What's Happening in Asian Art...

National Museum of Asian Art's Sneak Peek

May 8, 2022

Nicky Nodjoumi (born 1942, Kermanshah), Here is Aleppo, 2017, ink on paper, Purchase—Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Endowment for Contemporary Iranian Art, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, RLS2021.18a–c

Sneak Peek—Seeing Black: Nicky Nodjoumi’s "Here is Aleppo"
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution

Online program, May 10, 2022, 12–12:40pm

Among the museum’s recently acquired works is Nicky Nodjoumi’s Here is Aleppo, a three-panel ink painting from 2017. A major figure in the history of contemporary Iranian art, Nodjoumi has developed a distinctive body of work over the last five decades. Here is Aleppo is a monumental example of the artist’s own process of wrestling with the power dynamics that shape today’s world. Join curator Carol Huh for a closer look at this new acquisition by one of the most important voices in contemporary Iranian art.

Read more and register, click here

National Museum of Asian Art Opens Revealing Krishna

May 6, 2022

Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution

On view now through September 18, 2022

Revealing Krishna transports visitors to a sacred mountain in the floodplains of southern Cambodia. The exhibition, which was organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art, showcases a monumental sculpture of the Hindu god Krishna lifting Mount Govardhan to protect his people from a torrential storm sent by an angry god. For the first time, the sculpture is explored in the context of its original environment, as part of a multi-religious landscape and quite literally built into a mountain. This larger than life-size sculpture is one of eight monumental deity figures recovered from cave temples on the two-peaked mountain of Phnom Da near the ancient metropolis of Angkor Borei. The exhibition tells the life story of this sculptural masterpiece—spanning 1,500 years and three continents—and unveils the newly restored Krishna in an exhibition that integrates art, immersive video installations, and interactive design.

The exhibition includes an original short film directed by renowned Cambodian American film maker praCh Ly. Titled Satook, a word of blessing spoken at the end of Cambodian prayers, the film examines the role of ancient sacred sites in present-day religious landscapes, and the transformation of religious traditions in Cambodian American diaspora communities.

Sacred Art from Cambodia: Blessing Ceremony
Gallery Talk: Meet Filmmaker praCh Ly

In-person programs, May 14, 2 and 3pm
The Blessing Ceremony, led by two monks from the Cambodian Buddhist temple Watt Buddhacheya Mongkol in Woodbridge, Virginia, uses practices such as chanting, sprinkling water, and specific hand gestures to confer protection and good luck. Afterwards, enjoy Cambodian-inspired refreshments by Oh Graze Away and Little Lana’s Cookies. Then go inside to experience the exhibition and meet curator Emma Natalya Stein and praCh Ly, director of the documentary film Satook, which explores the transformation of religious traditions in Cambodian American communities.

Read more, click here

Asia Society Exhibitions Closing Soon

May 6, 2022

Ali Banisadr, We Haven't Landed on Earth Yet, 2012, oil on linen. H. 82 x W. 120 in. (208.3 x 304.8 cm). Mohammed Afkhami Foundation. Photograph courtesy of Mohammed Afkhami Foundation

Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians—
The Mohammed Afkhami Collection

Asia Society

Closing day May 8
Asia Society Museum's Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians—The Mohammed Afkhami Collection is an exhibition of works by more than 20 Iranian-born artists and one German-born artist, reflecting a dynamic and thriving contemporary arts scene. The exhibition, illuminating the multifaceted experiences and identities of artists spanning three generations who are working inside and outside of Iran, probes subjects such as gender identity, war and peace, politics and religion, and spirituality.

Video Spotlights
Closing day May 8
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s practice addresses the dichotomies of life and death, the search for autonomy within cultural constraints, and notions of identity and difference examined through class class hierarchies and regional idiosyncrasies.

Rahraw Omarzad
Rahraw Omarzad’s video depicts a woman sequestered in a windowless space. Her struggle with the restricting barriers of a black cloth and her chadri (or burqa) reflects the crippling effects a dictatorial regime has on the psyche.

Read more, click here

DAG Opens New Exhibition Tantra On the Edge

May 5, 2022

Biren De (1926-2011), February '88, 1988, oil on canvas, 52 x 32 in. (132.1 x 81.3 cm.)

