What's Happening in Asian Art...

Sotheby’s New York Presents: March Asia Week Sale Series, Spanning 4,000 Years of History

March 4, 2021

An Exceptional and Rare Blue and White 'Floral' Bowl, Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period

Sotheby’s is delighted to present highlights of its upcoming Asia Week sales in New York, featuring a diverse array of Asian art spanning 4,000 years of history. Among the highlights are an exceptional selection of Imperial jades and cloisonné enamels from the Brooklyn Museum, sold to support museum collections; Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s Untitled – which will appear at auction for the first time this March after remaining in the collection of renowned American physicist, Robert Marshak and his wife Ruth for nearly sixty years, and more. All works on offer are open for viewing by appointment in Sotheby’s New York galleries beginning 11 March, with auctions taking place from 12 – 24 March.

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIAN ART,  Auction 16 March @ 10:00AM

There is an exceptional offering of works from the storied collections of Ruth and Robert Marshak and design impresario Patwant Singh, as well as masterpieces, such as Akbar Padamsee’s 1956 Landscape, which traveled for a representation at the La Biennale di Venezia, 1956, and a 1961 French landscape by Sayed Haider Raza.  This year’s sale features works by more than 65 artists, with an effort towards expanding the discourse around the diverse corpus of South Asian Art created in the 20th century.

The sale is led by two rare paintings on public view for the first time in decades, including Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s Untitled, which will appear at auction for the very first time since it was acquired in the 1960s; and Jehangir Sabavala’s Lone Vigil from 1989, which entered a private international collection thirty-two years ago and has not been seen since. The sale features works from other significant private collections, including the Patwant Singh and Romen & Rasil Basu Family Collection, and works from the collection of renowned art critic George Butcher; a selection of sculptures led by an archetypal bronze masterpiece by Meera Mukherjee; as well as a diverse selection of works from the Bengal School of Art by many of the leading artists that defined this iconic genre including Gaganendranath Tagore, Benode Behari Mukherjee, Sunayani Devi and Sailoz Mookherjea.

Acquired directly from the artist in Bombay in the 1960s, Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s incandescent red canvas Untitled, 1962 will appear at auction for the first time this March, after remaining in the collection of renowned American physicist, Robert Marshak and his wife Ruth for nearly sixty years (estimate $800,000/1,200,000). The early 1960s were a critical moment in both Gaitonde’s career and the development of Color Field painting. The present work represents the artist’s unique experimentation with color, surface, texture, proportion and suspension, a defiant and remarkable intent which became the hallmark of Gaitonde’s celebrated œuvre.

IMPERIAL CLOISONNE & JADE: CHINESE ART FROM THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM, Auction 17 March @ 9:00 AM

Leading Sotheby’s Asia Week sale series this March is a remarkable selection of Imperial jades and cloisonné enamels produced during the Ming and Qing dynasties from the Brooklyn Museum, sold to support museum collections. Two of the most significant gifts made to the Brooklyn Museum during the early years of the twentieth century are the cloisonné enamels collected by Samuel P. Avery, Jr. (1847- 1920), and jades and hardstones acquired by Colonel Robert B. Woodward (1840-1915). The 45 works on offer from the Brooklyn Museum represents the generosity of these two patrons, among others, who together were to shape the understanding of these two materials.

This distinguished group of works is led by a magnificent Qing dynasty, Qianlong period Exceptional White and Russet Jade Brushpot (estimate $1/1.5 million) from the Woodward Collection. Colonel Robert B. Woodward (1840-1915) was a lifelong Brooklyn resident whose generous gift of 218 jade and hardstone carvings was made to the institution in 1914. Produced in increased quantity from the mid-Qianlong period on, jade brushpots were rarer and more valuable than those made from bamboo, wood or porcelain, and tended to be concentrated in the collections of the imperial family and other nobility. Under the Qianlong Emperor’s auspices, the jade brushpot became an important medium for pictorial subjects. Many of these illustrate historical events or stories as memorialized in classical paintings, while others interpret their source material, aiming to capture the spirit of China's rich tradition of landscape painting. The decoration of the present brushpot follows in the tradition of Chinese painting, treating the surface of the material as a horizontal scroll. The motif unfolds in front of the viewer as the brushpot is turned and with each scene a new perspective of the landscape is revealed, making the brushpot an object that can be appreciated from multiple vantage points. Also on offer from the Brooklyn Museum collection is a group of cloisonné enamels from the world-renowned Samuel P. Avery, Jr. Collection, led by an exceptionally rare ‘Bats And Clouds’ cloisonné enamel vase (estimate $300/500,00). The Avery Collection of Chinese Cloisonné Enamels was not only the most important and largest of its type in America, but it remains today one of the most important holdings of Chinese cloisonné worldwide.

