From September 6–14, it's September 2019 Asia Week in New York. Several of our regular dealer participants are open to the public, showcasing traditional and contemporary examples of Asian painting, sculpture, ceramics, and more. Think of it as a teaser for the March 2020 edition of Asia Week New York! Here's our guide to the exhibitions on view. Many shows remain open past September 14—please check each listing below for details.
Left: Compilation of Recollected Images, Kishi Eiko, 2017, Shigaraki stoneware with colored-chamotte inlays, 26 x 25 1/4 x 5 1/8 in. Photo by Nagata Yō. Image courtesy of Joan B Mirviss LTD.
Right: Waves, Ogata Kamio, 2019, marbleized stoneware, 7 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. Inoue Kōji. Image courtesy of Joan B Mirviss LTD.
Joan B Mirviss LTD is holding two exhibitions from September 10 through October 25: "Composite Memories: The Clay Art of Kishi Eiko" and "Nami: Shikaku Geijutsu / Waves of Optical Illusion: Ogata Kamio". One of the foremost women artists working in the field of contemporary Japanese clay sculpture, Kishi Eiko (b. 1948) has achieved international success, consistently winning awards in the US, Japan, and Europe. Leaving function behind and perfecting her own signature technique, Kishi creates powerful poised, and architectonic sculptures. Meanwhile, The unique and optically stunning marbleized ceramics of Ogata Kamio
(b. 1949) have earned this Hokkaidō artist memberships in two craft societies in Japan and entry into numerous international exhibitions, despite his rural birthplace. The exhibition at Joan B Mirviss LTD will be this master ceramist’s first solo exhibition outside Japan. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 11am to 6pm, at 39 East 78th Street, 4th floor.
SHIMIZU Keiichi 清水圭一(1962- )
White Tamba Flower Vase “Gen” 白丹波花器 “玄”, 2019
H19.3” x W14.5” x D6.5”, 49 x 37 x 16.5cm
Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. is presenting "Yakishime: Whispering Ash." Yakishime is an unglazed ceramic that has been fired in a wood or any other kind of kiln. Directly translating to fire-tight, yakishime 焼締 draws on the concept of Wabi-sabi and Japan’s history. These unglazed works feature dry, unadorned surfaces that perfectly embody wabi-sabi’s reverence for natural imperfection. Yakishime gave post-war Japanese artists new creative pathways while blending beautifully with traditions like the tea aesthetic. Yakishime: Whispering Ash presents works by TSUJIMURA Shiro 辻村史郎, KANESHIGE Kosuke 金重晃介, ISEZAKI Jun伊勢崎淳, TANI Q 谷穹, YOKOYAMA Naoki横山直樹, YAMAMOTO Izuru 山本出, TSUJIMURA Kai辻村塊, SHIMIZU Keichi 清水圭一, and KOHARA Yasuhiro小原康裕, among others.The exhibition is on view September 5–20 from 10am to 5pm, at 18 East 64th Street, #1F, with an opening on September 5th from 5 to 8:30pm.
Left: Detail, Kazan-in Tadanaga (1588-1662)
“Hawk in Winter Oak”
Hanging scroll, ink on paper
117 x 52 cm. (46 x 20 1/2 in.)
Right: Detail, Anonymous Chinese
"Eagle on a Winter Branch"
Old attribution to Li Di
Hanging scroll, ink & color on silk
153.3 x 82.5 cm. (60 3/8 x 32 1/2 in.)
In Kaikodo's exhibition "Sightings: Birds in Chinese & Japanese Art," the Chinese paintings date from the 13th to the 19th centuries, with more than half from the 13th to the 15th. Many of the subjects are presented in such natural habitats as ponds and forests or woodlands, as if the viewer were a birdwatcher happening upon a scene. Meanwhile, The Japanese paintings comprise a much more diverse group. Naturalistic images include Tadanaga’s “Hawk in Oak” and Morikage’s “Swallow on Lotus,” both of the 17th century, as well as the 19th-century works, “Hawk in Winter” by Chikuto and “Pheasants” by Baiitsu. These are countered by such 19th-century narrative or anecdotal paintings as “Cockfight” and “Archer with Falcon,” along with a convocation of disparate birds perched happily together on branches that sweep across a handscroll by Gessho. In addition, a selection of Chinese and Japanese ceramics and works of art will be on view. The exhibition will be on view in the gallery from September 6 to December 6, at 74 East 79th Street, #14B.
Ōtsuki Masako (b. 1943)
Silver Vase “Kō” (Sparkling Water), 2007
Silver metal carving with gold decoration
h. 11 7/8 x w. 13 x d. 8 1/4 in. (30 x 33 x 21 cm)
Onishi Gallery presents "Gold and Silver Waves: Contemporary Japanese Metalwork." As Japanese contemporary metalwork is a relatively new concept to American audiences (both museum institutions and individual collectors), Onishi Gallery feels especially compelled to share the beauty and unique techniques of this Japanese craft with the public. Of the ten metalwork artists featured, two have been designated “Living National Treasures” by the government of Japan for their rare traditional knowledge and high level of creative skill: NAKAGAWA Mamoru (Living National Treasure); ŌSUMI Yukie (Living National Treasure); ŌTSUKI Masako; OSHIYAMA Motoko; HAGINO Noriko; HATA Shunsai III; SAKO Ryuhei; HANNYA Tamotsu; HANNYA Taiju; and MIYATA Ryohei. The show is open September 5–28, Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm, at 521 West 26th Street. The opening reception on September 5 takes place from 6-8pm.
