What's Happening in Asian Art...

Making Home: Artists and Immigration at Asia Society Texas

May 17, 2022

Clockwise from upper left: Phung Huynh, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya,
and Beili Liu

Making Home: Artists and Immigration
Asia Society Texas

Exhibition through July 3
Making Home: Artists and Immigration focuses on immigration and related themes through the works of Phung Huynh, Beili Liu, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya. The exhibition engages with the individual, lived experiences of immigration through the paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and installations of the four featured artists. Making Home centers on the complexities of deeply personal histories of immigration, as the artists consider topics of intergenerationality, the repercussions of colonial histories, dislocation, memory, otherness, belonging, and resilience.

Docent-led tours of Making Home allow visitors to experience art on a personal level, learn about art historical periods and styles, and hear stories associated with the artwork. In-person tours are available for this exhibition at 11am on Saturday, May 21 and 28 and July 2.

Read more, click here

Member Monday – Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch

May 16, 2022

Thomas Daniell, R.A. (1749-1840), The Taj Mahal at Agra, circa 1820, oil on canvas, 143 x 203 cm.

Just a couple of short weeks after Asia Week concluded in New York in March, Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch moved from their London rooms in Georgian House, where they were based for nearly a quarter century. This distinctive red-brick building, built in the 1920s, had housed many notable art dealers, collectors, artists, entrepreneurs, eccentrics, “and the occasional retired actress.” This bevy of expertise, which covered all areas of the art world, attracted visits from top curators, museum directors, collectors, scholars, and critics. Even royalty could be found from time to time walking through the elegant checkerboard marble hall. The resident art merchants and practitioners were obliged to move so that the building could become an apartment complex.  (For those who never had a chance to see their gallery in Georgian House, iGavel recorded a tour as part of a presentation by Lynch of a 12th-century Persian pottery bowl. To watch the video, click here.)

However, Forge & Lynch have now reestablished themselves just a few blocks away on the second floor at 16 Pall Mall. They are still located in St. James’s, a neighborhood of art galleries, fine restaurants, gentlemen's outfitters, and Christie’s headquarters. Among their new neighbors are the appraising firm Gurr Johns, which occupies most of the building; the British Art and Old Masters dealer Philip Mould and Company; and at ground level, Favourbrook fashion store. Across Pall Mall, which the gallery overlooks, is the notable Travellers Club, a private gentlemen’s social establishment founded in 1819 for voyagers and diplomats and just the place to go when Forge and Lynch’s Antiquities and Indian and Islamic art works have one thinking of faraway places.

L-R: Brendan Lynch, Toto, Oliver Forge, and Angus Johnson leaving Georgian House; looking ahead to their inaugural exhibition with this Egyptian Mummy Mask; up and running in their new space at 16 Pall Mall

Forge and Lynch’s new location provides office, library, and storage space, as well as regular use of the spacious adjoining exhibition room. Already in preparations is their first show “Yes, Wonderful Things” Egyptian Art from 2000-300 B.C., which will be on display July 1-8. Lynch remarked that the show is planned in celebration of the centennial of the excavation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. Accompanied by a catalogue, the exhibition will feature a large granodiorite Egyptian sphinx, circa 300 BC; an Egyptian bronze cat, circa 600 BC; and an Egyptian Mummy Mask, circa 700 BC from the collection of Thomas M. Messer, former director of the Guggenheim Museum, New York (see above).

As if all this is not activity enough, Forge & Lynch have also made several important sales recently. Drawing on their many years of expertise, in part as former directors of the Antiquities and Islamic and Indian Art departments at Sotheby’s London, and consummate scholarship and connoisseurship, the art works they offer are among the finest of their kind and the gallery frequently succeeds in placing them in the best museums and private collections.

This Company School watercolour of a breadfruit plant (Artocarpus altilis), made in Calcutta, circa 1800, is painted with opaque pigments on laid paper in exquisite detail. Formerly in a private British collection, it was made at a time of great interest in identifying and studying plant species.