IMPORTANT CHINESE ART, Auction 17 March @ 10:00 AM

The day continues with a diverse assemblage of rare and exceptional Chinese works of art from distinguished collections, spanning 4,000 years of Chinese history from the Shang dynasty onwards. The Important Chinese Art auction highlights include two early Ming dynasty blue and white masterworks, led by an exceptional and rare 15th century Chinese Yongle period Blue and White  ‘Floral’ Bowl, which will appear at auction for the first time after it was amazingly discovered at a yard sale near New Haven, Connecticut - where it was purchased for just $35 (estimate $300/500,000). While perusing yard sales in Connecticut last year, the consignor came across the small yet eye-catching bowl. Given his attraction to its striking and intricate design, he purchased the bowl without hesitation for a modest $35 – the asking price. Intrigued by the piece, the buyer brought the bowl to Sotheby’s specialists for evaluation, where it was immediately identified as an exceptionally rare piece. For comparison, only six companion bowls are known, with most held in the most renowned museum collections in the world, including two in the National Palace Museum, Taipei; one in the British Museum; one in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and one in the National Museum of Iran, Tehran. This delicate bowl is a quintessential Yongle product made for the court, showing the striking combination of superb material and painting with a slightly exotic design that characterizes imperial porcelain of this period.

On offer from the collection of Stephen Junkunc III, a superb and important parcel-gilt silver 'Lotus And Pomegranate' bowl further highlights the sale (estimate $1/1.5 million). With its exquisite shape, lavish decoration and rich gilding, the present silver bowl stands firmly in the tradition of the best Tang silverwares, yet it is in many ways unique: it is extremely rare in being fully gilded on the outside, for example, rather than only to high-light the designs, as on the inside. Gold and silver are eternal symbols of wealth and luxury and were coveted in every period, but perhaps never more so than at the court and among the elites of the Tang dynasty (618-907).

THE HUNDRED ANTIQUES: FINE & DECORATIVE ASIAN ART, Auction 12 – 24 MARCH

Open for bidding online from 12 – 24 March, The Hundred Antiques: Fine & Decorative Asian Art comprises over 190 Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Himalayan works of art and paintings. The sale features Ming and Qing dynasty porcelains, classical furniture, jade, and scholar’s objects, among others. Together, they exemplify the range of artistic expressions, materials, and techniques from Asia’s diverse cultures. Highlights include a large Qing dynasty blue and white Tianqiuping (estimate $15/20,000, pictured left); an ornate hardstone-inlaid Nepalese votive plaque (estimate $5/7,000); a selection of Indian miniature paintings, jade and jadeite carvings from the Estate of Allen O. Battle, PhD; Qing dynasty glass from an important American private collection; a group of early Chinese ceramics from a Boston private collection; and numerous Chinese works of art from the collection of Henry H. Arnhold, sold to benefit the Arnhold Foundation.

Bonhams announces New York Asia Week sale highlights for March 2021

March 3, 2021

An incredibly rare and museum-quality 11th century brass figure of Vajravarahi from Northeastern India, dating from the Pala Period; an important 10th century lacquered wood sculpture of Amida Buddha; and a wonderful grouping of Ming and Qing lacquer wares from the Collection of Robert W. Moore are among the highlights of Bonhams New York Asia Week sales announced today. This March, Bonhams New York will present a plethora of fine and rare works from a range of art historical periods throughout Asia’s past and present, the sales include: Chinese Works of Art and Paintings on Monday, March 15 at 10AM EST, Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art on Tuesday, March 16 at 6PM EST, and Fine Japanese and Korean Art on Wednesday, March 17 at 10AM EST.

