What's Happening in Asian Art...

Chaos to Cosmos: White Road between Two Rivers
at Ippodo Gallery

March 7, 2022

Ken Matsubara, Chaos (detail), 2021, 12-panel screen, natural pigments and minerals on washi paper

Chaos to Cosmos: White Road between Two Rivers, Exhibition by Ken Matsubara, Ippodo Gallery
March 10-April 14, 2022
Opening reception: March 16, 5-8pm

A retrospective of artist Ken Matsubara's (born 1948, Kamiimachi, Toyama prefecture) works thus far. The echo of the wind, the sound of water, a full moon floating in a mysterious blue sky, the cries of wild beasts that agitate the ripples of the lake…Ken Matsubara’s works present a view of the universe that is magnificent beyond description. For him, the act of drawing is to resonate with nature itself.

Chaos is Matsubara’s interpretation of a Buddhist painting entitled Niga Byakudō-zu [White Path to Paradise between Two Rivers of Worldly Vice], that he first saw at Zendōji temple in Gifu Prefecture when he was nine years old, and which had remained firmly etched upon his memory. In order to find the white road, it is necessary to possess a pure heart and cast aside the sediment of life that has built up inside one’s soul, otherwise it will be impossible to pass along this narrow white road that runs between the river of water, (attachments and greed) and the river of fire (anger and hatred). It was with this in mind that he confronted the twelve panels that comprise this work, a masterpiece through which he prayed for tranquility and purged himself of all the chaos that had accumulated within him. Like Picasso’s Guernica, it presents a tempestuous maelstrom of emotions and raging flames, but in between these, an indistinct, cloud-like, pure, white road emerges.

Ken Matsubara, Chaos, 2021, 12-panel screen, natural pigments and minerals on washi paper,
433 x 70.86 in. (1100 x 180 cm.)

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Elaine Ildan Choi, Here and Now at Korean Cultural Center

March 7, 2022

Elaine Ildan Choi, Here and Now, Korean Cultural Center New York
YouTube Premier, March 8
A Part of The Master's Atelier Series

The Korean Cultural Center New York sheds light on the life and art of artist Elaine Ildan Choi (b. 1936), in a special documentary and online exhibition that features not only her selected artworks, but the story of her turbulent life and fierce spirit that has remained a constant thread throughout. The video will be unveiled on March 8th, 2022 to commemorate International Women’s Day and also as a part of Asia Week New York 2022.

The mini documentary follows her life spanning more than 80 years as she navigates through the tumultuous times from the Japanese occupation of Korea, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, and as she builds her life around the world starting from Seoul, Korea to Paris, Beijing, and finally to New York.

Known master of Korean traditional ink paintings and a close mentor to Elaine Ildan Choi at Seoul National University, artist Chang Woo-Sung (pen name: Wol-Chun), compared her spirit to the passionate madness of the Qing Dynasty monk-artist, Zhudab, who had famously said “Nothing can be achieved without madness.” Choi’s life is undeniably an embodiment of “passion” itself.

In this exhibition and documentary, her long-time Manhattan apartment that acts as her studio and living space is unveiled to the public for the first time. Her living, breathing apartment is a self-portrait of Choi herself as it densely contains the layers of her nuanced and complex world and her free-spirited passion strewed across genres of painting, sculpture, textile, pottery, and installation works.

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Ink Studio's Bingyi: Land of Immortals

March 7, 2022

Bingyi, White Clouds and Dark Beasts 《白云苍狗》, 2021, ink on xuan paper

Bingyi: Land of Immortals, INKstudio
March 16-25
Exhibiting at:
Joan B. Mirviss Ltd
39 East 78th Street

Bingyi will premier new ink paintings from her site-specific Taihang Mountains series in which she explores the Northern Song landscape tradition.

An artist, architectural designer, curator, cultural critic, and social activist,
Bingyi (冰 逸, b. 1975, Beijing) has developed a multi-faceted practice that encompasses land and environmental art, site-specific architectural installation, musical and literary composition, ink painting, performance art, and filmmaking. Adopting a non-anthropocentric perspective and channeling nature’s creative agency, her work is centrally concerned with the themes of ecology, ruins, rebirth, and poetic imagination. After pursuing university-level studies in biomedical and electronic engineering in the United States, Bingyi earned a Ph.D. in Art History and Archeology from Yale University in 2005 with a dissertation on the art of the Han Dynasty.

This exhibition will be displayed in tandem with Kondō Takahiro: Making Waves at Joan B Mirviss LTD.

Bingyi, Sea of Stars, 2021, ink on xuan paper

INKstudio, founded in 2012 by Craig Yee and Christopher Reynolds and located in Beijing and New York, is an art gallery with the mission to present Chinese experimental ink as a distinctive contribution to contemporary transnational art-making in a closely-curated exhibition program supported by in-depth critical analysis, scholarly exchange, bilingual publishing, and multimedia production. INKstudio's program encompasses Postwar and contemporary artists from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan. Dr. Britta Erickson, INK Studio’s Artistic Director and an independent scholar and curator living in Palo Alto, drives all aspects of its programming and scholarly activities. Based in New York, Mee-Seen Loong joined INKstudio as director in 2018 after a long and distinguished career at Sotheby’s, where she spearheaded many new initiatives in the field of Contemporary Ink.