Extremely rare is this extraordinary decoupage Vase with Flowers with Insects and Birds, produced in Deccan, circa 1630-40 and attributed to Mumammad Hasan. Fortunately for those of us in the New York area, these two works were sold to the Yale Center for British Art and the Metropolitan Museum, respectively. Thomas Daniell’s large-scale, timeless depiction of the Taj Mahal was formerly owned by the Royal Air Force and has now gone to a private European collection.

Brendan Lynch and Oliver Forge warmly invite visitors to London to stop by their new space (by appointment) to see the treasures on view. More information about the gallery and their upcoming exhibition of ancient Egyptian art can be found by clicking here.

China Institute Holds Literati Salon

May 14, 2022

Spring Literati Salon: Along the Hudson River
China Institute

In-person program, May 18, 6:30-8pm
Come to China Institute to experience a literati salon (文人雅集) inspired by ancient traditions, and enjoy an evening of classical music, poetry, calligraphy—and wine! Tea and wine will be served.

Artists and Hostess:
Yimin Miao (缪宜民): woodwind virtuoso and educator
Zhou Yi (周懿): pipa/qin soloist and educator
Steve Booke: guitar player/musician and composer
Xiaoping Zhou (周晓平):calligrapher
Shenzhan Liao (廖申展): Hostess of the event and head of the School of Chinese Studies at China Institute

About “Literati Salons” — At China’s traditional “literati salons,” scholars connected with nature, art, and music while sipping tea and wine. At the most famous of these events, the Orchid Pavilion Gathering (兰亭雅集) in the year 353, 42 gentlemen held a famous drinking contest, in which they floated their rice-wine cups down a winding creek as they sat along its banks. Whenever a cup stopped, the man closest to the cup had to empty it and write a poem. In the end, they produced 37 poems and Wang Xizhi (王羲之) produced Preface to the Poems of the Orchid Pavilion (兰亭集序), the finest calligraphic art in China’s history. The event has since fueled inspiration for all forms of Chinese art.

Read more, click here

MIYAKO YOSHINAGA Opens New Photography Exhibitions

May 13, 2022

Emi Anrakuji (born 1963), Untitled 38, early 2000s, archival pigment print on a vintage postcard (circa. 1900s), image 3 1/2 x 5 3/8 in. (8.9 x 13.8 cm). Photo: © Emi Anrakuji Courtesy: MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, New York

Emi Anrakuji: Ehagaki–Picture Postcard
May 14—June 30
Opening reception: May 14, 6-8pm
Emi Anrakuji is known for taking obscured and often close-up images of herself (all but her eyes) in mundane surroundings with evocative atmospheres. This exhibition features over 30 color-pigment self-portraits that Anrakuji meticulously printed on vintage postcards (in Japanese, ehagaki – picture postcard) collected by her grandfather at the turn of the last century. The grandfather, a wine importer in Tokyo, frequently traveled to Europe and brought back these postcards, a popular novelty among collectors especially from the 1890s to the 1910s. According to Anrakuji’s family lore, a box of the well-preserved old postcards miraculously survived the 1923 earthquake and the WWII air raids in 1945. On both occasions, the fire burned down the city of Tokyo almost entirely, including her grandfather’s shop. Therefore, these postcards became a family treasure passed down through the generations.

Madison Avenue Spring Gallery Walk 2022
Saturday, May 14, 10am-6pm
Gallery Talks: 3pm & 4pm
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA celebrates the opening of Emi Anrakuji: Ehagaki–Picture Postcard during this year's Madison Avenue Spring Gallery Walk. As a special benefit, gallery owner/director Miyako Yoshinaga will tour visitors through the exhibition at 3pm and 4pm.

Due to limited capacity, registration is required to reserve a space at each participating gallery. To read more and register, please click here to go to the organizing website. There, click on the green “Book Now” button above. Each gallery visit booking must be done separately.

The Photography Show by AIPAD
May 19-22
Center 415 located on Fifth Avenue between 37th and 38th Streets
For the first time, this year MIYAKO YOSHINAGA will participate, along with 45 of the world’s leading galleries of fine art photography, in this presentation of museum-quality work, including cutting-edge contemporary, modern, and exemplary 19th-century photographs, as well as photo-based art, video, and new media. After a three year absence due to Covid, this is the 41st edition of this premier fine art photography fair.