Tantra On the Edge: Inspirations and Experiments in Twentieth Century Indian Art DAG
The Claridges, New Delhi
Now on view through June 27

DAG presents this pioneering effort to exhibit works by Indian modern artists. The exhibition showcases the inspirations and experiments of these trailblazing artists and their relationship with tantra philosophy, its vivid abstract sacred symbols and its spiritual illuminations.

The word tantra derives from the Sanskrit root tan, and holds that it is a revelatory science of expanding human consciousness based on the intrinsic belief in the divinity of the self that has the potentiality to attain alternate states of super consciousness. Curated by Madhu Khanna, each artist on display shows how elements of tantra philosophy or its pictorial language are woven into their individualistic creations. The selected artworks are a product of the encounter and a resurgence of a personal quest for artists to find their severed cultural roots, a triumph free from the servitude of Eurocentric models of expression and self-rule of the creative spirit in the truest sense of the word.

Read more and see the exhibition artworks online, click here

Fu Qiumeng's Ink Affinities Closes Soon

May 5, 2022

Arnold Chang & Michael Cherney, Salt Lattice 盐图晶格, 2018, photography and ink on xuan paper mounted on paper, 24 x 57 in. (61 x 145 cm.)

Ink Affinities 墨缘: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney
Fu Qiumeng Fine Art

Last day May 7

Since 2009 the artists Arnold Chang (张洪 b. 1954) and Michael Cherney (秋麦 b. 1969) have created a series of collaborative works that combine classical ink painting with photography in ways that subtly blur the distinction between the two media. The photographs of Cherney, an American residing in Beijing, and the ink landscapes of Chang, a Chinese American living in New Jersey, are both rooted in the centuries-old tradition of Chinese painting. The collaborative works begin with Cherney’s meticulously selected excerpts of photographs taken in China and printed on xuan paper, and combine them with Chang’s elegant brushwork, resulting in a dialogue between the two media, as well as a conversation between the two artists. These works challenge the definition of shuimo 水墨 (“ink painting”) while simultaneously embracing and reaffirming the classical aesthetics of Chinese landscape art.

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National Museum of Asian Art: (In Person) Art Outside: Celebrate Eid

May 4, 2022

Portrait of a Gentleman, Iran, Isfahan, Safavid period, ca. 1650–1675, oil on canvas,
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

(In Person) Art Outside: Celebrate Eid
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution

Saturday, May 7, 2-4:30pm
Free in person, outdoor program

The National Museum of Asian Art hosts a festive afternoon of music, food, and art to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan. Watch master calligraphers—Davut Bektas, Keniz Oktem Bektas, and Mariam Lodin—at work, make your own calligraphy-inspired art, enjoy henna designs and music by Syrian Music Preservation Initiative and the Zaynab Ensemble, and view art in the galleries, including the exhibition Engaging the Senses and Fashioning an Empire: Safavid Textiles from the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, which closes on May 15th. Food from local favorite Fava Pot will be available for purchase. This event is offered in collaboration with the Qatar America Institute for Culture and the Reed Society for the Sacred Arts. In case of rain, this event will take place inside the museum.

Also at 2 and 4pm, join associate curator Simon Rettig for a gallery talk, Arts of the Islamic World: Qur'anic Inscriptions and Calligraphy, which will focus on the artistic expressions of the written word in the Arts of the Islamic World gallery. Learn about the art of Qur'anic calligraphy by exploring works from North Africa to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Read more and register, click here

Last Days to See The Eternal Beauty of Metal
at Onishi Gallery

May 3, 2022

Sako Ryuhei (b. 1976), Mokume-gane Vase 03, 2020, silver, copper, shakudo (alloy-copper, gold) and shibuichi (alloy-copper, silver), H. 9 5/8 x Dia. 6 in. (24.5 x 15 cm.)

The Eternal Beauty of Metal, Onishi Gallery
Concludes Friday, May 6

This week Onishi Gallery draws to a close their current exhibition of the best of contemporary Japanese metal art, which features works by many leading figures in the field, including nine artists designated “Living National Treasures.” The exhibition’s title, The Eternal Beauty of Metal, reflects the philosophy of Ōsumi Yukie—Japan’s first female Living National Treasure in metal art—who has written that there is “ … something particularly meaningful about the way that metals can substitute the permanent for the fleeting and transitory, conferring eternity on phenomena that would otherwise have a limited lifespan.”

