What's Happening in Asian Art...

National Museum of Asian Art Opens Unstill Waters: Contemporary Photography from India

December 10, 2022

Ravi Agarwal (born 1958), Riverbank I , 2007, inkjet print on paper, Gift of Drs. Umesh and Sunanda Gaur, © Ravi Agarwal, S2019.6.4

Unstill Waters: Contemporary Photography from India,
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution

November 10, 2022-June 11, 2023

Unstill Waters: Contemporary Photography from India features 29 works by some of the most prominent artists working in India. Through photography and video, these artists forefront the landscape of India, both real and imagined, as a powerful means to examine contemporary environmental and social issues of broader global concern. The exhibition will be on view in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery during the museum’s centennial—and celebrates Umesh and Sunanda Gaur’s gift to the museum’s growing collection of contemporary Asian photography.

Visually dynamic in scale and format, the works in Unstill Waters offer vivid perspectives on the human relationship to place. Artists Ketaki Sheth and Gigi Scaria look to the streets of Mumbai and New Delhi as their subjects, while the landscape view becomes a highly symbolic setting for Sheba Chhachhi. Atul Bhalla and Ravi Agarwal convey the profound importance of water, specifically the enduring cultural connection to the Yamuna River in northern India, its current endangered state and the relationship between rivers and rapidly changing urban life. Unstill Waters complements the centennial exhibition A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur.

Scholten Japanese Art Presents a Special Look at the
Prints of Hasui

December 9, 2022

Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), Collection of the Theater Photo Album: Vol. 6 (7 issues)
(Engei shashin cho: dai roku maki)
, approximately 8 3/4 x 11 3/4 in. (22.3 x 30 cm.)

Kawase Hasui, Beyond the Landscapes, Scholten Japanese Art

Scholten Japanese Art has launched an online offering, Kawase Hasui, Beyond the Landscapes. Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) was well known for producing landscape and cityscape woodblock prints that depict different views of Japan throughout all seasons, and at different times of the day, expertly portraying the different moods of the time through his use of light, shadow and color.

However, beginning in the late 1920s and into the 1940s, Hasui began to frequently produce designs on commission for various magazines and other publications, breaking away from the landscape tradition for which he was known. Scholten Japanese Art now has available a number of these publications.

Read more, click here

A Wealth of Programs at the National Museum of Asian Art

December 8, 2022

Attributed to the Stipple Master (act. 1692–1715), Prince Amar Singh walking in the rain, Rajnagar, Sisodia dynasty, Reign of Amar Singh II, ca. 1690, opaque watercolor on paper, Purchase and partial gift made in 2012 from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection—Charles Lang Freer Endowment,
Freer Gallery of Art, F2012.4.3

In the coming days, the National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution offers a variety of engaging and informative programs.

Monsoon: Histories and Futures
Hybrid event, December 9, 1-3pm
The monsoon looms large in the painting, poetry, and music of South Asia, its torrential downpours evoking loving, longing moods and auguring a season of abundance. This weather event has historically structured the year’s seasonal rhythms and played a role not just in agriculture, but in a host of economic, political, and legal systems. Today, climate change threatens to destabilize the monsoon, disrupting the lives of billions and requiring new adaptations to its increasing unpredictability.

Bringing together an environmental historian, an art historian, and a climate scientist, this program will speak to the history of the monsoon as both an ecological and a cultural phenomenon and its future in our changing climate. Exploring the influence of the monsoon on the rich visual archive of A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur will yield new insights into these paintings and the multifaceted weather system they dramatize.

Speakers include:
Dr. Debjani Bhattacharyya, Professor and Chair of the History of the Anthropocene, University of Zürich
Dr. Dipti Khera, Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Dr. Sonali Shukla McDermid, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, New York University

This event will take place in the museum's Meyer Auditorium and will also be streamed live online. An in-gallery, curator-led tour of A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur will follow the program at 4pm in the Sackler Gallery. Read more, click here.

Atul Bhalla (born 1964), Yamuna Morning IV (detail), 2007, inkjet print on archival Hahnemüle paper,
Gift of Drs. Umesh and Sunanda Gaur, S2019.6.6

Artist Talk: Ravi Agarwal
In person program, December 10, 4pm
Join curator Carol Huh and artist Ravi Agarwal to discuss works in the exhibition Unstill Waters. No registration required. Read more, click here.