Read more, click here

National Museum of Asian Art Celebrates Revealing Krishna

May 12, 2022

L-R: scene from documentary film Satook and photograph of the director, images courtesy of praCh Ly

Sacred Art from Cambodia: Blessing Ceremony
Gallery Talk: Meet Filmmaker praCh Ly

In-person programs, May 14, 2 and 3pm
The Blessing Ceremony, led by two monks from the Cambodian Buddhist temple Watt Buddhacheya Mongkol in Woodbridge, Virginia, uses practices such as chanting, sprinkling water, and specific hand gestures to confer protection and good luck. Afterwards, enjoy Cambodian-inspired refreshments by Oh Graze Away and Little Lana’s Cookies. Then go inside to experience the exhibition and meet curator Emma Natalya Stein and praCh Ly, director of the documentary film Satook, which explores the transformation of religious traditions in Cambodian American communities.

Read more, click here

AWNY Members in Madison Spring Gallery Walk 2022

May 11, 2022

Madison Avenue Spring Gallery Walk 2022
Saturday, May 14, 10am-6pm

Join ARTnews and AWNY members DAG, Ippodo, Kapoor Galleries, Thomsen Gallery, and MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, among other gallery participants for this season's Madison Avenue Spring Gallery Walk on Saturday, May 14, from 10am to 6pm. This free event invites the public to visit participating galleries, view their exhibitions and attend expert talks led by artists and curators on Madison Avenue & side streets from East 57 to East 86 St.

41 East 57 Street, Suite 708 (Madison-Park) (11am-6pm)
DAG presents A Place in The Sun: Women Artists from 20th Century India, an exhibition exploring the remarkable contribution of women artists in the context of Indian modernism, representing a selection of trailblazers, each of whom crafted a unique identity and practice. This exhibition surveys their artistic journeys at a time when women were discouraged from pursuing art, and uncovers the wide breadth of their interests including early abstract painting, the arduous regimen of making sculptures, and printmaking. Curated by Kishore Singh, Senior VP-Exhibitions and Publications, DAG, the exhibition opened on March 15, 2022 at DAG New York coinciding with the Women's History Month.
Gallery Talks: 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm & 5pm: Josheen Oberoi will give a director’s talk about the current exhibition A Place in The Sun, discussing the life and work of the eight featured women artists.

Ippodo Gallery:
32 East 67 Street (Madison-Park) (10am-6pm)
Toshio Tokunaga (born 1952) is a craftsman 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 craftsman delicately familiarizes with each rare tree’s individual spirit, allowing him to develop a strong bond with the work. Tokunaga can thus infuse each chair with this warm understanding. The rich, dark Kyoto chair is made from the vivid wood of a zelkova tree grown inside the Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto for the last 800 years. The Japanese word for zelkova is keyaki, which is closely tied to keyakeki, meaning prominent or outstanding, just as the wood stands strong.
Gallery Talk: 2pm: Amidst the unpredictability of the pandemic, bringing nature home acts as a cure for the uncertainty. The healing properties of forest bathing overcome the sitter as the chair envelops body and soul, awash in the relaxation and tranquility found in the protection of the deep woods. The positive energy of the gathering and crafting process is a poetry of sorts, a way to reconnect with the outdoors from the inside. Come learn more about the artist Toshio Tokunaga and his chairs.

Kapoor Galleries:
34 East 67 Street, Floor 3 (Madison-Park) (11am-5pm)
Kapoor Galleries presents Dhanvantari’s Blessing for the Madison Avenue Spring 2022 Gallery Walk. Highlights of the exhibition include a delicately rendered Company School painting of a great Indian fruit bat; two illustrations from the ‘Large’ Guler-Basohli Bhagavata Purana series by the first generation after Manaku and Nainsukh; a splendid Mughal khanjar with a jeweled jade hilt; and two vibrant paintings from a unique Nepalese Bhagavata Purana series. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required for admission.
Gallery Talk: 2pm: Join Sanjay Kapoor as he leads you through a brief tour of our exhibition, Dhanvantari’s Blessing, consisting of the aforementioned highlights along with many fine Indian miniature paintings and arms as well as a carefully-curated selection of sculptures from India, Nepal, and Tibet.