Be sure to see this exhibition before it closes. Read more, click here

Member Monday - Kapoor Galleries

May 2, 2022

S. N. Surti, Air-India, New York, 1967

 

When Air-India launched “the Maharaja” as their mascot in 1946, he soon became a larger than life figure, and not only adorned innumerable posters but also became an important part of cultural life, often even rankling the preferences of notable dignitaries. Conceived by Bobby Kooka and illustrated by Umresh Rao, the Maharaja sported a large moustache, turban, and prominent belly. He was usually portrayed with a strong sense of humor and winking satire. . . as he models hospitality and refinement in New York in the poster above, he is dressed up as a Playboy Bunny and serves drinks to a (very) young Hugh Hefner.

Attracted to the history associated with these posters and their whimsy, when Sanjay Kapoor, owner and 4th-generation dealer of Kapoor Galleries, came across a collection of Air-India posters at auction, he purchased the entire group. On one hand, these fit in well with Kapoor Galleries’ existing collection of 20th century travel posters, which “enticed and mesmerized all who viewed them with the possibilities of exploring a new world” (for more on Kapoor Galleries' travel posters, click here). However, seeing an alternative path for these pictures, Kapoor then coordinated with Poster House in Chelsea to present these posters in an exhibition this fall where the context in which they were created and viewed could be explored and a large audience could enjoy them.


L-R: V.V. Shetye, Air-India/Sydney, 1963 and K.K. Save, Air-India/London, 1962

The exhibition, Air-India’s Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue will be on view from September 9th through February 12th at Poster House. Illustrated with numerous posters that show the Maharaja in his many guises, the show’s accompanying commentary surveys the history and cultural importance of the Maharaja both in India and globally. Along with Sanjay Kapoor, the show is curated by Carly Johnson and Sophia Williamson, Co-Directors of Kapoor Galleries.


Team Maharaja: (L-R) Sanjay Kapoor, Carly Johnson, and Sophia Williamson

Any Maharaja would be pleased to have these three professionals on his staff. After completing degrees in computer processors and neuroscience at Stony Brook and Indian art at SOAS, Sanjay Kapoor augments his leadership at the gallery with senior roles at the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) and the Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA). Carly Johnson recently completed her degree in Mathematics from Fordham University and has experience as a radio audio engineer. Sophia Williamson similarly studied Chemistry, along with Art History at Fordham and spent a semester bringing computer skills to archaeology work in Rome.

For more details about the exhibition at Poster House, click here. While you are waiting for the show to open in September, enjoy the stunning virtual exhibitions available now on Kapoor Galleries’ website, click here.

Art History Study Group at the Met

May 1, 2022

Unidentified artist, Playing the Zither for a Crane (detail), mid-16th century, hanging scroll, ink and color on paper, Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, 1972 (1972.278.3)

Art History Study Group—Companions in Solitude: Reclusion and Communion
in Chinese Art,
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang Associate Curator of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy
Online program, Thursday, May 5, 4–5:30pm

This program, led by the Met's curator of Chinese paintings, Joseph Scheier-Dolberg offers an in-depth exploration of the exhibition Companions in Solitude: Reclusion and Communion in Chinese Art. This interactive online study session considers how the choice to be alone or be together is central to the lives of thinkers and artists and explores Chinese artworks that abound with figures who pursued both paths.

Registration is limited and reservations must by made by May 2nd. For more information and to register, click here

Japan Society Opens Kazuko Miyamoto: To perform a line

April 30, 2022

Courtesy of the artist and Zürcher Gallery, New York/Paris

Kazuko Miyamoto: To perform a line, Japan Society
April 29-July 10, 2022

This solo exhibition will be the first institutional survey of Kazuko Miyamoto (b.1942, Tokyo), a relatively little-known but significant artist, and will provide a long overdue examination of this singular artist’s career. This exhibition reclaims Miyamoto’s contributions to the development of Minimalism, challenging its general understanding as male dominated, and embraces her highly individual artistic pursuit to reveal a sustained interest in the body through evocative conceptual experiments and investigations in performance and textiles.

Kazuko Miyamoto provides an overview of the artist’s work, moving from her contributions to the Minimalism movement through early paintings and drawings from the 1960s, and her increasingly spatial string constructions in the 1970s, to her conceptual experiments in performance, culminating in her kimono series from 1987 through the 1990s. A number of works that will be on view have never been shown publicly, offering a crucial opportunity for the public to encounter Miyamoto’s rich oeuvre for the first time.

Read more, click here

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