What's Happening in Asian Art...

New Exhibition at MIYAKO YOSHINAGA

May 17, 2023

Carolyn Swiszcz, Parking Lot Bonsai, 2023, watercolor monoprint, collage, monoprint on paper, un-stretched canvas, 40 x 51 in / 101.6 x 129.5 cm; courtesy of MIYAKO YOSHINAGA

Burgers & Bonsai opens on Friday, May 19 at MIYAKO YOSHINAGA and will be on view until June 30, 2023.
Opening reception, May 19, 6 - 8 pm.

The exhibition is composed of whimsical landscapes by Minnesota-based American artist Carolyn Swiszcz (b. 1972) based on her everyday observation of her surroundings and showcases a dozen of her small to large works on paper.

Carolyn Swiszcz is renowned for her uncanny, yet affectionate landscapes and building exteriors, employing a wide range of printmaking techniques, vibrant colors, and distinctive patterns. Swiszcz derives inspiration from quirky features of buildings, parks, signs and banners, window displays, and distinctive trees.

Swiszcz is fond of the sometimes-unpredictable nature of printmaking, meticulously devising the stencils, stamps, and monoprint processes that make her images pop with delightful surprises. In her images, Swiszcz blends layers of abstraction and randomness with figurative elements including letters and geometric patterns, creating a sense of otherworldliness. Her latest work revels in off-kilter multicultural elements in Midwest suburbia, i.e. her Parking Lot Bonsai (2023), which features neatly arranged silhouettes of miniature trees in a Burger King parking lot.

As part of the semiannual Madison Avenue Gallery Walk on Saturday, May 20, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA will present Artist Talk by Carolyn Swiszcz at 2 & 4 pm.

Fung Ming Chip: Traces of Time ends soon

May 16, 2023

Fung Ming Chip, 160503, 2016, ink on paper, 48 7/8 x 71 5/8 in.

This is the last opportunity to see the exhibition Fung Ming Chip: Traces of Time at Fu Qiumeng Fine Art before it closes on May 20.

The show includes works from the latest series by the artist (b. 1951 in Guangdong and raised in Hong Kong), entitled NumberS. These are juxtaposed with representative examples drawn from his lifelong exploration of the art of calligraphy and the various scripts he has developed during this process.

To better understand Fung Ming Chip's approach, read the following interview conducted over email by the exhibition's curator, Dr. Daniel Greenberg.

Fung Ming Chip and Daniel Greenberg
Fung Ming Chip and Curator Dr. Dan M. Greenberg ©The FQM, 2023

Fu Qiumeng Fine Art is currently exhibiting a special presentation of Chinese artist Fung Ming Chip (冯明秋, b. 1951)’s latest series, NumberS, while also showcasing the artist’s unique approach to the medium of shufa (书法, the art of writing) through a selection of works taken from across his long career. Born in Guangdong and raised in Hong Kong, Fung began his artistic career after he moved to New York City in 1977. His first experiments in seal carving (篆刻, zhuanke) deconstructed the forms of Chinese characters in this traditional medium. This engagement with the written word led Fung to a broader study of Chinese characters in the art of shufa. Over the past forty years, Fung has invented over a hundred distinctive “scripts” that employ a wide range of styles and non-traditional processes, each of which explores how shufa works to represent the artist’s practice unfolding in time. Don’t miss your final chance to explore Fung Ming Chip’s conceptual calligraphy in “Traces of Time.” The exhibition will be on view until The exhibition will be on view until Saturday, May 20th.

Building upon conversations between the curator and artist during the installation and opening of this exhibition, the following interview was conducted via email.

Fung Ming Chip: Looking back now, the emergence of number script fifteen years ago was actually a wake-up call for me regarding the temporal nature of Chinese calligraphy. Over the past fifteen years, in my artistic creation pivoting around calligraphy, I occasionally used numbers instead of Chinese characters to eliminate the literary nature of the text, allowing the technique and composition to be manifested. In this way, numbers gradually became an integral part of my calligraphy practice. It wasn't until 2015 that I was certain that calligraphy is an art of time and I began to think about ways to make numbers as demarcations of time, constructing and exploring issues of painting.

Fung Ming Chip and Daniel Greenberg
Fung Ming Chip and Curator Dr. Dan M. Greenberg ©The FQM, 2023

Daniel Greenberg: NumberS Series utilizes and combines a wide range of artistic practices that you invented for other “scripts.” Does working with numbers and pictorial representation rather than characters change the meaning or visual characteristic of these processes?