24 East 64 Street (Madison-Fifth) (11am-6pm)
Éhagaki: Solo Exhibition by Emi Anraukuji—Award-winning Japanese photographer Emi Anrakuji is best known for her intimate and elusive self-portraits blended with surrealistic atmospheres. This exhibition features these portraits printed on vintage picture postcards (in Japanese, éhagaki found in her family attic). Landscapes and famous sights from around the world overcast with her shadowy figures evoke a dream-like parallel universe. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required for admission.
Gallery Talks: 3pm & 4pm: gallery owner/director Miyako Yoshinaga will walk you through the exhibition.

Thomsen Gallery:
9 East 63 Street (Madison-Fifth) (11am-6pm)
Masterpieces of Japanese Art 1910 to 1940
Gallery Talks: 2pm, 3pm & 4pm: 1910 to 1940 was a period of great change for Japan and its arts when superb works were created for the domestic market, in contrast to the export-oriented output during the preceding Meiji era (1868-1912). Although most artists during 1910-1940 remained focused on traditional themes, their work often experiments with new materials and perspectives and shows Western influences. Paintings and works of art from the period will be shown and discussed to illustrate the changes.

Due to limited capacity, registration is required to reserve a space at each participating gallery. To read more and register, please click here to go to the organizing website. There, click on the green “Book Now” button above. Each gallery visit booking must be done separately.

Artist Bijayini Satpathy at the Met

May 10, 2022

Bijayini Satpathy in the Galleries, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Saturday, May 14, 2pm and 3pm
Galleries 459 and 460, Islamic Art

Sunday, May 15, 2pm and 3pm
Gallery 924, Modern and Contemporary Art

Saturday, May 21, 2pm and 3pm
Gallery 217, Astor Chinese Garden Court

MetLiveArts Artist in Residence Bijayini Satpathy explores the traditions and future of the Indian classical dance known as Odissi through in-gallery performances this May. Bijayini’s performances are inspired by—and take place in—various galleries engaging with each site’s architecture as well as its ancestry, stories, legends, and aesthetics that are so different from Odissi’s. For these site-specific creations, Bijayini collaborated with composer Bindhumalini Narayanswamy, who has moved the soundscape away from traditional Odissi music and into unconventional spaces.

Hailed by The New Yorker as “a performer of exquisite grace and technique”, Bijayini Satpathy has been the Principal Dancer of the famed Nrityagram Dance Ensemble for 25 years until 2018. In 2019, Bijayini decided to delve into a solo career as a performer and educator. Her recent US solo debut titled “Kalpana, The World of Imagination” is listed as one of The Best Dances of 2019 in the Dance Magazine. Acclaimed for her skill as an Odissi dancer and Teacher, Bijayini is one of the most recognizable names in Indian dance today. She has performed alone, and with the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble, all over the world and has received many national and international recognition.

Read more, click here

Member Monday - Onishi Gallery

May 9, 2022

Nakagawa Mamoru (born 1947), Living National Treasure, Vase Hayashi (Trees), 2019, shibuichi with copper, silver, gold and shakudo inlay

As exemplified by her current exhibition The Eternal Beauty of Metal, gallery owner Nana Onishi is a champion of Japanese contemporary metalware, an artform that was little known outside of Japan when she started to display these intricate and sophisticated artworks. Onishi first became interested in this category from her university professor, Nakagawa Mamoru, at the highly regarded Kanazawa College of Art. Professor Nakagawa is not only a master of the metal-inlay technique (zōgan) but when he was named a Living National Treasure in 2004 at the age of 56, he was the second-youngest to ever receive this recognition. He has continued to be a source of inspiration and support, as a few of his artworks, including Vase Hayashi above, are in Onishi’s present exhibition, on view through May 27.

Trained as an artist and with experience working as a curator in Japan, Italy, and the United States, Nana Onishi opened her gallery in Chelsea in 2005. Interested in bringing Japanese art to New York’s contemporary art neighborhood, her gallery exhibitions and special projects build bridges between Japan and the United States and circulate art and artists in both countries. In 2009, she was featured in Newsweek, Japan as one of the "Top 100 Japanese that the World Respects." While Onishi focuses on collectors and museums in the West, her sister handles business in Japan at her gallery in Tokyo.

