What's Happening in Asian Art...
May 2, 2022
S. N. Surti, Air-India, New York, 1967
When Air-India launched “the Maharaja” as their mascot in 1946, he soon became a larger than life figure, and not only adorned innumerable posters but also became an important part of cultural life, often even rankling the preferences of notable dignitaries. Conceived by Bobby Kooka and illustrated by Umresh Rao, the Maharaja sported a large moustache, turban, and prominent belly. He was usually portrayed with a strong sense of humor and winking satire. . . as he models hospitality and refinement in New York in the poster above, he is dressed up as a Playboy Bunny and serves drinks to a (very) young Hugh Hefner.
Attracted to the history associated with these posters and their whimsy, when Sanjay Kapoor, owner and 4th-generation dealer of Kapoor Galleries, came across a collection of Air-India posters at auction, he purchased the entire group. On one hand, these fit in well with Kapoor Galleries’ existing collection of 20th century travel posters, which “enticed and mesmerized all who viewed them with the possibilities of exploring a new world” (for more on Kapoor Galleries' travel posters, click here). However, seeing an alternative path for these pictures, Kapoor then coordinated with Poster House in Chelsea to present these posters in an exhibition this fall where the context in which they were created and viewed could be explored and a large audience could enjoy them.
L-R: V.V. Shetye, Air-India/Sydney, 1963 and K.K. Save, Air-India/London, 1962
The exhibition, Air-India’s Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue will be on view from September 9th through February 12th at Poster House. Illustrated with numerous posters that show the Maharaja in his many guises, the show’s accompanying commentary surveys the history and cultural importance of the Maharaja both in India and globally. Along with Sanjay Kapoor, the show is curated by Carly Johnson and Sophia Williamson, Co-Directors of Kapoor Galleries.
Team Maharaja: (L-R) Sanjay Kapoor, Carly Johnson, and Sophia Williamson
Any Maharaja would be pleased to have these three professionals on his staff. After completing degrees in computer processors and neuroscience at Stony Brook and Indian art at SOAS, Sanjay Kapoor augments his leadership at the gallery with senior roles at the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) and the Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA). Carly Johnson recently completed her degree in Mathematics from Fordham University and has experience as a radio audio engineer. Sophia Williamson similarly studied Chemistry, along with Art History at Fordham and spent a semester bringing computer skills to archaeology work in Rome.
For more details about the exhibition at Poster House, click here. While you are waiting for the show to open in September, enjoy the stunning virtual exhibitions available now on Kapoor Galleries’ website, click here.
May 1, 2022
Unidentified artist, Playing the Zither for a Crane (detail), mid-16th century, hanging scroll, ink and color on paper, Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, 1972 (1972.278.3)
Art History Study Group—Companions in Solitude: Reclusion and Communion
in Chinese Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang Associate Curator of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy
Online program, Thursday, May 5, 4–5:30pm
This program, led by the Met's curator of Chinese paintings, Joseph Scheier-Dolberg offers an in-depth exploration of the exhibition Companions in Solitude: Reclusion and Communion in Chinese Art. This interactive online study session considers how the choice to be alone or be together is central to the lives of thinkers and artists and explores Chinese artworks that abound with figures who pursued both paths.
Registration is limited and reservations must by made by May 2nd. For more information and to register, click here
April 30, 2022
Courtesy of the artist and Zürcher Gallery, New York/Paris
Kazuko Miyamoto: To perform a line, Japan Society
April 29-July 10, 2022
This solo exhibition will be the first institutional survey of Kazuko Miyamoto (b.1942, Tokyo), a relatively little-known but significant artist, and will provide a long overdue examination of this singular artist’s career. This exhibition reclaims Miyamoto’s contributions to the development of Minimalism, challenging its general understanding as male dominated, and embraces her highly individual artistic pursuit to reveal a sustained interest in the body through evocative conceptual experiments and investigations in performance and textiles.
Kazuko Miyamoto provides an overview of the artist’s work, moving from her contributions to the Minimalism movement through early paintings and drawings from the 1960s, and her increasingly spatial string constructions in the 1970s, to her conceptual experiments in performance, culminating in her kimono series from 1987 through the 1990s. A number of works that will be on view have never been shown publicly, offering a crucial opportunity for the public to encounter Miyamoto’s rich oeuvre for the first time.