Fung Ming Chip: Definitely! When an artwork contains text in the form of Chinese characters, most people who can read will try to understand its meaning, which can influence how viewers perceive the work and their emotions. Although there is little difference in the creative process and various techniques used between writing numbers and text, the audience's perception of the artwork can be significantly different. Whether or not there is literary significance, the use of numbers can evoke a very different feeling from the audience.

Daniel Greenberg: Numbers Series marks the first time you have used a razor to cut the surface of your works. What does this unique process add to your work both visually and intellectually?

Fung Ming Chip: In my opinion, the excision of the surface did not significantly change the composition of my artwork. Rather, it was simply a conceptual and technical necessity. Although it was my first time experimenting with excision, I knew exactly what the visual outcome would be. The use of excision serves the spatial needs of the artwork.

Daniel Greenberg: What parts of Chinese painting are you attempting to integrate into NumberS Series? What can painting express that shufa cannot?

Fung Ming Chip: My intention in creating the Numbers Series was to demonstrate the differences in how perspectives are perceived in Chinese and Western paintings, which is something that cannot be addressed through calligraphy.

Fung Ming Chip and Daniel Greenberg
Fung Ming Chip and Curator Dr. Dan M. Greenberg ©The FQM, 2023

Fung Ming Chip and Daniel Greenberg
Fung Ming Chip, NumberS: Transparent Script with Pagoda, 数字系列:宝塔透字, 2022, Ink on Paper, 27 1/8 x 56 1/4 in

Daniel Greenberg: In NumberS: Transparent Script with Pagoda, you include a seal with the Daoist phrase 元神出竅 and paint the forms of stupas or pagodas. How do Daoist and Buddhist ideas and imagery relate to your art?

Fung Ming Chip: Buddhism is a foreign religion that has had an influence on Taoism, but ultimately they are two different practices. You won't see Buddhist monks going to mountaintops to absorb the essence of the sun and moon. While I am not a Buddhist or a Taoist, I appreciate the philosophical thinking in Buddhism and the mystical concepts in Taoism. I believe that the two can complement each other, so I don't mind incorporating both into my artwork.

Thomsen Gallery exhibition extended

May 15, 2023

Gōda Ippō (born 1875–1880, still active 1926), By the Fence (detail; right side of a screen pair), 1912, pair of two-panel folding screens, ink, mineral colors, and shell powder on silk, 61½ x 69 in. (156.5 x 175 cm.)

Japanese Art: 1910-1940 will continue until June 2, 2023 with a new selection of works.

The exhibition focuses on folding screens, hanging scroll paintings, and gold lacquer works from the Taisho and early Showa eras, 1910-1940. It was a period of great change during which superb works were created for the domestic market, in contrast to the export-oriented output during the preceding Meiji era (1868-1912).

Thomsen Gallery will be open exceptionally on a Saturday to participate in the annual Madison Avenue Spring Gallery Walk on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

Summoning Memories: Art Beyond Chinese Borders
Symposium at Asia Society Texas

May 12, 2023

Installation view of 'Summoning Memories: Art Beyond Chinese Traditions.' Photo by Chris Dunn.

Summoning Memories:  Art Beyond Chinese Borders
Friday, May 19, 2023--Registration at 9:00 am; Keynote presentation at 5:00 pm
1370 Southmore Blvd
Houston, TX 77004

Join Asia Society Texas for a symposium about the artists and issues featured in their current exhibition Summoning Memories: Art Beyond Chinese Traditions.

Beginning with a guided gallery tour, guest curator Dr. Susan L. Beningson will lead a series of conversations with featured artists, including Bingyi, Cui Fei, Kelly Wang, Zheng Chongbin, and others, and joined by leading curators such as Dr. Hiromi Kinoshita (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and Dr. Zoe Kwok (Princeton University Museum of Art). Throughout this day of discussion, explore the breadth and depth of cultural, historical, and artistic themes on view in the exhibition as we rethink and reimagine the histories, traditions, and artistic practices of artists of Chinese and Chinese American descent.

This event is free and open to the public; registration required.

For more information and to register, click here.

Last chance to see exhibitions closing May 14

May 11, 2023

Ito Jakuchu, Giant Daruma, late 18th century, hanging scroll; ink on paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Gitter-Yelen Collection, gift of Dr. Kurt Gitter and Alice Yelen Gitter.

None Whatsoever at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This exhibition features masterworks of Zen Buddhist Japanese paintings from the renowned Gitter-Yelen Collection spanning more than four centuries. Many of the works from the Gitter-Yelen Collection were recently acquired by the MFAH.