Late Momoyama - Early Edo Period, early 17th c. Japan
10cm H. x 8.2cm W.
Zetterquist Galleries presents "Chinese, Japanese and Korean Ceramics," an exhibition featuring Chinese, Japanese and Korean ceramics, largely sourced from Japanese collections. One of the highlights of the exhibition is an early 17th century Oribe tea caddy, fashioned from a small food bowl (Mokuzuke). It is a rare example from the transitional period between Momoyama and early Edo periods. Other Japanese pieces in the exhibition include a Ko-Kutani type square plate, a rare 14th -15th century Tokoname Heishi (Meiping) jar and a Sueki bottle. A Korean Koryo celadon ewer from the 11th century is the highlight of the Korean selections. The Chinese ceramics date from the Tang through Song Dynasties, and include a beautiful Tang Dynasty tripod plate with impressed pattern and vivid "Sancai" glaze. The exhibition is open September 9–13; please note the new location at 3 East 66th Street, #2B.
Yoshu Chikanobu (1838-1912), preparatory drawing with print of Annual Events and Customs of the Eastern Capital: Sixth Month, 1890, drawing 15 1/4 by 9 1/2 in., 38.7 by 24 cm; woodblock print 14 1/2 by 9 3/4 in., 36.9 by 24.7 cm
Scholten Japanese Art presents "BRUSH – BLOCK - BAREN: Japanese Woodblock Printmaking," an exhibition exploring the process of Japanese-style woodblock production. Traditional Japanese woodblock prints are collectively referred to as ukiyo-e, which literally means pictures ('e') of the floating world ('ukiyo') and is derived from a Buddhist concept pertaining to the fleeting nature of life. However, during the Edo Period (1615—1868), the concept of ukiyo acquired a more nuanced meaning: the impermanence of our existence became a justification to indulge in the pleasures and entertainments that are available at this fleeting moment (for a price). As such, the realm of the floating world was that of the pleasure quarters, houses of assignation, teahouses, restaurants, leisure boats, and the theater districts. Images of these pleasures were affordable and widely available in the form of woodblock prints and illustrated books. This exhibition explores the many steps involved in the production of these images, from conception to the final print. The exhibition is open September 5–14 from 11am to 5pm (no appointment needed), at 145 West 58th Street, suite 6D. In addition, don't miss your chance to watch real woodblock printmaking in action by artist Paul Binnie on Friday, September 6 and Sunday, September 8, from 1–5pm.
Motohide Takami, FIRE.P, 2013
Seizan Gallery presents "Fires on Another Shore," a solo exhibition of Japanese painter Motohide Takami. In addition to marking the artist’s first and largest solo exhibition outside of Japan, the exhibition also celebrates the one-year anniversary of the gallery's New York presence, and the opening of its newly expanded gallery space at 521 W. 26th St. It will feature twelve recent works which delve into the artist's investigation into the limits of human interest and empathy referring to social events and historic disasters. Compelling and dreamy, the powerful imagery of Motohide Takami brings the viewer deeper into his landscapes: a house on a riverbank on fire, the portrait of the Japanese royal family juxtaposed with a Buddhist pagoda. Motohide Takami explores the limitations of the idea of the individual, of compassion and the human in today's society. The exhibition is open September 5 to November 2, with an opening reception on September 5 from 6-8pm.
Takashi Sasaki (act. 1930-46), Heron and Persian Silk Tree in Rain (detail), Pair of two-panel screens; ink, mineral colors and gofun on silk, Showa era (1926-89), 1936, Size each 73 1/2 x 70 in. (186.5 x 178 cm)
Thomsen Gallery presents "Animals in Japanese Art" in their new location at 9 East 63rd Street. The exhibition is open September 10 to November 1, with an opening reception on September 10 from 5-8pm.
Left: Su Kwak (B. 1949). Light Within 4, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 36 x 36 in. (91 x 91cm.)
Right: Geejo Lee (B. 1959). Moon jar, 2019. White Porcelain. 21 5/8in. (55cm.) high.
HK Art and Antiques LLC presents "Circles of Light: Su Kwak and Geejo Lee," exhibiting over eight paintings by Su Kwak and four white porcelains by Geejo Lee. Su Kwak is known for imbuing her paintings with a message of hope and healing. The painting surfaces are created with an inventive use of collage and paint to capture phenomena of light. For Geejo Lee, the second artist in this show, enquiries into the identity of Joseon Dynasty white porcelain have led to a remarkable practice which consciously applies modern aesthetic theory to objects fashioned of white porcelain clay. The exhibition is open September 6 to 16 from 11am to 5:30pm (by appointment on Saturday and Sunday) at 49 East 78th Street, Suite 4B.
