What's Happening in Asian Art...

Member Monday - DAG with Josheen Oberoi

April 25, 2022

Madhvi Parekh, Sea God, 1971, oil on canvas, 48.0 x 72.2 in.

With the confluence of Asia Week New York and Women’s History Month, Josheen Oberoi, Vice President and Director of DAG’s New York branch, was inspired to suggest to the DAG global team the idea to assemble an exhibition of works by Indian women artists. The result, curated and led by Kishore Singh, Senior Vice President and Head of Exhibitions and Publications, is the exhibition A Place in the Sun: Women Artists from 20th Century India, on view at DAG’s NY gallery in the Fuller Building until May 28th. While this plan met the immediate goal of presenting a multifaceted and engaging exhibition of works by several accomplished Indian modern artists, many of which have now been sold, it also supported Oberoi’s goal to expand awareness, especially in the United States, of the work of this overlooked cohort.

Josheen Oberoi is a gallerist and curator based in New York. Prior to joining DAG, an international gallery that specializes in South Asian modern art, Oberoi worked as Director at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, with a focus on contemporary Southeast Asian art; Saffronart, as a Specialist in South Asian Art; and Bodhi Art as a gallerist and Associate Curator. She also worked for Miditech, where she helped produce documentary series on Indian art and architecture and other projects for the BBC. She has an MA in medieval Indian history from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and an MA in South Asian art history from Florida State University.

Zarina Hashmi, Untitled, serigraph on paper, 1971

Despite the recognition of a few women artists, both through exhibitions such as those devoted to Zarina Hashmi and Mrinalini Mukherjee, and the inclusion of Arpita Singh in Asia Society’s Triennial in 2020, and through auctions where works by artists such as Amrita Sher-gil have recently sold for approximately US$5million, viewers in the U.S. have little chance to see or learn about artists such as those included in DAG’s current show. A Place in the Sun focuses on artists who lived and worked primarily in the mid to late 20th century, who have often been overlooked, as they fall between the artists who emerged before them at the beginning of the modern period and those that came after them as part of the contemporary art expansion. Some better known artists, including Zarina, whose name people recognize, are included alongside lesser known ones, such as Anupam Sud and Madhvi Parekh, that expands the audience’s knowledge of the field. By deliberately limiting the number of artists represented to ten, and by including several works by each, the exhibition is better able to demonstrate each artist’s breadth.

Oberoi feels strongly that education and presenting information in a variety of forms are key in the long term. Therefore, this exhibition is accompanied by and related to several informative productions. A Place in the Sun has an extensive online catalogue, available here. Similarly, DAG has produced a monograph on the artist Gogi Saroj Pal. Oberoi also presented an overview of the exhibition to the Foreign Press Association in a recorded conversation with Sarab Zavaleta. An example of the challenging thoughts that were discussed was to consider how unusual in world art history it is for a male model to be presented as Anupam Sud did in Couch Potato (to watch the recording, click here.)

L-R: DAG’s publication on the work of Gogi Saroj Pal; Josheen Oberoi presenting DAG New York’s current exhibition for the Foreign Press Association in March.

In future, Oberoi and the DAG team are planning more exhibitions of great art, varied and informative programs, and personal outreach to “make information and resources available” and thereby “create access” for more people to discover and enjoy the inspired and inspiring work of India’s modern women artists. In the near term, for example, Oberoi is planning a walkthrough with a NY curator and a talk by an academic that investigates the interface between women in cinema and art in the early and mid 20th century. (Stay tuned here and to DAG's website for more details.)

Anupam Sud, Couch Potato, etching and aquatint on paper, 2007

Lecture on Japanese Armor at JASA

April 25, 2022

Samurai Splendor: Sword Fittings from Edo Japan
Japanese Art Society of America

Zoom lecture, Thursday, April 28, 5pm

This lecture by Markus Sesko, Associate Curator of Asian Arms and Armor at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accompanies the current exhibition at the Met with the same name. The focus is on sword furniture of the Edo period, a time of economic growth, prolonged peace, and widespread enjoyment of the arts and culture, yet with strict class separation and rigid regulations for all. As a result, the ruling class, the samurai, had only a few ways to express personal taste. The furniture of their swords, which were an indispensable symbol of their power and authority, became one of the most important means of self-expression and a focal point of artistic creation.

This exhibition and lecture explore the luxurious aspect of sword fashion from Edo period Japan, a fascinating area of Japanese arms and armor rarely featured in exhibitions outside of Japan. It presents a selection of exquisite sword mountings, fittings, and related objects, including sword-fittings maker’s sketchbooks, all drawn from The Met’s collection, many of which have rarely or never been exhibited.