Maharana Ari Singh

“Maharana Ari Singh II enjoying Jagmandir” Attributed to Jiva and others, ca. 1767 Opaque watercolor and gold on paper Image, 58.3 × 114 cm The City Palace Museum, Udaipur, 2011.18.0037

A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur at The National Museum of Asian Art

Around 1700, artists in Udaipur (a court in northwest India) began creating immersive paintings that express the moods (bhava) of the city’s palaces, lakes, and mountains. These large works and their emphasis on lived experience constituted a new direction in Indian painting.

With dazzling paintings on paper and cloth—many on public view for the first time—the exhibition reveals the environmental, political, and emotional contexts in which the new genre emerged. A Splendid Land explores the unique visual strategies that artists developed to communicate emotions, depict places, and celebrate water resources.

The Four Elements in Japanese Arts at Onishi Gallery has been extended

May 10, 2023

Yoshita Minori (b. 1932), Living National Treasure, Plate with peony and Dry-grass Patterns, 2012, Porcelain with gold underglaze, h. 4 3/8 x dia. 19 1/2 in. (11 x 49.5 cm), courtesy of Onishi Gallery

There is more time to see The Four Elements in Japanese Arts: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, now on view at Onishi Gallery until May 31.

The exhibition showcases the technical mastery of contemporary Japanese ceramic artists. Important works by Living National Treasures Tokuda Yasokichi III (1933-2009), Yoshita Minori (b. 1932), Imaizumi Imaemon XIV (b. 1962), Maeta Akihiro (b. 1974) and Inoue Manji (b. 1929) are featured along with those of many of their contemporaries.

Shibunkaku at Taipei Dangdai

May 9, 2023

Kawafune Misao, Lumberjack's Path, 1928, Color on silk, hanging scroll with a box signed by the artist, 257 x 145 cm (image), 334 x 169 cm (overall)

Shibunkaku is participating in Taipei Dangdai, May 12-14, 2023
Nangang Exhibition Center

For Taipei Dangdai 2023, under the theme of Seeing/Gazing at the Nature, Shibunkaku would like to put the ‘distance’ created by the artist’s subjective awareness as the main axis, unravelling the world through their perspectives which transcend time, borders, and genres.

‘Seeing’ is the root of all art. It is through seeing that we establish our place in the surrounding world; through seeing, we explore and deepen our understanding of this world to situate ourselves in relation to it. As one dives deeper, turning ‘seeing’ into ‘gazing,’ it then becomes an act of choice. Through this act, artists establish a relationship between themselves and objects – be it the earth in the vast universe, the waves shimmering in the setting sun, the mountains and rivers filled with urban ruins and structures, the hibiscus blossoming in the backyard, the hair moss in the temple that lives in reincarnation – it could be anything in the world. Distances between the two will then be felt when the artists project their ‘gazing’ onto brushworks, either getting closer to or drifting away from the objects. It is the ‘distance’ created in each artwork that shows the uniqueness of each artist, also a record of themselves of how they see the world transformed into an image through their brush.

Read more here

Now On View at Akar Prakar

May 8, 2023

Manish Pushkale | Between the memory and a metaphor of a Forest - II | Acrylic on Canvas | 32 x 56 in | 2022

Manish Pushkale:  Consistent (in)consistency
April 14-May 17, 2023 at Akar Prakar, Kolkata

For his latest exhibition 'Consistent (In)consistency', artist Manish Pushkale presents an extensive series of paintings deepening his enquiry into his ongoing exploration of deriving visual forms to soundscapes.

Working with large and small-scale formats, Pushkale's canvases are reflective of the textures of his background. Hailing from Bhopal, Manish is a self-taught artist who developed his practice as an artist at Bharat Bhavan’s creatively fertile environment. Evolving his artistic language over 25 years of practice, in his paintings Pushkale experiments with the imagery, working at the intersection of the personal and the spiritual.

The series of paintings presented in this exhibition is a result of his current enquiry. Playing with the notion of abstracting the auditory, the compositions transcend the tangible language of sound as we perceive them to be. This exhibition is evidence of the evolution of Pushkale’s artistic research while he remains faithful to his paintbrush, his preferred medium of choice.

—Siddhi Shailendra

Meera Mukherjee

Meera Mukherjee | Untitled | Bronze | 9.5 x 8 x .5 in

Meera Mukherjee:  Life in all Things
April 28-May 26, 2023 at Akar Prakar, Delhi

“I belonged to a country which also had a great tradition of its own. It was the heritage which had in a thousand ways folded me. And, so though I was at the moment living, learning and growing in the West, I should still find my own way to myself, rooted in the great Indian tradition.” —Meera Mukherjee

On the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of artist Meera Mukherjee, Akar Prakar presents ‘Meera Mukherjee: Life in all Things’ to celebrate her life and works.