India, Fly TWA
David Klein (American, 1918-2005)
Linen backed lithograph
40 1/2 x 25 in. (102.9 x 63.5 cm.)
Kapoor Galleries presents "Images of the Exotic: Posters of India from the Golden Age of Travel." The exhibition will showcase an array of 20th century posters created to entice potential travelers with the mysteries of the Subcontinent, typically issued and distributed by commercial aviation companies to market their international destinations to the elite. Ranging from the 1930’s to 1970, these posters feature real world oases and monuments along with portrayals of “native” people, in the hope of accumulating interest for newly available travel routes. The images boast lush landscapes of Kashmir along with scenes of snowy northern regions like Kanchenjunga, contrasting the vast natural resources India contains with exciting urban events grounded in tradition; such as the car festival at Puri. While the majority of these prints were designed by unidentified artists, a number can be attributed to the American artist David Klein, the Danish artist Otto Nielsen, and the Swiss artist Donald Brun. The exhibition runs September 5–27, with an opening reception on September 5th from 6–8pm, at 34 East 67th Street, 3rd Floor.
In 2019, Asia Week New York is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Over the years, our participant dealers have placed countless works of art in the collections of major museums around the world. Here are a few examples.
Fukuda Kodöjin, Japanese, 1865-1944, Meiji period,1868-1912, White Cloud Album and Colored Cloud Album. 2 albums; ink and color on silk. On view at the Princeton University Art Museum
If you find yourself in New York City during the holidays, here is your guide to Asian art exhibitions on view this month in the metropolitan area's museums. We have selected one exhibition from each institution, prioritizing exhibitions that will close—and must therefore be enjoyed—before the March 2019 edition of Asia Week New York. We wish you an art-filled holiday season!
BROOKLYN MUSEUM Kwang Young Chun: Aggregations
South Korean artist Kwang Young Chun combines hundreds of paper-wrapped parcels to create sculptural compositions, called Aggregations, that look like crystal formations, asteroids, or the surface of the moon.
CHINA INSTITUTE Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s Lens
In Chinese legend, mountains are the pillars that hold up the sky. Mountains were seen as places that nurture life. Their veneration took the form of rituals, retreat from social society, and aesthetic appreciation with a defining role in Chinese art and culture.
JAPAN SOCIETY Yasumasa Morimura: Ego Obscura Ego Obscura highlights Morimura's 30-year-long project of excavating "the self" from layers of art history, Japanese postwar history, and personal history.
NEWARK MUSEUM KIMONO REFASHIONED 1870s-Now!
Featuring a diverse range of fashions, this exhibition showcases more than 40 extraordinary garments created by more than 30 Japanese, European and American designers from the world-renowned collections of the Kyoto Costume Institute and the Newark Museum.
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM Picturing Place in Japan
The representation of place has been a dominant subject of Japanese painting throughout history. Sometimes these scenes evoke the topography of an actual location, but often the place depicted was imagined or based primarily on past images.
RUBIN MUSEUM The Second Buddha: Master of Time
Celebrated by Tibetans as “The Second Buddha,” Padmasambhava, the Lotus Born, is believed to have been instrumental in converting the land and people of Tibet to Buddhism. His legends carry universal relevance about triumph over obstacles, the power of human emotions, transformation, impermanence, achieving liberation from life and death, and notions of time—all of which transcend specific cultures and eras.
As we look towards Asia Week New York's tenth anniversary in March 2019, we're also taking a look back at the event's most memorable works of art. This is part 4 of a multi-part series in which we are showcasing the most important objects sold by our participants over the last decade. Check back here often or subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated. Below, the stories of four incredible objects:
AN IMPORTANT PORTRAIT FROM CARLO CRISTI
Portrait of Phagmotrupa
Distemper on cotton
Tibet, 13th c.
15 3/8 x 11 5/8 in. (39 x 29,5 cm)
This important tangka shows the portrait of Lama Phagmotrupa (1110-1170 CE), guru of Tashipal, founder of the Taklung monastery (founded in 1180 CE), and one of the main seats of the Kagyu sect. On the reverse, a dedication by Onpo Rimpoche, a successor of Tashipal who was shortly abbot of the Taklung monastery, confirm the date of this tangka to the 13th century. Portraiture of the gurus (masters), produced as realistically as possible but with iconic signs of divinity, coincided with the development of monasticism in Tibet. Phagmotrupa seems to have been one of the first Lamas to be represented on canvas, and there exist only a small number of his portraits. These paintings were made for meditation, to pass on teachings to disciples, and to recognize the historical importance of the master.
The tangka was sold in 2008-2009 to a private European collection.
AN EXQUISITE VASE AT ZETTERQUIST GALLERIES
In the words of dealer Eric Zetterquist:
"In 2012, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of my gallery, I had the immense pleasure of handling this exquisite and rare Guan-Yao vase. Authentic Guan-Yao (“Official Ware”) is one of the most rare and sought-after of all Chinese ceramics. Produced exclusively for the Imperial Court in the Southern Song Dynasty, adjacent to the Imperial Palace grounds in the Laohudong Kiln Site. Very few of these pieces survived, and most are in public collections. Originally influenced by the Northern Song Dynasty Ru-Ware forms, this piece possesses not only a fine Southern Song form, (often repeated in Longquan celadons), but an ideal Guan-Yao glaze. It is bubbly and slightly opaque with a blue-green hue, and is covered overall with an intentional craquelure that has colored to alternating translucent silver and brownish-gold colors. An identical piece is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London."
