cm)
Framed: 83 1/2 x 38 in (212.2 x 97 cm)

Lo Ch'ing
Hole in One (A Feminist's View)
Ink and color on paper
54 x 27 1/4 inches (137 x 69 cm)
Framed: 64 x 36 3/4 in (161 x 93 cm)

Wei Ligang
The Lush Pavilion Blurred in the Autumn Rain, Carrying the Chinese Zither Toward the Blue Creek
Ink and acrylic on paper
Each panel: 70 3/4 x 37 3/4 in (180 x 96 cm)
Framed: 73 x 39 3/4 in (185.6 x 101 cm)

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Asia Week New York CONTEMPORARY: May 2–10

The first-ever edition of Asia Week New York Contemporary will debut May 2 to 10, 2017, and feature dealer participants Michael Goedhuis, Kaikodo LLC, Kang Contemporary Korean Art, Navin Kumar Gallery, Joan B Mirviss LTD, Onishi Gallery and Scholten Japanese Art.

Following on the heels of Asia Week New York’s successful 10-day round of exhibitions and auction sales, which generated an outstanding $423 million, these seven esteemed galleries are mounting contemporary art exhibitions to tap into the buzz and energy from other modern and contemporary art fairs going on in Manhattan at the same time.

To celebrate this new edition, each gallery will present the works of renowned Asian artists and will hold open houses on Friday evening, May 5, from 6–8pm.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to open our galleries to the contemporary collectors who are in town for TEFAF New York Spring and Frieze,” comments Joan B. Mirviss. 

Representing artists from China, Japan, Korea, and India, the must-see highlights include:

Qin Feng. Black Magic. Ink on paper, 3 x 3 ft.

Michael Goedhuis, here from London, presents Changing China: Contemporary Ink Painting, featuring 15 new works, by Chinese artists who are responding to the changing political, social and psychological landscape of China in reaction to the emergence of Trump and America’s new stance in the world. One of the exhibition’s highlights is a major work by Qin Feng, which was created to be part of his major exhibition and performance, Waiting for Qin Feng, at the Venice Biennale, in the San Giorgio Maggiore Monastery. “This work is one of the works that symbolizes his passionate desire for freedom,” notes the dealer. (At Traum Safe, 1078 Madison Avenue—please note this exhibition only opens May 4)

Luo Jianwu. Clear, Wondrous, Ancient, Strange. Hanging scroll, ink on paper, 621 x 74.3 cm (244 ½ x 29 ¼ in).

Kaikodo LLC, Twenty Years of Ink Art, presents new works by Luo Jianwu, Xu Jianguo, Mansheng Wang, Lin Yan and Qiu Mai (Michael Cherney), as well as paintings by Lin Guocheng, Wai Pongyu, Tseng Yuho (Betty Ecke), Zhu Daoping, Wucius Wong, Wu Qiang, Li Xubai, Zhang Hong (Arnold Chang), and Huang Zhongfang (Harold Wong). Taking center stage is the monumental masterpiece titled Clear, Wondrous, Ancient, Strange, by Luo Jianwu, which he took 8 years to complete, transforming the traditional hanging scroll format into a contemporary work of installation art. “Today the contemporary world in Chinese art is very rich and diverse and there are far more people trained and interested in the field. We trust this exhibition will appeal to them as well as to collectors of contemporary Western art,” shares Carol Conover, managing director of Kaikodo. (74 East 79th Street, Suite 14B).

Ik-Joong Kang. Happy World – Blue Jumbo Airplane. 1992-2015. Mixed media on wood, 47 x 47 inches.

Korean Art: Now and Then at Kang Contemporary Korean Art, will feature the works of contemporary artists Ik-Joong Kang, Minjung Kim, and Seungmo Park, each of whom will explore in their own idiom the philosophical and spiritual experiences emanating from Korea’s rich cultural traditions, juxtaposed against a contemporary narrative delving into the human costs of a nation in the throes of rapid modernization. Other featured artists include Jongsook Kim, Lee Woorim, Seongmin Ahn, Suyeon Na and Dave Kim. “The works by the artists are organized to reveal the connections between the history of various recognizable Korean art forms and the more global view reflected in the imagery and techniques of the artists on display,” notes Peter Kang. (9 East 82nd Street, 3rd Floor).