Tomioka Tessai (1836–1924), Baisaō, Meiji era, ca. 1870, hanging scroll; ink and light color on silk,
Gift of Mary and Cheney Cowles, Freer Gallery of Art, F2020.5.47a–d

Sneak Peek—What Lies Beneath: Japanese Mounting Formats from
the Cowles Collection

Online program, December 13, 12pm
A hanging scroll is one of the most important formats for displaying paintings in Eastern Asia. In Japan, different styles of hanging scrolls developed—over time and with cultural growth–into a range of formats that always relate mainly to the painting subject. These various mounting types can be divided into two categories: one defined by levels of formality and a second, more general group referred to as literati-style mountings. These latter styles became popular around the Meiji period (1868–1912) due to renewed interest in Chinese art and culture. Combined with industrialization and dynamic social change at this time, historically unique and unusual mounting variants also appeared. This talk will give an overview of these styles and then focus on several examples of literati-style mountings from the Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection.

Akiko Niwa is a Japanese painting conservator in the East Asian Painting Conservation Studio, Department of Conservation and Scientific Research. She completed a seven-year apprenticeship training at the Monobe Gasendō studio in Kyoto, Japan, in 2011. She joined the National Museum of Asian Art in 2019 after receiving a PhD in Japanese mounting history and culture from Kyoto University of the Arts. Read more and register, click here.

Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch Present Their
Winter Exhibition

December 7, 2022

Winter Exhibition: Ancient, African and Oceanic Art, including Property from the Collection of the Late K. John Hewett (1919-94),
Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch

In person exhibition, December 5-9

The gallery's current exhibition of Ancient, African, and Oceanic art is open in their Pall Mall location in London until Friday. There you will see an exceptional collection of art, spanning from 3,000 BC to the early 20th century.

Included are artworks from the collection of K. John Hewett, the renowned and influential scholar, dealer, and collector of Antiquities and Tribal Art who helped shape many important private collections.

Read more, including the gallery's online catalogue, click here.

Chinese Paintings Online Now at Bonhams

December 6, 2022

Shiy De Jinn (Xi Dejin, 1923-1981), Cityscape, 1956, watercolor on paper, framed and glazed,
15 x 20 7/8 in. (38.2 x 53 cm), Lot 817, Estimate $5,000-7,000

Chinese Paintings Online 20th century and Beyond!, Bonhams New York
Online sale, bidding open now and ends December 8, 2022

Chinese Paintings Online 20th century and Beyond! explores a dynamic period for Chinese painting and calligraphy with 54 works by 40 individual artists. Many artists were strongly influenced by their time overseas studying in Paris, New York or Tokyo, where others looked to the deepest roots of the Chinese tradition for inspiration.

Discover paintings that capture the numerous creative avenues that Chinese artists explored in the 20th century and the decades that followed, with artists expressing themselves in traditional brush and ink, Western oils, watercolor and even fingerpainting.

Read more, click here.

Also, don't miss the revealing essay, A Closer Look at Four Ink Paintings by Han Meilin, click here.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum Hosts Artists in Conversation

December 5, 2022

Artists in Conversation: Identity, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Live program, December 10, 11am CST

Identity can be fluid. It can change as people navigate their place in this world. This concept will be explored by exhibition artists Priya Suresh Kambli, Yoonmi Nam, and Heinrich Toh, and vocalist Kevin Johnson. Participants will share their perspectives about identity, an important theme in Found in Translation: Explorations by 8 Contemporary Artists. Moderator: Eleanor Lim-Midyett, Assistant Professor, Kansas City Art Institute, School of Liberal Arts.

Meet and greet with local artists and educators who preserve and share Asian American heritage at 10am.

Read more, click here

Last Days to See Young Min Moon: The Share for Those Who Remain at Korea Society

December 5, 2022

Young Min Moon: The Share for Those Who Remain, Korea Society
Final day: December 9, 2022

In his paintings Young Min Moon depicts Jesa, a Confucian ritual for commemoration of the deceased, which was one of the earliest memories he holds while growing up in the military regime of South Korea in the 1970s and 80s. Despite the gender politics now associated with the ritual today due to its patriarchal nature, Moon insists on exploring the legacy. For him, the ritual holds multiple layers of meanings: an occasion of silence utterly severed from the violent era of his childhood, a means of remembering the deceased, and a tradition that may be discontinued in the age of globalization.