A SYMBOLIC CONTEMPORARY DRAWING AT KAI GALLERY
Hui Chi Lee
Graphite & color pencil on paper
28.5 x 36.5 inches
During Asia Week New York 2018 at Kai Gallery, this piece by Taiwanese artist Hui Chi Lee caught the eye of a curator from the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, and the museum subsequently acquired the work. Lee’s name for this series, “Lián: Liàn,” derives from a pair of Chinese homophones, which, depending on the context, mean “to connect” and “to enchain.” To Lee, the seemingly powerless mannequins evoke life in contemporary society. The artist writes, “I am interested in the obscure and anonymous quality of the human form, and I want to guide the viewer to consider the subject matter in a critical, holistic manner… In Chinese tradition, lengthy hair symbolizes longevity. Hair signifies the duration of a life span, an expanse of time of which we are often hardly aware. While we may acknowledge the finitude of life, time is envisioned as somehow endless. Humans favor stability and continuity. Thus, even when one’s comfort and status is threatened or entangled by a chaotic environment, ambivalence seems inevitable. Color is introduced here in a symbolic, metaphorical way. Red symbolizes both a warning and an awakening moment in life.”
A MONUMENTAL GUARDIAN AT GISÈLE CROËS S.A.
Buddhist Guardian Weituo, courtesy of Gisèle Croës S.A.
Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), most likely 15th century
Total height of figure with stand: 93 in (236.22 cm)
Photo by Maggie Nimkin Photography
This monumental bronze, standing over six feet in height even without its stone base is a representation of Weituo, a Buddhist guardian figure whose mythology emerged well before the Ming. Dressed in full armor and wearing the ornate helmet of a Chinese general, Weituo, his hands pressed together in prayer and reverence, stands resolute on a square stone base, faithfully guarding the Buddha, his teachings (the dharma), and Buddhist monasteries, monks, and treasures. This extraordinary, powerfully conceived bronze sculpture of General Wei exquisitely captures in his stance and facial expression his dual role as fierce defender of and unwavering believer in the Buddha, the dharma and the daily life of the Buddhist community or sangha. Appropriately, Weituo was also considered a symbol of determination in spiritual training and practice.
The following is an account of the history of the object by dealer Gisèle Croës:
A few years ago, I was walking through a very large private park in company of the owner, and suddenly we arrived at a beautiful pond where I saw from a distance a magnificent sculpture (above). I had a visual shock and asked about this wonderful piece in such a remote area. After a while, I had the good fortune to acquire it.
With enthusiasm we decided to study the piece and researched its provenance. This piece was purchased in Beijing in 1918 by a prominent Japanese dealer from Kyoto, Yamanaka Sadajirō. More than a hundred years ago, Yamanaka & Company opened its first shop at 20 West 27th Street in New York City. Several decades later, the main overseas branch of Yamanaka & Company in New York occupied a five-story building, on fashionable upper Fifth Avenue, and there were equally prestigious branch offices in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Nara and Kyoto. The main Japanese office remained in Osaka. Many people contributed to the success of Yamanaka & Company, but Yamanaka Sadajirō provided the vision that guided the international operation through its formative years.
We asked Professor Annette Juliano from Rutgers University to write an essay on the Weituo. This essay was published in “Gisèle Croës, Matter and Memory Part II,” Brussels, Belgium, 2014, (pages 9–28).
When exhibited in New York at Gagosian Gallery in March 2014, the piece raised an immense interest and was admired by a very large audience of collectors, Institutions and museums. The object was sold in 2014 to a private Chinese collector.
From September 7–15, it's September 2018 Asia Week in New York. Several of our regular dealer participants are open to the public, showcasing traditional and contemporary examples of the best of Asian painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography and more. Think of it as a teaser for the March 2019 edition of Asia Week New York! Here's our guide to the exhibitions on view. Many shows remain open past September 15—please check each listing below for details.
HIRUMA Kazuyo 昼馬和代(1947- ) Soaring 飛翔
H16.5” x D8.6” x W22.5”, H42 x D22 xW57cm
Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. is presenting the work of contemporary Japanese ceramic artist HIRUMA Kazuyo 昼馬和代, which will be the first time her award-winning ceramics are shown in New York. "HIRUMA Kazuyo: Memories of Water and Earth" will feature a series of works that highlight Hiruma’s investigation of how memory and erosion come forth in aquatic and terrestrial forms. Ceramic sculptures depicting water and earth inspire nuanced explorations of how these two natural forces interact with time. The works presented are fastidiously constructed yet remain anchored in natural phenomena. Hiruma layers thin sheets of clay horizontally or vertically to create each work, finally glazing and firing the ceramic after spending a month or two building it. The exhibition is on view September 7–21 from 10am to 5pm, at 18 East 64th Street, #1F.