Nana Onishi (right) has a distinctively artistic style in her gallery displays, as seen in her current exhibition (top left) and at the Salon Art + Design Show at the Armory in November 2021.

Nana Onishi is particularly devoted to expanding awareness and appreciation of Japanese contemporary metalwares globally, and these endeavors have led to a number of interesting developments. One of the most significant is The Art of Giving, “a project to support contemporary Japanese decorative arts (kōgei) and promote American and European appreciation of Japanese craft skills", which is supported by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunkachō). One of the earliest benefactors is Kaoru Hayashi, Founder and Group CEO of Digital Garage, Inc., a leading Tokyo-based IT corporation. A collector of contemporary art, Mr. Hayashi arranged for the purchase of 18 metalwares from Onishi Gallery that were then gifted to the Metropolitan Museum, which provided the first works in this category in the Met’s collection and were on display in the recent exhibition Japan: A History of Style. (For more about The Art of Giving, click here.)

Not only has Onishi Gallery worked to expand international exposure of Japan’s Living National Treasures—works by nine of them were included in the recent exhibition—but she has particularly sought to promote the women artists within this group. The Living National Treasure system was created by the Japanese government in 1950 to support uniquely Japanese art forms and cultural traditions in the present and to ensure that they continue into the future. Only a few more than 50 LNTs or, as they are officially known, Bearers of Important Intangible Cultural Assets, are now living and so only the most skillful artists attain this venerated status. The number of women LNTs are very few in number. In fact, Ōsumi Yukie is not only the first female metalsmith named an LNT but she is the only one in this category. A master of the hammering technique and noted for works that often are decorated with patterns inspired by wind, waves, clouds, and streams, several works by Ōsumi can be seen both at Onishi Gallery and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The artist also published recently a book, The Soul of Gold: Tales from a Japanese Metal Artist’s Studio, now available in English with the translation by Joe Earle. (For more about Ōsumi Yukie, click here.)

Works by Ōsumi Yukie: L-R:; Silver Vase (Waterfall), 2011; Silver Incense Box Moon Palace, 2020; Silver Vase Araiso (Rough Shore), 2020

After The Eternal Beauty of Metal closes (for more information about this show, click here), Nana Onishi will turn her attention to her next projects, which will bring more fine and vibrant Japanese contemporary art to New York. This summer she will focus on the work of women artists: 4 metalsmiths—Ōsumi Yukie, Oshiyama Motoko, Otsuki Masako, and Hagino Noriko—and one potter, Tokuda Yasokichi IV. She also plans to have an online exhibition of contemporary kimono.

Join JASA for a Lecture on Japanese Contemporary Ceramics

May 8, 2022

Listening to Clay: Conversations with Contemporary Japanese Ceramic Artists
Japanese Art Society of America

Online program, May 10, at 5pm

During this Zoom webinar, Alice North and Louise Allison Cort will discuss their new book Listening to Clay: Conversations with Contemporary Japanese Ceramic Artists. This is the first book to tell the stories of sixteen revered Japanese ceramic artists in their own words, tracing the evolution of modern and contemporary craft and art in Japan, and the artists’ considerable influence, which transcends national borders.

Advance registration is required. Read more and register, click here.

National Museum of Asian Art's Sneak Peek

May 8, 2022

Nicky Nodjoumi (born 1942, Kermanshah), Here is Aleppo, 2017, ink on paper, Purchase—Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Endowment for Contemporary Iranian Art, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, RLS2021.18a–c

Sneak Peek—Seeing Black: Nicky Nodjoumi’s "Here is Aleppo"
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution

Online program, May 10, 2022, 12–12:40pm

Among the museum’s recently acquired works is Nicky Nodjoumi’s Here is Aleppo, a three-panel ink painting from 2017. A major figure in the history of contemporary Iranian art, Nodjoumi has developed a distinctive body of work over the last five decades. Here is Aleppo is a monumental example of the artist’s own process of wrestling with the power dynamics that shape today’s world. Join curator Carol Huh for a closer look at this new acquisition by one of the most important voices in contemporary Iranian art.

Read more and register, click here

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