Moon's paintings are also a way of honoring women’s labor for the patriarchal tradition, and an invitation to the celebration of familial ties that are largely inaccessible for diasporic Koreans. In his solo exhibition at The Korea Society, Moon also complicates his relation to the legacy of Jesa by situating it in relation to Catholicism that impacted the Confucian tradition in Korea.

Please note that visits to Korea Society are by appointment only, made at least 24 hours in advance. Read more, click here.

Zoom Talk Eternal Currents at Joan B Mirviss LTD This Week

December 3, 2022

Eternal Currents: The Tidal Impact of Japanese Women Clay Artists and Charting a Course for the Future , Joan B Mirviss LTD
Zoom webinar, Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 5pm ET

The massive surge in innovation and international stature of Japan’s contemporary ceramic arts can be traced to the rapid incorporation of women into the field in just the past few decades. Once they were finally allowed to get their hands in clay, women artists have provided a burst of creative energy that has pushed the medium into unexpected directions. To discuss the sea change in Japan’s venerated centuries-old, male-dominated ceramic tradition, gallery artist Hayashi Kaku will be joined by Professor Todate Kazuko, a highly respected scholar of Japanese ceramics, and curator Russell Kelty, who recently organized a Japanese sculptural ceramics exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia and authored the accompanying handsome publication. Each panelist will examine, from their unique perspective, the unstoppable tide of creative talent from Japanese women clay artists, and at the same time reflect upon the accompanying challenges for them in charting a course through unknown waters.

RUSSELL KELTY, Curator, Asian Art at Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), Adelaide, Australia
TODATE KAZUKO, Professor at Tama Art University, Tokyo and respected scholar of ceramics
MINA LEVIN, Japanese clay art collector and museum patron based in North Carolina
Moderated by JOAN MIRVISS

Read more and register, click here

At Auction In March – The Collection of J.J. Lally & Co.

December 2, 2022

L-R: A Very Rare Guan Bottle Vase, Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), Estimate: US$800,000-1,000,000, Christie’s and A Rare Chased Silver “Literary Gathering” Pictorial Tray, Song dynasty 12th-13th century, Estimate: US$30,000-50,000, Bonhams

The upcoming Asia Week New York March 2023 will include noteworthy auctions of the collection of one of the world’s premier art galleries, J.J. Lally & Co. Throughout his fifty years in the field, James Lally has been highly regarded for his accomplished connoisseurship, discerning taste, and thoughtful presentation of the best examples of Chinese art. Highlights from the sales in both houses are now touring in Asia.

One of Asia Week New York’s founding members, James J. Lally has been an active participant in the Chinese art market for more than 50 years. He was a director of Chinese works of art at Sotheby’s in New York and Hong Kong from 1970, and in 1983 he was named president of Sotheby’s in North America. In 1986 he founded J.J. Lally & Co. and mounted an inaugural exhibition which was sold out in the first week.

Bonhams New York
During March Asia Week, Bonhams will present fine Chinese works of art, including ancient Chinese jades, silver, bronzes, and ceramics, ranging in date from the Neolithic to the Qing dynasty, from J.J. Lally & Co.

Among the special items in the sale are A Rare Chased Silver “Literati Gathering” Pictorial Tray, Song dynasty (12th-13th century); A Jade Figure of a Recumbent Beast (Bixie), Six Dynasties Period (220-589); and An Archaistic Jade Hu-form Vase and Cover, Song dynasty.

Christie’s New York
During March Asia Week, Christie’s will conduct a live auction that will encompass Chinese ceramics and works of art from the Shang through the Qing dynasties, complemented by an online sale of the gallery’s world-class library.

Highlights of the live auction include a very rare Guan bottle vase formerly in the collection of Carl Kempe; a very rare ‘peacock feather’-glazed mallet vase, Yongzheng mark and period (1723-1735); and a remarkable imperial fahua ‘dragon’ jar (guan), Chenghua-Hongzhi period, late 15th century.

Clay as Soft Power: The Rise of Shigaraki Ware in
Postwar America

December 1, 2022

Clay as Soft Power: The Rise of Shigaraki Ware in Postwar America,
Japanese Art Society of America

Online webinar, December 5, 5pm EST

Join JASA and Natsu Oyobe, Ph.D., curator of Asian Art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Illustrated through historic jars, works by American artists inspired by Shigaraki ware, and recent works by contemporary Japanese artists, this talk will uncover the stories of Shigaraki ware and its impact in America from the postwar era into the 21st century. Note: Advance registration is required: December 5 event.

To register, click here

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