Qiu Mai (Michael Cherney, b. 1969) Shadow Curtains #9A:A Tang-dynasty Gingko
Photography; ink on mitsumata paper
Four-panel folding screen
Kaikodo's exhibition "The Bountiful Tang" features a photographic portrait of a stunning ancient tree, a gingko planted in China during the 7th century in the early Tang dynasty (618-907), which explodes into breathtaking fall foliage yet today. Michael Cherney, whose work Kaikodo has carried for nearly a decade, felt this particular photo image to be an artistic breakthrough and Kaikodo saw the opportunity to exhibit works of art that were produced contemporaneously during this golden age of Chinese art and literature. Tang-dynasty ceramics, metalwork and sculpture, along with later paintings inspired by Tang styles and subject matter, join the portrait of the tree to celebrate this extraordinary time. The exhibition will be available online and will be on view in the gallery from September 8 to November 9, at 74 East 79th Street, #14B.
Peter Hamann Blue-White Porcelain Box with Bamboo Pattern
h. 9 1/4 x dia. 13 in. (23.5 x 33 cm)
Onishi Gallery presents "Carving White Translucence: Peter Hamann," a solo exhibition of leading ceramic artist Peter Hamann. Born in Nebraska in 1956, Hamann moved to Japan as a young adult to study Yabunouchi-style tea ceremony. His passion for Japanese culture led him to stay in Japan and pursue the ceramic arts, ultimately enabling him to teach Japanese ceremonial tea techniques and gain his Japanese citizenship. This exhibition showcases the stunning and innovative ceramic pieces that Hamann has refined over the decades, uniquely drawing upon his American roots and Japanese aesthetics. The show is open September 6–22, Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm, at 521 West 26th Street. An additional exhibition of photography by Koshu Endo entitled "Faces of the Moon" will be on view September 11–22.
Hai Ja Bang (b.1937) Untitled
35.8 x 29.5 in. (91 x 75 cm)
HK Art and Antiques LLC presents the “Life of Women," an exhibition of work by female artists from both East and West. There are three Korean artists, one British artist and one Scottish artist: Hai Ja Bang, Su Kwak, Elizabeth Keith, Tricia Wright, and Myong Hi Kim. These artists, whose work ranges from the figurative to the abstract, use different techniques and materials. In addition to the paintings, there are two Korean 20th century Bojagi (traditional Korean wrapping cloth) on view. The exhibition will be held September 7-18, 11:00am-5:30pm, Saturday and Sunday by appointment only at 49 East 78th Street, Suite 4B.
Sueharu Fukami (b. 1947) Ko (Splendid Solitude)
Pressure-slip-cast porcelain with pale-blue glaze, on granite base
H 70 in. (177 cm)
Erik Thomsen Gallery presents an exhibition of porcelain sculptures by Sueharu Fukami (b. 1947), who is widely regarded as one of the greatest ceramic artists of the last forty years. The show will feature around twenty porcelain works with pale-blue glazes created between 1980 and 2018, including two larger scale vertical works, Kei from 2015 and Kō (Splendid Solitude) from 2018, and a true tour-de-force titled Ten (Firmament) from 2013, a wheel-thrown vessel of imposing proportions. The show will also include smaller works, such as vases and incense boxes. The exhibition opens September 10 and runs through November 2 at 23 East 67th Street, 4th Floor. Opening hours are Monday-Friday, 11am–5pm.
Myungwon Kim Untitled 06
Dry pigment, ink & acrylic paint on Mylar
50 x 40 inches (127 x 101.6 cm)
Kai Gallery presents a group exhibition by nine contemporary artists, including Jared FitzGerald, Han Bing, Min Yiming, Beili Liu, Zhou Rong, Hui Chi Lee, Soon Sik Kim, Gan Daofu, and Myungwon Kim. Aligning with KAI Gallery’s mission, these artists view traditional East Asian culture as a continuous source of inspiration to their artistic creations. Featured above is Myungwon Kim’s Color Study series, which invites viewers to experience not only visual sensations but also physical engagement. In her work, Kim applies her training in printmaking, using its processes, techniques, and materials to create her large-scale gestural works, and implicating her body in the process.
Ranging from Han Bing’s environmentally conscious photographs to Jared FitzGerald’s pioneering porcelain panel paintings, the works in the exhibition continue a dialogue between tradition and innovation. This group exhibition generates discussions of our world in the past, present, and future. The exhibition will be on view September 7–15 at 78 Grand Street. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
Kokutani Square Plate
Mid 1600’s, Japan
21 x 21 cm
Zetterquist Galleries will be holding an informal exhibition of Chinese and Japanese Ceramics during September Asia Week. This exhibition features a rare mid-17th century Kokutani plate with notched square form and a masterful painting of a Peacock standing on a rock, surrounded by water. Other works include a large Bizen Horn-shaped wall vase and Chinese Tang Dynasty - Yuan Dynasty ceramics. Open September 10–14 at 3 East 66th Street, #1B.
