What's Happening in Asian Art...

Discover Lesser Known Asian Art Collections in the U.S.

July 28, 2016

Photo of the Japanese garden at the Huntington Library, 2008, via Wikimedia Commons (Flickr user: sebi ryffel)

We asked Kaikodo LLC director Carol Conover: What are some of your favorite, under-the-radar Asian art collections across the United States? Here are her recommendations.

If you are traveling around the U.S. this summer and looking for Asian art, I recommend the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. The Chinese ceramics collection is excellent, and was acquired early on through generous local collectors. The collection also includes a very rare pair of wood Standing Bodhisattvas dating to the Song dynasty.

The Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has a very good permanent collection of Indian and Southeast Asian sculpture.

Many people have seen all the publications that have come out of the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida, but should also know the Harn has a stand-alone wing dedicated to Asian art. The changing exhibitions are ambitious. 

Also in Florida is the Norton Museum of Art, in West Palm Beach. The Norton is also an old collection, and has some very rare examples of Chinese archaic bronzes, as well as a gallery dedicated to Chinese paintings.

Out west is the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene. When the museum opened in 1933, the founder Gertrude Bass Warner dedicated the largest gallery to the splendors of the Qing Court, where the museum has great strength, including not one, but two Imperial thrones.

For those wanting to be outdoors rather than inside museums, I recommend a visit to the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California, to see one of the oldest Japanese gardens in the United States, as well as the more recent Chinese Garden, which is among the largest outside of China.
 

The Endangered Species Act Changes, and How These Affect the Sale of Ivory and Other Endangered Species Materials that are Found in Antique and Non-Antique Objects 

July 18, 2016

Items that incorporate ivory and other materials from living creatures that are designated as ‘Endangered’ are restricted for sale in the US and for sale abroad by a variety of local, national, and international regulations and treaties. This article is a summary of some of these regulations and is intended not as a guide for any person seeking advice about a particular object, but rather to provide basic information about the subject to assist in the process of having a better understanding of what to do. For a detailed response to this issue, we suggest reading the informational link on the FWS.gov site and in particular, the question and answer format.

BASICS
On July 6, the USFWS instituted a near-total ban on the sale of ivory in the US. Certain exceptions are allowed for the sale of ESA (Endangered Species Act) designated Antiques. For an object to meet the Antique Exemption, allowing for sale in the US into interstate commerce,  it must:

  • -  be 100 years old or older
  • -  composed in whole or part of an ESA-listed species
  • -  it has not been repaired or modified with any such species after December 27, 1973
  • -  it is or was imported through an endangered species “antique port” 

Antique Port
There are 13 Antique Ports of Entry in the US that were established in 1982. 

Under Director’s Order No. 210, as a matter of enforcement discretion, items imported prior to September 22, 1982, and items created in the United States and never imported must comply with the first three requirements but not the Antique Port of Entry requirement. 

GUIDANCE ON PROOF
How to prove the above? USFWS offers the following guidance:

"We want to clarify that forensic testing is not necessarily required. Provenance and age may be determined through a detailed history of the item, including but not limited to, family photos, ethnographic fieldwork, art history publications, or other information that authenticates the article and assigns the work to a known period of time or, where possible, to a known artist or craftsman. A qualified appraisal or another method, including using information in catalogs, price lists, and other similar materials that document the age by establishing the origin of the item, can also be used.”

Qualified Appraisal
Additionally, the USFWS in Director’s Order 210, Appendix 1 offers the following specific qualifications as to what constitutes a “Qualified Appraisal” 

  • -  A description of the article that is detailed enough for a person who is not generally familiar with the type of article to determine that the appraisal is about the article in question.
  • -  The name and address of the qualified appraiser, or if the appraiser is a partner, an employee, or an independent contractor engaged by a person other than the person claiming the exception, the name and address of the partnership or the person who employs or engages the appraiser.
  • -  The qualifications of the appraiser who signs the appraisal, including the background, experience, education, and any membership in professional appraiser associations.
  • -  The date on which the article was appraised.
o The scientific method in detail used to determine the age or species.
o Descriptive information on the article, including but not limited to: the size of the article, the medium, the artist or culture, approximate date the article was created, and a professional quality image of the article.
  • -  A detailed history of the article, including proof of authenticity.

  • -  The facts on which the appraisal was based including analyses of similar works by the artist on or around the creation dates. 

State and Local Prohibitions
In addition to Federal regulations, many states have regulations that restrict the sale of ‘Endangered’ and ‘Non-endangered’ species. These states include New York, New Jersey, and California. Residents of states should check with their local and state government to learn about prohibitions, if any, governing the sale of plant and animal species that are incorporated into objects. Here is the link to state departments governing natural resources.