Chinese Works of Art and Paintings
Monday, March 15, 2021
10AM EST

This sale offers treasured works of art from a series of prestigious private collections from America, led by the Ming and Qing lacquer wares from The Collection of Robert W. Moore, famed California collector of Chinese and Korean art. Among the highlights is a superb 15th/16th century Ming mother-of-pearl and black lacquer octagonal tray, exquisitely inlaid with courtly scene of figures at a lakeside pavilion (Estimate: US$25,000-35,000). Other featured collections include:

• Select sculptures from The Estate of Marilynn B. Alsdorf, featuring a rare black stone cross-legged figure of Maitreya dating back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (Estimate: US$70,000-100,000).

• Ceramics from the 9th century through late Qing, led by a cream-glazed ingot-shaped pillow with an Imperial Qianlong inscription from The Rosalind Ching Pastor Collection (Estimate: US$50,000-70,000). Research suggests that it formed part of the renowned Japanese dealer Yamanaka & Co. Inc. property, which came to market in 1943 at the Parke-Bernet Galleries liquidation sale.

• A select group of archaic jade ‘animal’ carvings from the Shang Dynasty through Han Dynasty from The Estate of Robert Youngman, including a russet jade Shang bear (Estimate: US$30,000-50,000).

Highlights of Chinese paintings and calligraphy date from the 16th through 21st century, including:

• An interesting collaborative fan painting (Estimate: US$8,000-10,000) by two leading painters of the 19th century Shanghai School: Xugu (1823-1896) and Wu Changshuo (1844-1927). Created for their fellow artist of the school Ren Yi (1840-1896), this one small fan connects the three giants, and is a testament to the collaborative and social nature at play in Shanghai at the time.

• Qi Baishi (1864-1957) Mice and Candlestick (Estimate: US$70,000-90,000).

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
6PM EST

Leading Bonhams marquee sale week is a museum-quality brass figure of Vajravarahi from Northeastern India, dating from the Pala Period, circa 11th Century (Estimate: US$400,000-600,000). Possibly one of the earliest known bronze sculptures of Vajravarahi in existence, this figure from the eminent Nyingjei Lam Collection has been on loan to the Rubin Museum over the past 15 years, and has never since been published. Vajravarahi has been the most important female meditational deity in Tantric Buddhism since 11th century in Northeastern India, and it was at that very moment this figure was created. It brims with expressive iconography recalling the Indian myth of the Earth Goddess, envisioned as a young girl rising from the depths of cosmic waters. Bronzes remaining in India are believed to have been buried, but the alluring buttery patina on this figure suggests that it had been taken to – and preserved in – Tibet in the 11th or 12th century.

Among the highlights are also sculptures from the Siddharth K. Bhansali Collection and a grouping of South Indian Ganesha sculptures, as well as:

• A gilt copper alloy figure of Lokeshvara Padmapani from Nepal, 12th/13th century (Estimate: US$100,000-150,000). Intimately scaled and sensuously modelled, it is a depiction of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the lord who looks upon the world. It offers a calm, benevolent gaze and its right hand is in the gesture of granting wishes. The lotus in bloom by his left shoulder symbolizes every being’s potential to achieve enlightenment despite their past.

• A gilt copper alloy and repoussé shrine of Manjuvajra, Nepal, 17th/18th century (Estimate: US$130,000-180,000). The distinct shrine invokes Manjuvajra, an esoteric form of Manjushri – the Bodhisattva of Transcendent Wisdom. With three heads and six arms, he crosses his principal hands at the chest, embracing his consort while symbolizing the union of skillful means and wisdom.

Fine Japanese and Korean Art
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
10AM EST

The Fine Japanese and Korean Art sale is comprised of more than 180 Japanese and Korean lots, led by an important 10th century lacquered wood sculpture of Amida Buddha (Estimate: US$100,000-150,000). This Amida Buddha was created during the Heian period (764-1158), considered the first golden age of Buddhist sculpture in Japan. The distinctly Heian features – the soft lines, the voluminous body and limbs, and almost childlike appearance with gentle serene expressions – are considered as a native Japanese style.