18 5/8 in. (47.4 cm)
Kapoor Galleries is presenting a group of Indian and Himalayan art during September Asia Week. One of the highlights is this outstanding large and richly gilded Vajrapani bronze. Dated to the 12th century, this sculpture is a rare early image of Vajrapani of majestic size and naturalistic detail of the highest quality. It is one of a group of three which are very closely matched in style, iconography and size. The other two are a Vajrasattva and a Maitreya held in the British Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art respectively. Other works include an illustration to the Bhagavata Purana: The Liberation of Nalakuvara and Manigriva, attributed to Manaku, and a 15th century Ngor Mandala. Open September 10–14 from 11am to 5pm, at 34 East 67th Street, Floor 3.
Kobayashi Kiyochika (1868-1912) Fireworks at Ikenohata
9 ¼ by 14 in., 23.5 by 35.7 cm
Scholten Japanese Art's exhibition "KIYOCHIKA: On the Threshold of Modern Times" features a selection of woodblock prints by the influential Meiji-period (1868-1912) self-taught artist, Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915). Born Kobayashi Katsunosuke, Kiyochika was the ninth and last child of a samurai retainer with a hereditary position at a rice granary located on the eastern bank of the Sumida River in the city of Edo. His mother’s family were also of samurai rank and operated a similar granary on the opposite side of the river. While the financial stipends for both families were likely modest, as members of the samurai class they would have enjoyed social status and surely pride in their heritage. In January of 1868, at the age of nineteen, Kiyochika fought for the last shogun in his doomed battle against the Choshu clan in Osaka. He followed the defeated shogun to Shizuoka and managed to support himself as a performer in traveling fencing shows for a few years. Eventually, Kiyochika returned to Edo (by then, renamed Tokyo) in 1874 and began pursuing an artistic career.
By his own account, he never formally trained with any master or school, although his own self-proclaimed influences were those of the ukiyo-e artists. Ironically, although his birthright as a samurai was obliterated due to the elimination of the shogunate which crumbled under pressures from foreign powers forcing Japan to open up to trade, in his artistic pursuits Kiyochika embraced foreign influences. He blended his interpretation of the ukiyo-e school with Western-style perspective and realism. Unhindered by formal training within any artistic lineage, Kiyochika’s innovative style helped pave the way for a new outlook on the genre which would be picked up by future print artists, particularly the artists and publishers associated with the shin hanga (‘new print’) movement. The exhibition runs September 7–15, 11am-5pm (otherwise by appointment), at 145 West 58th Street, Suite 6D.
Koike Shōko White Form
20 1/2 x 15 3/3 inches
Joan B Mirviss LTD is featuring the work of Koike Shōko in September and October with "Shifting Rhythms: The Sculpted Moments of Koike Shōko," the gifted artist’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. Koike has always taken inspiration from the hues of blue created by the sky reflecting off the sea. Early in her career, she began to add glass flakes to her glazes creating a blue “pool” through which she incised shell-like forms. She next gave those “shells” dimensionality by sculpting them in clay. These shell-like shapes, coupled with the puddled blue glaze in shades ranging from Persian blue, to turquoise, to the most recent cerulean, serve as the conceptual foundation for her clay works. While their spiral forms occur in nature, the centrifugal force generated by Koike when using the potter’s wheel to create them evokes for her the rhythms of the universe beyond simply those of the ocean. The clay cores thrown on the wheel then serve as the base for further hand-building and glazing, which ultimately results in pleated, dancing vessels bursting with energy. “First I imagine the shape that dances a certain pulsating rhythm, which then extends to my hands and leads them to weave a form from the mound of clay before me," explained the artist in 2009. "Shifting Rhythms" runs September 11 through October 19, at 39 East 78th Street, 4th floor. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 11am to 6pm, with additional opening hours on Saturday, September 8, from 11am-5pm, and Sunday, September 9, from 11am-4pm.
Christie's Highlight — The Xining Gujian, catalogued 'Zuo Bao Yi Gui,' a highly important and extremely rare bronze ritual four-legged food vessel from the early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th-10th century B.C.
Our regular auction house partners are holding auctions and viewings during September 2018 Asia Week, from September 7–15. We have compiled a listing of all the sales for your convenience:
As we look towards Asia Week New York's tenth anniversary in March 2019, we're also taking a look back at the event's most memorable works of art. This is part 3 of a multi-part series in which we are showcasing the most important objects sold by our participants over the last decade. Check back here often or subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated. Below, the stories of four incredible objects:
A SILK PORTRAIT FROM ALAN KENNEDY
A rare portrait on silk was acquired by a museum from Alan Kennedy during Asia Week New York in 2016. This painting will soon be exhibited in a major exhibition entitled, "Empresses of China's Forbidden City." The exhibition opens at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts on August 18th, and will travel to the Freer/Sackler Museum in Washington, DC.
The painting depicts the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) in the guise of Guanyin, the Buddhist bodhisattva sometimes referred to as the Goddess of Mercy. It was painted by a court artist in the Forbidden City, and was created at the request of an American missionary named Reverend Issac Taylor Headland. His wife was a physician who treated several of the women in Cixi's entourage.