Deminimis Exception
Objects that contain a small amount of African (not Asian) Elephant ivory, even if under 100 years of age, may qualify for sale in the US under The African Elephant 4 (d) rule. To meet this exception, the object must:

(i)  If the item is located within the United States, the ivory was imported into the United States prior to January 18, 1990, or was imported into the United States under a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) pre-Convention certificate with no limitation on its commercial use;
(ii)  If the item is located outside the United States, the ivory was removed from the wild prior to February 26, 1976;
(iii)  The ivory is a fixed or integral component or components of a larger manufactured or handcrafted item and is not in its current form the primary source of the value of the item, that is, the ivory does not account for more than 50 % of the value of the item;
(iv)  The ivory is not raw;
(v)   The manufactured or handcrafted item is not made wholly or primarily of ivory, that is, the ivory component or components do not account for more than 50 % of the item by volume; 
(vi)  The total weight of the ivory component or components is less than 200 grams; and
(vii)  The item was manufactured or handcrafted before July 6, 2016.

SUMMARY
Some items that are over 100 years of age can be sold into interstate commerce, depending upon documentation or if they meet a deminimis exception. Most items under 100 years of age are not acceptable for sale, unless that object meets the deminimis exception. There are glaring problems with the regulations, namely:

  • -  the cost to comply with the above is not practical for owners of small objects of minimal value
  • -  objects without documentation showing proof of entry into the US prior to 1982 are unsalable, regardless of age
  • -  owners of objects containing ivory should document the history of ownership and create a file/ folder that will accompany the object

Owners and sellers of items that contain endangered species materials, especially ivory must be aware of the regulations concerning commercial activity and are strongly advised to hold onto documents that prove the objects to have been in the US in accordance with US law. 

Apollo Magazine Editorial on Antique Ivory

June 27, 2016

Mirror valve: game of chess (c. 1300), Paris, in the Louvre's collection. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Asia Week New York media partner Apollo Magazine recently ran an opinion piece by Martin Levy, entitled "Antique ivory poses no threat to elephant conservation: in fact, it needs protection itself." 

"There have been persistent attempts, in recent years, to link the universally applauded efforts to enforce elephant conservation, with calls to ban the movement of historic works of art made of or containing, ivory. These debates are frequently fractious, and often ill informed – and have elicited different responses in different countries." Read the entire piece here to learn more about the debate.

Summer Gallery Shows in New York

June 22, 2016

"Pursuing the Sublime" features five contemporary photographers in conversation with five nineteenth and early twentieth century Japanese printmakers. At Laurence Miller Gallery through June 25.




"Ikeda Iwao: The Life of Bamboo | The Spirit of Urushi" is on view at Erik Thomsen Gallery until June 29.




Contemporary artist Hui Chi Lee has a solo show at Fitzgerald Fine Arts, with a new body of hand-drawn graphite pen and colored pencil works on paper. Through June 30.




Kapoor Galleries and The Indo-American Arts Council present “Erasing Borders,” a richly provocative exhibition by artists of the Indian diaspora who confront issues of sexuality, terror, disease, the environment, racial and sectarian politics in painting, prints, installations, video, and sculpture. Opening reception on July 14, 6-8pm.




"Draw the Line" features the work of Yu-ichi Inoue, NAOYA, and Shun Sudo, three renowned Japanese artists who each push the boundaries of genre, style, and tradition. At Onishi Gallery through August 5.




To combat the heat, Scholten Japanese Art's summer exhibition brings together "a cooling compilation of watery subjects found in paintings and woodblock prints." Through August 31.




For its exhibition “Summer Rotation: Clay Sculpture,” Joan B Mirviss Ltd has carefully selected a striking group of sculptural works by both established and emerging artists, who have created works that supersede utility for the sake of form. On view July 13–August 31.




"Kingdom of Exile," a Rabin Mondal retrospective, remains on view at DAG Modern through September 3.


Lastly, for those based in London, Susan Ollemans Oriental Art will be exhibiting at Art Antiques London from June 24–30, and Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch Ltd. will be having an exhibition during London Art Week, July 1–8.

 

Interior Designer Spotlight: Sandra Nunnerley

June 17, 2016

Photo by Richard Corman

Born in New Zealand, established in New York, and a natural globetrotter at heart, Sandra Nunnerley’s inimitable style is often described as “art de vivre” bringing together the past and the present, to create “classic interiors with a twist," reflecting the designer’s own love of travel, art, and exploration. Nunnerley’s work is grounded in a sophisticated understanding of architecture and periods, and special attention to the role of art.  She studied architecture at the University of Sydney, art history in Paris, and worked for the Marlborough gallery in New York. Each year she makes a point of going somewhere new and has hiked Machu Pichu in Peru and floated down the Sepik River in New Guinea. “These are voyages of discovery and although you never know what exactly you’re going to take home—a piece of art or an appreciation of a new place—they’re crucial experiences to have for inspiration,“ Nunnerley explains. 

 
Sandra’s Study, photographed by Emily Andrews. Art: Tai Xiangzhou, ‘Beautiful Sharpe Peaks’; 89”L x 16”H
 
We asked her: What do you collect as an interior designer, and how do you combine Asian works of art into your interiors?
 