Note: Advance registration is required for this event. Read more and to register, click here

Visit Songtsam's Benzilan Lodge

April 24, 2022

Songtsam's Benzilan Lodge
As the lowest altitude lodge, Songtsam Lodge Benzilan, located at the junction of Yunnan and Sichuan, is a unique dry-hot valley in the Shangri-la region. Nestled in an intimate green valley by the Yangtze River, it offers a small stone building wrapped in green plants, together with authentic white-walled Tibetan homes. From the colorful windows of the lodge, you have a view of a small prayer house that rests atop a hill.

Songtsam Lodge Benzilan, which consists of 10 deluxe rooms, is situated at an altitude of 1900 meters, and is located in a Tibetan village in the valley of the Jinsha River’s tributary on the southwest side of Benzilan town, where Deqin county meets Batang (Sichuan province) and Shangri-la.

Benzilan stands on a narrow strip of land on the right bank of the Upper Yangtze River, tucked between the water and the sharply rising hills. As the altitude falls by more than 1,000m, the temperature rises, and travellers now arrive at another Shangri-La rich in blooming flowers and flourishing trees. Some of the region’s most delicious fruit is grown here, including juicy grapes and watermelons during the summer, and mouth-watering tangerine in the autumn.

Read more, click here

The Architectonics of Form: Scrolls by Ganesh Haloi

April 24, 2022

Ganesh Haloi, Untitled 23, 2021, gouache and Chinese ink stick on Japanese scroll paper,
27.5 x 53.5 in.

The Architectonics of Form: Scrolls by Ganesh Haloi, Akar Prakar
April 23-July 16, 2022
On view at Akar Prakar, Kolkata and online

Sound encompasses both time and space, weaving the two into complex structures of material manifestation that we experience and express as forms through our sensorial perceptions (smell, taste, see, feel and hear). The scrolls by Ganesh Haloi, are cartographic mappings of the layered sensations that have impressed upon him for decades. Beginning with the steady lyricism of Ajanta murals, resonant whispers of the varying landscapes, rhythmicity of the alpana forms, structurality of manmade interventions and the poetics of space.

Ganesh Haloi, Scroll 7, 2021, Chinese ink stick on Japanese scroll paper, 53.75 x 13.75 inches

Ganesh Haloi was born in 1936 in Jamalpur, Mymensingh(in present-day Bangladesh). He moved to Calcutta in 1950 following the partition. The trauma of displacement left its mark on his work as it did on some other painters of his generation. Since then his art has exhibited an innate lyricism coupled with a sense of nostalgia for a lost world. In 1956, he graduated from the Government College of Art and Craft, Calcutta. In the next year he was appointed by the Archaeological Survey of India to make copies of Ajanta murals. Seven years later, Haloi returned to Calcutta. From 1963 until his retirement, he taught at the Government College of Art and Craft. He is a member of The Society of Contemporary Artists, Calcutta since 1971, and lives and works in Calcutta.

He has participated in several group exhibitions in India, Greece/Germany (Documenta 14 at Athens & Kassel), California (Architecture of Life, at Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archives (BAM/PFA), Berkeley), Berlin (8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art), London (A Special Arrow Was Shot in the Neck, David Roberts Art Foundation). He is represented by Akar Prakar Kolkata and New Delhi, and has had various solo exhibitions in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Dhaka and New York including Sense & Sensation at Akar Prakar Kolkata and New Delhi in 2021, Form & Play at Asia Week New York in 2020 to name a few.

To view the exhibition, click here

Last Weekend for the Met's Japan: A History of Style

April 22, 2022

Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828), Cherry and Maple Trees, early 1820s, pair of six-panel folding screens; ink, color, and gold leaf on paper, purchase, Mary and James G. Wallach Foundation Gift, Rogers and Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Funds, and Brooke Russell Astor Bequest, 2018

Japan: A History of Style, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Last day Sunday, April 24

This exhibition celebrates how gifts and acquisitions of the last decade have transformed The Met’s ability to narrate the story of Japanese art by expanding and deepening the range of works that can elucidate the past. Each of the ten rooms that make up the Arts of Japan Galleries features a distinct genre, school, or style, representing an array of works in nearly every medium, from ancient times to the present. Highlights include the debut of a spectacular group of contemporary metalwork by Living National Treasures and emerging artists.

Read more, click here

It's Like Breathing- Mio Yamamoto at Asia Society

April 22, 2022

It's Like Breathing- Mio Yamamoto, Asia Society Japan
Online and in-person program
April 25, 8-9:15am Tokyo time/April 24, 7-8:15pm EDT

This month's Art for Breakfast program features Mio Yamato, who will have just returned from Mexico where she had her first artist in residence experience. It’s only been seven years since she graduated from Kyoto University of Art and Design, but her works have been exhibited in Japan, London and Hong Kong. Most recognized is the RED DOT series that emerged from her graduation project. In this series, she starts with a dot on a white canvas without any specific image in mind. But, with that single dot, the empty space becomes meaningful. Using different mediums, her array of works have developed to large installations. Ms. Yamato will introduce her works and talk about her creative processes. She will also discuss the impact of the pandemic which led to creating a new series. And now with her experience in Mexico, we look forward to what lies ahead of her future works.