Read more, click here
April 29, 2022
Top Lot: Luo Zhongli (China, born 1948), Portrait of a Woman, 1987, oil on canvas,
Estimate: $30,000-50,000, sold: $162,500
Asian, Ancient, and Ethnographic Works of Art Parts I and II, iGavel
Part I: April 7-April 26, 2022
Part II: April 7-April 27, 2022
Sales total: 290 lots sold for a total of $1,076,618, with buyer's premium
Strong interest in this sale preceded the auction itself last month during Asia Week New York with robust attendance to see sale highlights. Moreover, numerous additional consignments required expanding the auction to a second part and an additional day of sales.
The first and third top-selling lots were two portraits of elderly people from China's Southwest in oil by Luo Zhongli. This artist, who was born in 1948 and a native of Sichuan province, is China's most highly regarded realist painter. He is best known for his dramatically detailed and lifelike Father, painted in 1980 and now in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. The sale of these paintings was dramatic, as conveyed by iGavel founder and president Lark Mason, "Both paintings by Luo Zhongli were bid to under $20,000 on the morning of the final day. It was in the final minutes that they rose, doubling and tripling the high estimate. These oil-on-canvas portraits, bought by the consignor’s parents in Beijing in 1987, hung on the wall together for nearly 40 years and now will be going back to Asia together to their new owner."
L-R: Chinese Porcelain Enamel Decorated Fish Bowl, Qing Dynasty, Estimate: $3,000-5,000, sold: $123,139 and Luo Zhongli (China, born 1948), Portrait of a Man, 1987, oil on canvas, Estimate: $30,000-50,000, sold: $106,250
Similarly nail-biting was the sale of the second-most-expensive lot. This Qing-dynasty Chinese Porcelain Enamel Decorated Fish Bowl, as relayed by Mason, "...blew past its estimate range with a frenzy of bidding at the end, with eight bidders placing a total of 57 bids and pushing the lot into extended bidding for 26 minutes". As iGavel's New York exhibition was part of this March's Asia Week, it draws this season's fair to a satisfying close of nearly $100m in total gallery and auction sales.
iGavel's website regularly publishes informative and insightful blogs. Libby Austin described the cultural and historical context that informed these portraits by Luo Zhongli in Luo Zhongli: Social Commentary through Artistic Expression . Lark Mason's essay, The Mystery of the Singular Table: An extraordinary Chinese table, not only rich in decoration, but in provenance as well, on the Chinese Gold and Silver Wire Inlaid Table in the sale, not only provided background of the furniture's production and historical context but also added provenance details and an evaluation of the item that ould only be written by a uniquely experienced veteran in the field.
To see the results of all the lots in the recent sale, click here. For additional fine works of Asian art still available for purchase in iGavel's current Fr3sh sale, click here.
April 29, 2022
Arthur & Bond, Japanese Export Sterling Silver Tea and Coffee Service, Yokohama, early 20th century, lot 95, Estimate: $30,000-50,000
Pacific Trade Featuring Artifacts from the Collector's Cabinet, Doyle
Exhibition: April 30-May 2, 12-5pm
Live auction, May 3, 10am
Doyle will present an auction in the sale category of Pacific Trade Featuring Artifacts from the Collector's Cabinet on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 10am. Doyle's Pacific Trade auction in November 2021 was a success with strong international competition and a sale total that surpassed expectations.
A China Trade Painting of the Whampoa Anchorage, 19th century, oil on canvas, lot 70,
The upcoming auction will showcase a range of property from prominent estates and distinguished collections, including Chinese export porcelain, paintings, furniture and decorative art, Japanese and Southeast Asian art and much more.
Read more, click here
April 28, 2022
Top: Ganesh Haloi (born 1936), Untitled, 2015, gouache on handmade paper, 18.75 x 32.25 in., Akar Prakar and Bottom: Bikash Bhattacharjee (1940-2006), Untitled, 1977, oil on oil paper pasted on canvas, 302 x 44 in., DAG
India Art Fair 2022
April 28-May 1, New Delhi
After a year's pause due to Covid, this year is the 13th edition of the annual India Art Fair and is the largest fair for Indian arts and artists. The 2022 fair includes over 70 exhibitors, including art institutions, museums, and private foundations, and is being shown at the NSIC Grounds in Okhla.