F. N. Souza. Head. 1956. Oil on board, 42 x 32 inches.

Selections: Modern Indian Masters at Navin Kumar Gallery features paintings by 15 preeminent modern Indian painters including F. N. Souza, M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee, K. H. Ara, and B. Prabha. Their art ranges from abstract, figurative, surreal, to landscape, and the collection of works by these artists shows how they pushed the boundaries and plumbed the depths of what art could be, both from Indian and global perspectives. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Head, painted by Francis Newton Souza, one of the pioneers of modern Indian art. Thick black brushstrokes over layered oil paint delineate the disfiguration of form – arrows through the neck, and eyes towards the top of the forehead force the viewer to contend with an unapologetically honest message about the nature of self, but one that nonetheless charges the spirit with vitality. (24 East 73rd Street, Suite 4F).

Nakamura Takuo. Standing Sculpture with Clouds and Dragon Design. 2015. 57 3/8 x 19 5/8 inches.

Beyond Kutani: Innovations in Form and Color at Joan B Mirviss LTD, the first-ever joint exhibition which showcases two celebrated and innovative ceramic masters, Takegoshi Jun and Nakamura Takuo, both of whom are inspired by traditional kutani ware. “We are proud to present the work of these clay masters,” says Joan Mirviss. “This exhibition, featuring over 40 new works created expressly for this occasion, will highlight these two ceramists’ unique and divergent aesthetics, both developed in response to time-honored kutani artistic traditions but cast in very contemporary modes, featuring both functional and sculptural forms, all boldly decorated with polychrome under-glazing and overglaze enamels.” One of the standout pieces is Nakamura Takuo’s Standing Sculpture with Clouds and Dragon Design, from 2015, which stands over 57 inches x 19 5/8 inches. (39 East 78th Street, Suite 401).

Shun Sudo. Innocent Forest. 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 63 x 102 inches.

Onishi Gallery presents Playful Perfection: The Artist’s Imaginary Universe, which combines contemporary ceramics and sculpture with street art paintings. “My aim is to showcase cutting-edge contemporary artists and trends from Japan,” says Nana Onishi of her namesake gallery. Ms. Onishi will feature paintings by street artist Shun Sudo, the ceramics of Ito Sekisui, a 14th generation potter and National Living Treasure, the work of Tomoko Konno, part of a new generation of female ceramicists working in Japan, and the other-worldly wood sculpture of NAOYA. (521 West 26th Street).

Paul Binnie. A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo: Hiroshige’s Edo. 2015. Woodblock print, 16 3/4 by 12 1/8 inches.

At Scholten Japanese Art, the provocative theme is nudes and tattoos including nudes with tattoos by Paul Binnie, who recently completed a series of prints called A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo on which he spent eleven years, from 2004-2015. “The complete series of 10 is the inspiration for the show, and all 10 will be on display, along with related compositions,” explains Katherine Martin, managing director of the gallery. One of the standouts is Hiroshige's Edo, 2015, a woodblock print from a limited edition of 100. “We will also include at least 20 original drawings and watercolor and oil paintings of related subjects, many of which have never before been exhibited or offered for sale,” adds Ms. Martin. (145 West 58th Street, Suite 6D)

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Asia Week New York 2017 Auction Highlights

As Asia Week New York 2017 progressed, we kept track of notable auction results in this post. Here is one highlight from each auction:

At Doyle's 'Asian Works of Art' auction on Monday, March 13, a Chinese Doucai glazed porcelain cup, estimated at $50,000-70,000, achieved a staggering $2 million following competitive bidding. Read more about it here.

At Bonhams' auction of 'Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles' on Monday, March 13, this inside painted glass snuff bottle— signed Ding Erzhong and dated 1897—sold for $45,000. View more information here.

This imperial gilt bronze ritual 'ruibin' bell (Qianlong mark and of the period) sold for $607,500 at Bonhams' auction of 'Chinese Works of Art and Paintings' on Monday, March 13. More info here.

Bonhams finished out the day on Monday with their sale of 'Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art,' during which gilt copper alloy figure of Tara, from 15th-century Tibet, achieved $487,500. View more details about the object here.

This group of six Sakya lamdre lineage masters from Tibet, circa 15th century, sold for $727,500 at Bonhams' evening sale on Tuesday, March 14, titled 'Portraits of the Masters.' Many other figures from this auction achieved high prices. More details here.

On Wednesday, March 15, Sotheby's sold this bronze figure of Buddha Shakyamuni for $432,500 during its auction of 'Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art Including Property from the Cleveland Museum of Art.' Read more about the figure here.

This sandalwood scepter from 18th-century China (Qing Dynasty) sold for $90,000 during Bonhams' 'Zuiun Collection' auction on Wednesday morning. Read more about the object here.