“I love to introduce my clients to collecting, starting them on their own journey of exploration, whether it’s painting, photography or sculpture," says Nunnerley. “My latest passion is collecting Chinese contemporary ink paintings. This began when Pierre Durand and the late Khalil Rizk, world-renowned owners of Chinese Porcelain, first introduced me to the work of Beijing-born Liu Dan. At the time Liu Dan was living and working in New York City, creating works of art in brush, ink, and watercolor. Immediately I fell in love with his spiritual landscapes of nature, pushing the boundaries of classic Chinese tradition with western art.  As a collector of contemporary and primitive art, I knew that Liu Dan’s Cloud Root III belonged in my own home, alongside the other treasures I have collected, including an early 20th century carved wooden Senufo bird from the Ivory Coast, and a pair of Maori clubs, known as a mere, a one-handed weapon from New Zealand."
 
Sandra’s Living Room, photographed by Emily Andrews. Art: Liu Dan, ‘Cloud Root III’ (2004); 109”L x 52.5”H
 
"Through the years, I have continued to stay in touch with Liu Dan and to collect his Chinese contemporary ink paintings. He is considered to be one of the most gifted and sophisticated Chinese artists today. His unique ability to blend Western drawing with Chinese brushstroke techniques is captivating. Trained in Chinese classical style and having studied the Confucian classics, poetry and calligraphy, Liu Dan creates these contemporary Chinese monochromatic ink paintings, which so effortlessly bring together the East and the West, classic with modern."
 
"Tai Xiangzhou studied under the master ink painter Liu Dan himself.  Xiangzhou’s vibrant and expressive style also approaches landscape painting with a fresh eye, creating a purely modern style of art that is also being widely collected today by both private collectors and museums. I purchased Beautiful Sharp Peaks in 2001 from The Chinese Porcelain Company. It sits above my sofa today, reminding me of the artist's long romance with classical Chinese landscapes and his poetic vision of mountains, lakes, and rivers. Last year I added to my collection a Tai Xiangzhou ink painting from the 2015 “Celestial Tales” exhibit at Paul Kasmin Gallery."
 
Tai Xiangzhou, Untitled, 2014. Signed: 2014 Xiangzhou; seal: Xiangzhou. Ink on silk. 86 3/4 x 50 1/4 inches (mounted size).
 
Not all of Nunnerley’s clients come to her with an art collection in place, but she enjoys sharing her passion for collecting and encourages her clients around the globe—from Hong Kong to London to Paris—to display their art throughout the home.  “There’s nothing better than starting a client on a lifetime of collecting, “ she explains. Nunnerley has a fairly freestyle approach to displaying art collections. She is happy to place art in the kitchen or bathroom (‘It doesn’t all have to go in the living room’) and to juxtapose different styles and periods, like the Georges Jacob Louis XVI chair and works by contemporary sculptor Joel Shapiro in a Park Avenue apartment, or a 19th-century Bugatti chair with a mid-century Murano lamp, art by Kim MacConnel and a Maori canoe in her own home.

Watch Participating Dealer Nicholas Grindley on BIAPAL

March 21, 2016

For BIAPAL's fifth video of Asia Week New York highlights, Nicholas Grindley presents "An Incident on a Hunt," a screen painting by Chen Xiang 陳翔 (1628-1698 or later). Watch below.

“An Incident on a Hunt”
Ink on silk, mounted on two panels in the Japanese manner, but originally mounted either on a single fixed-frame screen or as a hanging scroll. Inscription by the artist: Wuyin xiaochun xie, Siming huanshou Chen Xiang, suinian guxi you yi 戊寅小春寫,四明宦叟陳翔,歲年古希有一 read as “Painted in the tenth lunar month of the wuyin year (1698) by the elderly official of Siming (Ningbo), Chen Xiang, at the age of 71 sui.” Followed by two seals of the artist.
Height 220.7 cm / 88 1/4 in
Width 160 cm / 63 in
Provenance: Ian and Susan Wilson collection, San Francisco, C199.

View Photos of the Asia Week New York 2016 Reception

March 21, 2016

On the evening of March 14th, Asian art specialists, collectors and curators celebrated the seventh edition of Asia Week New York at a private reception at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photos of the event are now up in a Facebook album—click here to view. We will be adding to this album throughout the week!

Watch Participating Dealer Sanjay Kapoor on BIAPAL

March 21, 2016

BIAPAL, The Art Video Library, paid a visit to Asia Week New York dealer participant Kapoor Galleries, where Sanjay Kapoor presented a Bodhisattva from 14th century Nepal. Watch below.

For more videos of Asia Week New York highlights, visit the BIAPAL CHANNEL on Vimeo.

Virtual Gallery Walk: View Photos of 2016 Exhibitions

March 18, 2016

Our Facebook photo album of Asia Week New York 2016 galleries is now complete!
CLICK HERE to view our best shots from the 44 gallery exhibitions presented by leading international Asian art specialists for our 2016 edition.

Watch Participating Dealer Carol Conover on BIAPAL

March 17, 2016

Carol Conover of Kaikodo LLC presents a rare hanging scroll painting on silk from the 15th-16th century, for BIAPAL, The Art Video Library.

The artwork being discussed:
“Confucian Bowing to a Taoist”
Anonymous
15th -16th century
131.7 x 74.8 cm. (51 7/8 x 29 ½ in.)
with Chinese Subtitles (provived by Guardian Art Centre)

More videos are forthcoming—check back soon!

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