Two Asia Week New York, members, Akar Prakar and DAG, are participating this year. Akar Prakar is located in booth B-10 and is displaying works by Nandalal Bose, Somnath Hore, SH Raza, Prodosh Das Gupta, Sarbari Roy Choudhury, Manish Pushkale, and Ganesh Haloi, whose works are also featured in an exhibition in Akar Prakar's Kolkata gallery. To see Akar Prakar's exhibits in the India Art Fair, click here.
Set up in Booth B-12, DAG is presenting Masterpieces: 200 Years of Indian Art, which offers a rich selection of 19th and 20th century art works from DAG's collection of modern art. Works by seventeen artists are displayed, which presents a diverse variety and informative survey. To see DAG's exhibits in the India Art Fair, click here.
April 28, 2022
Ganesh Pyne, Doors and Windows, 1967, tempera, 13 x 15 in.
From the Shadows by Ganesh Pyne, Akar Prakar
April 27-June 4, 2022
On view in person at Akar Prakar, New Delhi, and online on the gallery's website
Born and brought up in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata) in 1937, Ganesh Pyne spent years of his life in a crumbling mansion in Kabiraj Row. Growing up during hard and turbulent times in the country, he found his reprieve from the dark reality outside in the mythologies and folktales narrated by his grandmother, Nandarani. The fantastical world created by her -stories became the basis of his artistic language years later.
Pyne’s process and practice reflected in this exhibition of largely small format works is a passage into the mystical visual world created by him. The imageries carry within it the fantastical mind of the introverted and sensitive soul. The resoluteness to his art and the commitment to evolution in his practice are both exemplified in this exhibit of an artist regarded as a modern master in the history of Indian Art. From the Shadows aims to illuminate these rare works and archives including postcards, drawings, book illustrations, watercolours and a sneak peek into his personal diary from the 1960s. Offering a unique opportunity to view his life and work and understand the inner workings of the recluse artist's mind and art, almost a decade after his passing.
Read more, click here
April 27, 2022
L-R: Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney, whose collaborative artworks are in Ink Affinities.
Ink Affinities: A Conversation between Arnold Chang, Michael Cherney, and
Dr. Wen-shing Chou
Online program, Thursday, April 28, 8pm EDT
Organized and moderated by Fu Qiumeng
Fu Qiumeng Fine Art welcomes the painter Arnold Chang, based in New Jersey, and the photographer Michael Cherney, based in Beijing, and the art historian Dr. Wen-shing Chou, to join in a conversation of Chang and Cherney's recent exhibition curated by Fu Qiumeng. Next week is the final days for this show, Ink Affinities 墨缘: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney.
Read more, click here
April 27, 2022
Jonathan Yukio Clark (born 1987), Sakura in Volcanic Landscape, 2022, monotype print on washi, koa, sugi, tinted hydrocal, 21 x 62 x 5.5 in. (53.3 x 157.5 x 14 cm.) © Jonathan Yukio Clark, Courtesy:
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, New York
"In the Space of the Near and Distant"- Solo Exhibition by Jonathan Yukio Clark
Concludes April 30
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA organized for Asia Week this successful solo exhibition by Hawaiʻi-based Japanese-American artist Jonathan Yukio Clark. The artworks on view consist of monotype prints and sculptures informed by the traditional Japanese living space, where the transience of nature and human life are closely connected through, for example, a garden which "borrows" the scenery of the outside landscape. For Clark, the concept of borrowed scenery or shakkei means not only the visual borrowing of expansive vistas framed through such gardens or architectural features, but also the spiritual incorporation of impermanence into the stability of built or inhabited spaces.
The gallery is open from 11am to 6pm and located on East 64th Street in Manhattan. Read more, click here
April 27, 2022
Yufu Shohaku, Fudo B, 2019, madake bamboo, bamboo branches, 24 x 13.25 x 13 in.
Yufu Shohaku, TAI Modern
April 29–May 31
Opening reception, Friday, April 29, 5-9pm
TAI Modern is proud to present Japanese bamboo artist Yufu Shohaku’s first solo exhibition outside of Japan. This exhibition was initially shown in New York and has recently travelled to Santa Fe, to give New Mexico art fans the opportunity to view these powerful baskets and sculptures in person.
Yufu Shohaku (born 1941) is not only a master bamboo artist, but also a cultured man with a meticulous mind, a leader in his community, a certified master flower arranger, and head of a local Shigin (chanted poetry) group. He is known for his robust and energetic rough-plaited baskets.
Read more, click here