During the Christie's sale of 'Fine Chinese Paintings,' also on Wednesday, this Ming Dynasty painting titled Children and Knick-Knack Peddlar, estimated at $30,000-50,000, achieved $223,500. More details here.

Part IV of the 'Ruth and Carl Barron Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles' at Christie's saw this inscribed white jade snuff bottle from Beijing's Palace Workshops go for $40,000. It was originally estimated at $4,000-6,000. More details here.

Back at Sotheby's for the auction titled 'Ming: The Intervention of Imperial Taste,' this Meiping vase with tianbai ('sweet white') glaze topped the charts, selling for over $3.1 million. Read more about the vase here.

At Sotheby's 'Important Chinese Art' auction, this tea bowl from the Southern Song Dynasty fetched over $1 million, over double the low estimate. Further details here.

Meanwhile, at Bonhams' 'Fine Japanese and Korean Art' auction, a screen from the Edo Period showing poppies in bloom sold for $427,500. View more details by clicking here.

Bonhams finished out the afternoon on Wednesday with an auction titled 'The Korean Aesthetic: The Collection of Robert W. Moore.' This ten-panel map screen of Korea from the Joseon Dynasty sold for its high estimate of $50,000. More information here

Wednesday afternoon also included Christie's sale of Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art, during which this black stone figure of Lokanatha Avalokiteshvara from 12th-century India sold for over $24.5 million. Learn more about this important sculpture here.

Christie's closed out the day on Wednesday with an evening sale of 'Important Chinese Art from the Fujita Museum,' during which several bronze works of art from the Late Shang Dynasty achieved multi-million dollar results. This bronze ritual wine vessel, Fangzun, sold for $37.2 million. View more information about the vessel here

On Thursday, March 16, this painting by Zhu Da titled Flowers, Birds, Fish and Fruit achieved over $3.1 million at Sotheby's auction of 'Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy.' View more details here.

During Sotheby's 'Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art' auction, this untitled oil on canvas by Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) sold for nearly $1.7 million, more than twice the high estimate. View more information here.

On Thursday morning at Christie's, during the auction of 'The Marie Theresa L. Virata Collection of Asian Art: A Family Legacy,' this Huanghuali circular incense stand sold for an astounding $5.8 million. Have a closer look at the object here.

At Christie's sale of important early Chinese art from the Harris collection, this gilt bronze feline-form ornament from the 1st-2nd century AD sold for nearly $120,000 against an estimate of $15,000-25,000. More details here

On Friday, March 17, Christie's held its sale of 'Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art.' This Junyao flower-form brush washer, from the Northern Song-Jing Dynasty, was estimated at $12,000-$18,000 but sold for over $900,000. Read more about it here.

The last auction of the week, 'Saturday at Sotheby's: Asian Art,' brought in nearly $4.5 million. This handscroll, attributed to Dong Gao, was estimated at only $2,000-4,000, but sold for $348,500. Read more about it here.


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Watch James Lally Present Treasures of Ancient Chinese Buddhist Sculpture

A Painted Sandstone Head of Vimalakirti (Wei Mo)
From the Yungang Buddhist Cave-Temples, Shanxi
Northern Wei Dynasty, circa 465-494
Height 14 inches (35.5 cm)

Earlier this week, Sinovision interviewed Asia Week New York participant James Lally about his 2017 exhibition, Buddhist Sculpture from Ancient China.

“Vimalakirti debates the Buddha in a famous moment, which is recorded in the Buddhist scriptures,” explains Lally while presenting the sculpture pictured above. “He convinces the Buddha that even a layman can find nirvana.”

Watch the full interview below.

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Two Lives Entwined: Ichikawa Danjuro VIII & Bando Shuka I

March 6, 2017 marks the 162nd anniversary of the death of Bando Shuka I (1813-1855), the famed onnagata performer of mid-19th century Japanese kabuki theater. Onnagata were male actors who specialized in female roles, a necessity ever since 1629, when women were banned from performing in kabuki productions. Shuka I played those roles with aplomb, so much so that in his heyday he was one of the most successful actors, perhaps second only to his frequent on-stage lover Ichikawa Danjuro VIII (1823-1854), the eldest son of Ichikawa Danjuro VII (1791-1859). These two A-listers together performed the lead roles from some of the most popular plays. Perhaps it is not surprising that two actors who spent most of their professional careers linked, would seem to follow as such in death. Danjuro VIII, the golden boy of his day, harbored secret debts and battled depression, committing suicide at an Osaka road-side inn in the 8th lunar month of 1854. Bando Shuka I followed him just months later, in the 3rd lunar month of the following year. 

– from Scholten Japanese Art

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