Equally appealing is an important model of a celestial musician from the Horyuji temple (Estimate: US$35,000-50,000). This figure is believed to have been attached to the rim of an elaborate jeweled canopy of one of the three important statues in the Golden Hall of Horyuji Temple, Nara – Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. The canopy has been erected since the hall’s reconstruction after a fire in 670.

The sale’s Korean section features:

• An outstanding selection of ceramics from a private Japanese collection formed in the early 20th century, including an intricately carved white porcelain brush pot (Estimate: US$40,000-50,000) carved with symbols of longevity: deer, cranes, bamboo and pine.

• A large-scale painting of Yeongsan (Vulture Peak) Assembly (Estimate: US$7,000-9,000), which features the historical Buddha preaching the Lotus Sutra to his disciples. This impressive work, likely displayed at an alter behind the principal deity in a temple, was purchased in the 1960s by an American officer stationed in Korea.

Heritage Auctions celebrates return to Asia Week New York

March 2, 2021

An Indian Miniature Painting Depicting Krishna with Gopis

DALLAS, TX.- An extraordinary selection of artwork from Chinese artist Qi Baishi and an impressive array of Indian and Himalayan art are among the top draws in Heritage Auctions' Fine & Decorative Asian Art auction March 16, an event in which Heritage will expand its footprint in Asia Week New York.

"Heritage Auction's Consignment Directors Moyun Niu and Clementine Chen shared their excitement to celebrate New York Asia Week with over 300 fine and decorative Asian Art pieces, comprised of Chinese, Japanese and Korean ceramics, calligraphy, painting, sculpture, furniture and more," Heritage Auctions Asian Art Consignment Director Moyun Niu said. "Among the many fine treasures, they highlight, are a group of fine snuff bottles from a private California collection, a large white jade ruyi scepter from a major Dallas collection, a pair of large painted grey pottery guardian figures, Tang Dynasty from a New York collection, a Chinese scroll painting after Lu Zhi, three Qi Baishi fan paintings, and so many more."

"As a painter famed for his portrayal of small animals, Qi Baishi mastered the art of painting chicks fairly late in life," Heritage Auctions Asian Art Consignment Director Clementine Chen said. "Not until his early 60s did he fully grasp the technique to use various tones of black ink to illustrate the flocculent feathers of a young chick. His paintings of chicks, like Qi Baishi (Chinese, 1864-1957) Chicks (estimate: $40,000-60,000), became one his most sought-after works.

"He also produced a series of beautiful fans, from a single collection in upstate New York, two of which – DragonflyandOrchids – are offered in the sale, each with an estimate of $15,000-25,000 and a Landscape fan with an estimate of $20,000-30,000. As a pioneer in the modern Chinese watercolor movement, the artist focused his works heavily on secular subjects, namely farmscapes and farm animals, rather than traditional literati landscape paintings, which makes the current landscape fan exceedingly rare."

"The sale includes an assortment of exquisite Chinese ceramics. One example is a Large Chinese Yellow-Ground and Iron-Red Decorated Enamel Dragon Fishbowl (estimate: $30,000-50,000) that is enameled in iron-red on a yellow ground with five-clawed dragons racing around in pursuit of flaming pearls amid auspicious clouds," Niu said. "A Chinese Wucai 'Eight Immortals' Dish (estimate: $20,000-30,000), from a private New York collection, bears a scene depicting the Eight Daoist Immortals, holding their attributes, accompanied by Shoulao, the Star God of Longevity, seated and flanked by his crane, deer and an attendant, all in a garden setting under pine trees."

After Lu Zhi (Chinese, 1496-1575) Chrysanthemums and Calligraphy(estimate: $30,000-50,000), with 15 red seals, comes from a private collection California. Lu Zhi (159-192) was an ancient Chinese general, government official and scholar during the Eastern Han dynasty.

A Pair of Large Painted Grey Pottery Guardian Figures, Tang Dynasty (estimate: $25,000-35,000) was created under the imperial dynasty that ruled from 618-907. Pottery created during the Tang Dynasty was known for low-temperature glaze that is among the most popular of ancient Chinese ceramic firing techniques. The offered figures stand 16 inches tall.