Meera is unravelled as “the woman behind the metal,”as a woman of flesh and blood. In the initial years of trial and toil, she started turning each pebble to a new path and no trouble seemed enough for her at one time. This exhibition is dedicated to remembering Meera and her genius, her commitment to her art, through the various mediums that she used during her journey as an artist, from wooden dolls to ceramic tiles, plaster of Paris to carvings on marble and terracotta works both large and intimate, drawings and paintings and finally her sculptures in Bronze which defined her artistic practice and which she struggled to create in spite of her financial constraints. She would often plough back the funds she received from her sale to create more sculptures. We know that Meera often gave these away as gifts and was shy of asking for the price of the work and would sometimes use the weight of the bronze to define the price of the sculpture! Such was the simplicity of Meera. With passion and love, Meera brought rhythm and music, devotion and dedication, into everything she created. Through her art, she sings to us the theme which is life.

Emotion and Thought Expressed Through Art: Two new exhibitions

May 5, 2023

Detail of “Universal Gateway,” Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra, Japan, Kamakura Period (1185–1333), dated 1257. Handscroll; ink, color, and gold on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Louisa Eldridge McBurney Gift, 1953.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Anxiety and Hope in Japanese Art
April 8, 2023- July 14, 2024

Drawn largely from The Met’s renowned collection of Japanese art, this exhibition explores the twin themes of anxiety and hope, with a focus on the human stories in and around art and art making.

The exhibition begins with sacred images from early Japan that speak to concerns about death, dying, and the afterlife or that were created in response to other uncertainties, such as war and natural disaster. The presentation then proceeds chronologically, highlighting medieval Buddhist images of paradises and hells, Zen responses to life and death, depictions of war and pilgrimage, and the role of protective and hopeful images in everyday life. In the final galleries, the exhibition’s underlying themes are explored through a selection of modern woodblock prints, garments, and photographs.

Rotation 1: April 8–August 13, 2023
Rotation 2: August 26–November 26, 2023
Rotation 3: December 16, 2023–April 14, 2024
Rotation 4: April 27–July 14, 2024

The National Museum of Asian Art
The Art of Knowing in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas
March 25, 2023-ongoing

One of a pair of book covers for a Dharani Samgraha (detail), Nepal, 1650–1700, opaque watercolor and gold on wood, Gift of Joyce and Kenneth Robbins, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, S2000.88.1–2

The Art of Knowing brings together highlights from our collections, some of which have never been on view, to explore religious and practical knowledge across time, space, and cultures. Featuring stone sculptures, gilt bronzes, and painted manuscripts from India, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia, this exhibition illuminates the critical role of visual culture in conveying Buddhist and Hindu teachings from the ninth to the twentieth centuries.

From Ganesha, the god of beginnings, to goddesses who personify wisdom, the artworks on view tell individual stories and reveal ways of knowing the world. “The Art of Knowing” asks how artists and objects shape wisdom traditions. How do shared images and designs reveal the movement of people and ideas across geographical regions? What do goddesses teach? And how does attaining knowledge end suffering?

Two upcoming online talks

May 3, 2023

Paul Binnie, b. 1967, Study of a Noh Kimono Sleeve in 'Kakitsubata', oil on wood panel 19 by 13 3/8 in., Courtesy of Scholten Japanese Art

Zoom Webinar sponsored by JASA
The Material Culture of Noh

Tuesday, May 9 at 5pm (EDT)

For this live Zoom webinar, Princeton University Professor Thomas Hare will speak about the origins of noh theater in Japan and, in particular, about its material culture. Noh drama has a 700-year history of continuous performances, and it has, in that time, developed a detailed body of conventions of performance that specify not only text, music and dance, but also the material culture of noh, its costumes, masks, props and even its unique stage. This talk will relate these material aspects of noh history to its thematic concerns in modern performance and their ties to historical performance.

Note: Advance registration is required to attend this event. Register here: May 9 Zoom Webinar.

Sneak Peek—When Stones Move: Journeys of the Tamil Yoginis
at The National Museum of Asian Art

Online event, May 9, 2023 12 pm (EST)

What happens to stone sculptures in India when they are separated from their original context? Follow the multiple journeys of a group of goddesses called yoginis from their temple, which no longer exists, to a bustling South Indian city and onward to museum collections on three continents. In this richly illustrated talk, Emma Natalya Stein, assistant curator of South Asian and Southeast Asian art, will reveal a recently discovered yogini—not in a museum but in a local Tamil shrine—and give a sneak peek into plans for an exhibition that seeks to reunite this important group of goddesses.

Read more and register here

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