One of the unique aspects of the portrait is that it depicts the face of the Empress Dowager in a realistic manner, without hiding the effects of age. Other paintings of her show Cixi in a more idealized manner, looking younger than her actual years. The Empress Dowager would not have been pleased if she had seen this portrait.The painting was reproduced in a book by Reverend Headland (Court Life in China, 1909), and he described the unusual circumstances behind the making of the painting. The portrait remained in the possession of his descendants until recent times, and will now be seen by the many visitors to the upcoming museum exhibitions.
RUNJEET SINGH'S BEJEWELLED DAGGER
This wonderful Khanjar or Jambiya dagger is of almost identical form to a well-known example in the Dresden Armoury (Rustkammer, Staaliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), Inv. No. Y143, illustrated in Holger Schuckelt, The Turkish Chamber (2010), p124-5, which was captured as booty at Varna by the Russians in 1828, and presented to Prince Carl of Prussia by Tsar Nicholas I.
This example, with a similar pale nephrite jade hilt and scabbard mounts, has more complex and abundant decoration with large flower heads and fruits in groupings of cabochon rubies, and leaves with cabochon emeralds. The base of the hilt features a row of small rubies and larger emeralds of ascending size, and the apex of the pommel has a double row of rubies terminating with green emerald tendrils on each side. The stones are all set in the ottoman style, secured within silver gilt shaped collets and straps in imitation of Indian kundan work.
On the wavy snake-like blade of watered steel, traces of gold decoration remain at the forte as well as a gold border along the edges. The original wooden scabbard, recovered in its later life, is fitted with original throat piece and chape of matching jade.
The dagger was sold by Runjeet Singh to a private collector during Asia Week New York 2018.
A PAIR OF CERAMIC CHAIRS AT DAI ICHI ARTS
SUZUKI Goro 鈴木五郎 (1941- )
Left: Los Angeles Oribe Chair ‒Foot- ロス織部 椅子 ( 座面に足 ) H18.8” x W10.2” x D9.4”, Stoneware
Right: Los Angeles Oribe Chair ‒Mt. Fuji- ロス織部 椅子 ( 富士山 ) H19.4” x W10.8” x D10.2”, Stoneware
From Dai Ichi Arts: "This is a pair of ceramic chairs created by our artist SUZUKI Goro (1941- ) who is pushing his own limits in the pursuit of his art. He combines his skills in throwing and building with a lifetime's knowledge of material. You can truly say that he was born in clay and plays in clay. This pair was exhibited in our window during Asia Week New York 2018, and they attracted many people's attention with their playful and whimsical form and design. Both chairs were sold to a private collector who admires Suzuki's work."
A SYMBOLIC UNION AT KAPOOR GALLERIES
Radha and Krishna Intertwined, Folio from the Kangra 1775 Gita Govinda
The Kangra 1775 Gita Govinda is seen by scholars and connoisseurs alike as the most profound illustration of Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda, which translates as “Song of Dark Lord”. Created in the late 12th century, Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda is a monumental work of literature from Indian culture. Superficially it portrays the ageless story of the arduous love between man and woman, it is also an allegory for the love of god. The Gita Govinda is the only example of miniature painting in which such a vast illustration of romantic encounters is explored.
In this image, the passionate lovemaking and climactic union of Radha, a symbol of the “goddess”, and Krishna, the love of god, is depicted with full emotion. Radha has boldly and confidently aligned herself directly atop Krishna in order to control the lovemaking, which represents the transcendent union of humans with the Divine, forgetting about ego and dissolving in supreme ecstasy.
This folio was sold at Kapoor Galleries during Asia Week New York 2016 to a private European collection.
As we look towards Asia Week New York's tenth anniversary in March 2019, we're also taking a look back at the event's most memorable works of art. This is part 2 of a multi-part series in which we will be showcasing the most important objects sold by our participants over the last decade. Check back here often or subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated. Below, the stories of four incredible objects:
GIUSEPPE PIVA'S RARE SAMURAI ARMOR
An exceptional samurai armor from the Inaba clan
Mid Edo period (1615 - 1867), 18th century
Helmet signed: “Masuda Myochin Minbu Ki no Munesada Saku” and dated: "A lucky day in February in the 7th year of Horyaku" (1757)
Provenance: Iyo no kami Inaba clan
The helmet is made in the style of a Kamakura period kabuto, with an 18 plates rounded bowl showing large protruding rivets. The exquisite parcel giltwood front decoration is shaped as a shachihoko, a mythical creature often represented as protection against fire. The neck guard is covered with a rare horsehair red and white decoration. The cuirass is richly decorated in maki-e lacquer over a black ground, with a red figure of Raijin—the god of Thunder—creating a storm beating his drums among clouds. The same black lacquer is used to cover all the other armor’s parts, except for the helmet’s bowl.
The Inaba family originated in 16th century Mino Province; during the Edo period, as hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa, the clan was classified fudai and its members were appointed daimyō of large and strategic provinces; they also covered various important administrative, political and military roles. Myochin Munesada, who signed and dated the kabuto, is reported to be son of the famous Muneakira; his works are very rare.