The event features an assortment of Japanese cloisonné-enamel vases, created in the ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects with colored material held in place or separated by metal strips or wire, normally of gold or silver. Top Japanese cloisonné-enamel lots include, but are not limited to:

• An Important Japanese Cloisonné-Enamel Vase, Namikawa Yasuyuki, Meiji Period (estimate: $6,000-8,000)

• An Exceptionally Fine Moriage Enamel Bottle Vase, Ando Jubei (1876-1953), circa 1920 (estimate: $5,000-7,000)

• A Fine Japanese Cloisonné-Enamel Pedestal Vase, Ando Jubei (1876-1953), Meiji Period (estimate: $3,000-5,000)

The event features a dozen lots of Indian art, highlights of which include:

• An Indian Miniature Painting Depicting Krishna with Gopis (estimate: $15,000-20,000)

• An Indian Carved Wood Ganesha Relief from the Dallas Estate of Stuart Cutshall (estimate: $10,000-20,000)

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

• Wang Rong (Chinese, 1896-1972) Landscape(estimate: $15,000-25,000)

• A Chinese Jade and Hardstone-Inlaid Wood Six-Panel Screen, Qing Dynasty, 19th century (estimate: $15,000-20,000)

Christie's announces New York Asian Art Week March 2021

March 1, 2021

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announces Asian Art Week, a series of auctions, viewings, and events, from March 4-19. This season presents seven auctions featuring over 750 objects from 5,000 years of art spanning all epochs and categories of Asian art from Chinese archaic bronzes through Japanese and Korean art to modern and contemporary Indian painting.

Highlights include Shang: Early Chinese Ritual Bronzes from the Daniel Shapiro Collection led by The Luboshez Gong, an exceptional and highly important bronze ritual wine vessel and cover from the late Shang dynasty, 13th-12th century BC ($4,000,000-6,000,000). Also featured in the week of sales are important Gandharan sculptures from a private Japanese collection, including a magnificent 3rd to 4th-century gray schist figure of Buddha Shakyamuni ($1,500,000-2,500,000); a significant painting by the pioneer of Indian modernism Tyeb Mehta, titled Confidant and painted in 1962 ($600,000-800,000); an important and highly exhibited work by Katsushika Hokusai titled Mitate Asazuma bune (The Parody of Boat Asazuma) from the collection of the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum ($400,000-500,000); an exceptionally rare huanghuali incense stand from the Yunwai Lou collection ($800,000-1,200,000) and Chinese works of art from the celebrated Junkunc collection. From rare huanghuali furniture to a collection of works by respected artist and teacher Benodebehari Mukherjee, treasures from every category of Asian art wait to be discovered.

Following the success of the September 2020 season, Chinese works of art sales on March 18-19 will be presented in New York and simultaneously in Hong Kong for increased phone bidding and streamed live on WeChat. Christie’s continues to leverage digital tools to extend access to key bidding areas and provide global audiences with opportunities to view auctions.

All works will be presented in an exhibition by appointment from March 12-18 at Christie’s New York.

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

At her namesake gallery, first-time participant, Miyako Yoshinaga, presents a solo exhibition by Tokyo-based Manika Nagare (b. 1979). Manika Nagare‘s abstract color paintings, such as Through a Faraway Eye, are inspired by awe-inducing natural phenomena and nature's boundless vistas. Through these works created during the pandemic, Nagare has sought to express her emotional response to losing loved ones. All elements of her work, such as layers of unmixed colors, lines suggesting mountain ridges, contours of plants, and smooth rhythms like flowing water coexist organically as in nature itself. 24 East 64th Street, for gallery hours, phone 212-268-7132.

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

Thomas Murray at the San Francisco Tribal and Textile Art Virtual Show 2021

February 25, 2021

Hasapi Lute top figure, Batak, Sumatra

February 24-28, 2021

Explore the exotic, colorful, magical, mystical work of Tribal and Ethnographic Art. Enjoy and acquire objects created by indigenous cultures over millennia. More than 60 top-tier galleries and dealers from the US and around the globe showing remarkable stone and wood carvings, paintings, jewelry, and pottery and the finest ancient and contemporary textiles and rugs for North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, India, Oceania, and the Americas.