Read more and register, click here

Thomas Murray Lectures on Indonesian Textiles

April 21, 2022

Abung people (Lampung interior), Woman's Ceremonial Skirt, tapis (detail), late 17th-19th century, cotton, silk, metallic-wrapped threads, mirror, embroidery, warp ikat, applique

Archetypes, Aesthetics and Agency: Adat Textiles of Early Indonesian Cultures, Thomas Murray
This program will be presented twice to accommodate different time zones:
#1: Friday evening, April 22, 7pm PDT/10pm EDT/Saturday, April 23, 9am Jakarta & Bangkok
#2: Saturday, April 23, 10am PDT/1pm EDT/5pm GMT
Thomas Murray will participate live in each session for the Q&A.

Sponsored by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California, this lecture will follow the themes presented in the newly published book, Textiles of Indonesia, and will focus on some of the finest cloths to come out of the archipelago, presenting each object with impeccable photographs. Geographically arranged, this lecture pays particular attention to textiles from the Batak and the Lampung region of Sumatra, the Dayak of Borneo, and the Toraja of Sulawesi, as well as rare textiles from Sumba, Timor and other islands.

To register for talk #1, click here

To register for talk #2, click here

Bonhams' Asian Art Online Results

April 21, 2022

TOP LOT: A Massive Sichuan Pottery Horse, Han dynasty, H: 42 1/2 in., sold $35,312

Asian Art Online, Bonhams Los Angeles
Closed April 14, 2022

Bonhams successfully concluded their recent online sale of a diverse array of Asian art, which included property from several private collections. The sale netted a total of $497,340, with buyer's premium and was sold out of the Los Angeles office. The top lot was the large Han-dynasty pottery horse (lot 50), which was formerly owned by the Chinese Porcelain Company, one of the founders of Asia Week New York. Another noteworthy result was a group of 8 Yixing-ware teapots from the Crawford Collection (lot 65). Although offered without reserve and a very modest estimate, the group soared to a sale price of $22,812.

A Group of 8 Yixing Pots and Covers, 20th century, W. of widest: 8 in., sold $22,812

Read more, click here

Bring Forest Bathing to the Home: Chairs by Toshio Tokunaga Opens at Ippodo

April 20, 2022

Toshio Tokunaga (born 1952), Vibrato Chair, Triple, Yoshino Cedar, Japanese Zelkova,
H. 37 3/8 x W. 59 1/8 x D. 19 3/4 in. (95x150x50 cm)

Bring Forest Bathing to the Home: Chairs by Toshio Tokunaga, Ippodo Gallery
April 21-May 26
Opening reception, Thursday, April 21, 5-8pm

Toshio Tokunaga (born 1952) is an artist whose expertise in furniture is uniquely attuned to the natural world. Precious Zelkova, mulberry, cherry, and cypress woods are all sourced with passion and dedication from local forests, then dried for decades. The artist delicately familiarizes himself with each rare tree’s individual spirit, allowing him to develop a strong bond with the work and can thus infuse each chair with this warm understanding.

Read more, click here

Last Days for Joan B Mirviss and INKstudio Collaborative Exhibitions

April 20, 2022

L-R: Kondō Takahiro (born 1958), Wave, 2021, marbleized porcelain, silver mist overglaze, cast glass at Joan B Mirviss and Bingyi, White Clouds and Dark Beasts, 2021, ink on xuan paper at INKstudio

Kondō Takahiro: Making Waves at Joan B Mirviss LTD
Bingyi: Land of Immortals at INKstudio

Last day Friday, April 22

Making Waves presents thirty new sculptures by Kondō Takahiro in swirling whirlpools of black, gray, and white marbleized porcelain glistening with ‘silver mist’ that resembles morning dew. The artist's signature gintekisai (silver mist) overglaze technique finds new expression here as he plays with scale in striking geometric forms that catch light from daring angles. As these works are all going to new homes, this will be the last chance to see an exhibition that was planned for six years.

INKstudio's exhibition consists of new ink paintings by Bingyi, an artist, architectural designer, curator, cultural critic, and social activist, from her site-specific Taihang Mountains series in which she explores the Northern Song landscape tradition.

Shown together in Joan B Mirviss's gallery, the idea for the collaboration was sparked by Bingyi's emotional response to a chance encounter with Kondō Takahiro's ceramics, which he terms “porcelain ink paintings.” As described by Craig Yee, program director and co-founder of INKstudio, the powerful symmetry shared by the work of these two artists, one working in clay and one in ink-on-paper, is that both allow water to be the prominent creative force.

During the run of these exhibitions, online panel discussions were aired that featured each artist and other specialists commenting on the art of each. These videos were recorded and can be watched, click here

Read more about the exhibitions, click here

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