The armor was sold by dealer Giuseppe Piva during Asia Week New York 2016 to a private European collector.
A SONG WITHOUT A SOUND AT M. SUTHERLAND FINE ARTS
A Song Without a Sound
Ink on Xuan paper
33.5 x 63 inches
Dealer Martha Sutherland shares some vivid memories below:
I first saw this piece in Jia You Fu’s studio outside of Beijing one hot, sultry summer day. It was one of only several “da hua” that Jia painted over the previous winter. He usually kept one or two very large scale paintings and then did several more slightly smaller versions on a similar theme.
“Song without a Sound” stopped me in my tracks when I entered the studio. Painted only in ink and ink wash with no colored mineral pigments, the composition is like a vortex, spinning within the rocky precipices of a Northwestern Chinese mountainscape, as if you were hypnotized and lured into the scene. The more one studies the brushwork, the more one is amazed at the artist’s control of the layers of ink washes and brushwork.
A new client walked into my gallery during Asia Week New York. Having done his homework, he requested a private appointment for a more relaxed and intimate look at other Jia Youfu pieces in the inventory several weeks hence. When he saw “Song Without a Sound” for the first time, he reacted much like I did in Beijing. I knew then that he would buy it.
M. Sutherland Fine Arts is lucky to still have a handful of pieces by Jia in our inventory. Each year, Asia Week New York turns out more new serious collectors who come to New York from throughout the States, Europe and Asia.
THREE GIANTS AT JOAN B. MIRVISS LTD
Kamoda Shōji (1933-1983)
Slightly flattened ovoid vessel with blue enamel decoration and striped matte black ground
12 1/4 x 9 1/2 x 7 in.
31.3 x 24.5 x 18.3 cm.
Photo by Richard Goodbody
Trevor H. Menders, during an internship at Joan B. Mirviss Ltd, reflected on the gallery's seminal Asia Week New York 2018 exhibition:
Asia Week New York 2018 witnessed contemporary Japanese clay assuming its rightful place as fine art in the American public eye. The transformative 20th-century Japanese ceramists Kamoda Shōji, Matsui Kōsei, and Wada Morihiro featured in our exhibition Three Giants of the North each appeared by both name and image in numerous publications. While these appearances were significant, the biggest victory for the entire field of modern Japanese ceramics comprised two New York Times articles: “Asia Week’s Rare and Unusual Objects for Art Lovers and Collectors” and “21 Art Exhibitions to view in NYC This Weekend.”
In the first, only three works were illustrated: the National Treasure 17th-century screens of Pines by Hasegawa Tōhaku [Japan Society], the second an ancient Tibetan mandala [Asia Society], but the third prominently featured a stoneware vessel by Kamoda Shōji from Three Giants. Modern ceramics were clearly equated with benchmark master paintings from the bygone eras. For us, this was a transformative moment for both East and West.
The second NYT article stated: “the work ranges from religious statuary to textiles, prints and paintings. The collection of ceramics by the excellent 20th-century potter Kamoda Shōji at Joan B. Mirviss is a notable highlight.” Giants appeared as the second exhibition listed, directly following a discussion of a show on modern Brazilian art at MoMA. The same stoneware vessel by Kamoda appeared at the top of the page.
The appearance of works by 20th century Japanese clay artists next to the likes of Momoyama period folding screens or Latin American modernist pioneers has always been an aspiration for us, but never an expectation. Introducing Japanese ceramics to the West has been a process spanning four decades. Having a luminary of modern ceramics appear on the same page as a major MoMA exhibition in the New York Times marks a coming to fruition of this challenge, and a triumphant start to the gallery’s fifth decade.
A VESSEL-SHAPED TABLE AT NICHOLAS GRINDLEY
A jichimu table in the form of an archaic fang ding
China, probably Daoguang (1821-1850)
33 3/4 x 63 5/8 x 19 1/2 in
(85.7 x 161.6 x 49.5 cm)
Rebecca Gardner, manager at Nicholas Grindley Works of Art, writes:
The most unusual item we have shown during the 10 years we've participated in Asia Week New York was the archaic-form table we exhibited in March 2017. This attracted attention from both furniture enthusiasts and archaic bronze collectors alike.
The table, made from jichimu, was in the form of an archaic fang ding, a bronze ceremonial vessel, but was constructed during the Qing dynasty—probably Daoguang 1821-1850. Before we acquired this table, only two other examples of tables of this archaic fang ding form were published, and these might well have been the same table, although the dimensions vary in the two publications. The first was in the catalogue of the Guanfu Museum, Beijing, page 75. The Guanfu Museum is a non-profit museum in the PRC with its main location in Beijing; Ma Wei-Du is the founder and director of the museum. The second was published in Tian Jiaqing’s ‘Classic Chinese Furniture of the Qing Dynasty’ no. 90, page 200, where it is attributed to “Antique Shop, Beijing."
We sold our table to a prominent private collector, who in turn lent it to the Art Institute of Chicago for their exhibition early in 2018, Mirroring China’s Past: Emperors and Their Bronzes.