Friday, February 26, 2021, Thomas Murray will speak on the Art of Two, the book he wrote in 2015 on the theme of Mother and Child. Tom Murray is an independent researcher, author, collector, lecturer, and private dealer of Asian and Tribal art with an emphasis on Indonesian sculpture and textiles, as well as animistic art from other varied cultures.

For more information, visit https://www.virtualtribalandtextileartshows.com.

 

New exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

February 24, 2021

Two immortals, China, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), late 18th century. Jade (nephrite). Gift of Heber R. Bishop, 1902 (02.18.411) (left); Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015 (2015.500.5.12) (right)

Masters and Masterpieces: Chinese Art from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection

January 30-October 17, 2021

An outstanding selection of Chinese art gifted to The Met by Florence and Herbert Irving is the focus of this exhibition. Beginning in the early 1970s, the Irvings built one of the most comprehensive and superb collections of Chinese art in the world. For more than three decades, the couple helped The Met acquire important artworks and provided support for exhibitions, and their passion was a factor in building the current exhibition galleries dedicated to Chinese decorative arts. Their generous gifts of more than five hundred exceptional objects fundamentally transformed the holdings of Chinese art at The Met.

The approximately 120 works on display (in each rotation) cover almost all major categories of Chinese art, with a focus on three-dimensional objects, including lacquer, ceramic, metal work, jade, bamboo, and stone carvings. Created by both famous and unknown masters, these extraordinary works represent the artistic sophistication and technical virtuosity of Chinese decorative arts from the tenth through the early twentieth century. In addition to the Irvings’ well-known assemblage of lacquer ware, the exhibition also showcases their recent gifts of a group of jade and bamboo works from the eighteenth-century imperial workshop that have never before been on display. This presentation reunites important private loans formerly in the Irvings’ collection with comparative pieces from The Met collection.

Water Buffalo, China, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), 18th century. Jade (nephrite). Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1936

Celebrating the Year of the Ox

January 30, 2021–January 17, 2022

The traditional East Asian lunar calendar consists of a repeating 12–year cycle, with each year corresponding to one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. The association of these creatures with the Chinese calendar began in the third century B.C. and became firmly established by the first century A.D. The 12 animals are, in sequence: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each is believed to embody certain traits that are manifested in the personalities of the people born in that year. This Lunar New Year, which begins on February 12, 2021, is the Year of the Ox.

In celebration of the Year of the Ox, this exhibition presents depictions of oxen and water buffalo (considered the same category of animals in China) created by artists in the last 3,000 years. Particularly notable are a massive eighteenth-century jade sculpture of a water buffalo and a remarkable eighth-century set of ceramic Chinese zodiac figures, illustrating the important role that the animals play in the life of humans.

On view for a limited time at the Philadelphia Museum

February 23, 2021

Mansheng Wang (Chinese, b. 1962),Collection of Rotted Wood, 2019
Chinese ink on paper; mounted as an album 11 × 7 7/8 inches (28 × 20 cm) Purchased with the East Asian Art Revolving Fund, 2019-153-3

Wang Mansheng continues the age-old tradition of collecting and appreciating humble materials from nature by depicting ‘portraits’ of driftwood found in the Hudson Valley. Captured from all angles, nooks and crannies become steep cliffs and deep ravines, showing that even insect-ridden rotted wood can provide inspiration for contemplation and self-reflection.

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

Asia Week New York's Next Webinar: Transported by Art

February 16, 2021

Asia Week New York is pleased to host a panel discussion, Transported by Art, on Wednesday, February 24 at 5pm EST.

Follow the journey taken by a work of art on its way from the seller to the buyer. It could be more convoluted than you might expect.  Our expert panelists:  Mark Aiston, Aiston Fine Art Services, Susan L. Beningson PhD, curator and collector, Steven Chait, President, Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Mee-Seen Long, Director INKStudio, consultant to Sotheby's, and Ellen Ross, Head of the Fine Arts Practice, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. offer tips on what to look out for and how to negotiate some of the twists and turns.  The conversation will be moderated by Lark Mason, Jr. founder of iGavel Auctions and president of the Appraiser's Association of America.

To Register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_z-CiaSxkQgee-EhUxsB3ZQ  

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