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HK Art and Antiques Presents Korean Paintings and Sculptures: Past and Present

March 6, 2022

Anonymous (Late 19th century), Three Deities, ink and color on silk

Korean Paintings and Sculptures: Past and Present
HK Art and Antiques LLC

March 17-April 6

This Asia Week season, HK Art and Antiques presents an exceptional array of traditional and contemporary Korean paintings and sculptures. Based in New York since 2015, this gallery, under the direction of Heakyum Kim, is one of the foremost sources for fine Korean art.

Wonsook Kim (b. 1953), Shadow a Bird, 2006, bronze

One of the highpoints of the exhibition is this bronze sculpture called Shadow of a Bird, by contemporary artist Wonsook Kim, who was born in Busan in 1953 and now lives in Illinois. She is known for story-based figurative paintings and sculptures that are poetic and ethereal in their fluid execution and mythical subject matter.

Sneak Peek—The Other Gems: Henri Vever’s
Persian Painting Collection

March 6, 2022

Henri Vever Papers, FSA.A1988.04, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives,
Gift of François Mautin, 1988

Sneak Peek—The Other Gems: Henri Vever’s Persian Painting Collection
National Museum of Asian Art

Online program, Tuesday, March 8 at 12pm

A celebrated jeweler, a skilled draftsman, an avid bibliophile, and a devoted sportsman, Henri Vever (1854–1942) also amassed one of the most significant collections of Persian and Indian paintings, which is housed today in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the National Museum of Asian Art. By the time Vever became fascinated with Persian and Indian arts of the book in the early 1890s, he had already collected and sold an impressive group of Impressionist paintings and was enthusiastically collecting Japanese prints. Drawing on contemporaneous historical sources, including Vever’s own diaries and ledgers, this presentation will consider the jeweler’s career in fin de siècle Paris and the formation of one of the most outstanding holdings of Persian manuscripts and paintings in the early twentieth century.

This talk is part of the monthly lunchtime series Sneak Peek: New Research from the National Museum of Asian Art, where staff members present brief, personal perspectives and ongoing research, followed by discussion. In 2022, the series will focus on collecting practices and the collections of the National Museum of Asian Art.

Massumeh Farhad is The Ebrahimi Family Curator of Persian, Arab, and Turkish Art, Chief Curator, and the Senior Associate Director for Research. She is a specialist in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century arts of the book from Iran.

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Sacred Screens and Scrolls at Japan Society

March 6, 2022

Sacred Screens and Scrolls: Decoding Buddhist Symbols in Shikō Munakata’s Prints, Japan Society
Online program, March 8 at 6pm

In this virtual walkthrough of Shikō Munakata: A Way of Seeing, D. Max Moerman, professor and chair of Asian & Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, delves into the artist’s rich Buddhist roots, unveiling key philosophies, motifs and figures at the heart of Munakata’s oeuvre. In conversation with Japan Society’s Chief Program Officer Ramona Handel-Bajema, Ph.D., Moerman discusses the religious significance of works such as Eulogy to Shōkei (1945), a six-panel screen containing 24 individual prints, and The Ten Great Disciples of Buddha (1939/1948), a set of 12 expressive, black-and-white hanging scrolls, as well as several calligraphic works.

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Francesca Galloway shows Court, Epic, Spirit:
Indian Art 15th-19th Century

March 6, 2022

A Prince Receiving Water at a Well, Imperial Mughal, ascribed to Kalyan Das (also known as Chitarman), c. 1720–30, opaque pigments and gold on paper

Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th-19th Century, Francesca Galloway
Currently on view-March 24, 2022

In collaboration with Luhring Augustine Tribeca at 17 White Street in Manhattan, Court, Epic, Spirit presents a variety of artworks, including textiles, paintings, and courtly objects. Grounding the works in their historical context, the selection will offer insights into artistic and cultural movements in India during this time.

The title of the exhibition refers to three key lenses through which to view the multi-faceted and extraordinarily inventive arts of India: court, epic, spirit. With these organizing principles as a guide, the exceptional and iconic works of art in the installation can be more fully considered and understood.

Pichhvai of Dana Lila (the demanding of toll), Deccan, possibly Hyderabad, mid 19th century, cotton; with stencilled and painted design, gold and silver applied with an adhesive and painted pigments, including copper acetate arsenite (‘emerald green’)

This exhibition was highlighted by Andrea K. Scott in a recent issue of The New Yorker. To read the article, click here

Francesca Galloway's website contains a wealth of information about this exhibition, including a video preview; a poetry-reading and essay by poet, art critic, and curator Ranjit Hoskote; and a review of the exhibition by Hperallergic. To access these features, click here.

Fu Qiumeng Hosts Ink Affinities

March 5, 2022

Arnold Chang & Michael Cherney, Mount Hua, photography and ink on xuan paper mount on paper

Ink Affinities 墨缘: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and
Michael Cherney
, Fu Qiumeng Fine Art

March 18-May 7
Opening reception: March 18, 6-8pm

During Asia Week New York 2022, Fu Qiumeng will present Ink Affinities 墨缘: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney—the first New York exhibition devoted entirely to their cross-medium and cross-cultural collaboration. More than 20 recent works, none of which have been exhibited or published before, will be on view.

Arnold Chang & Michael Cherney, Mountain Depths #1, 2019, photography and ink on xuan paper mount on paper

Since 2009 the artists Arnold Chang 张洪 (born 1954) and Michael Cherney 秋麦 (born 1969) have created a series of collaborative works that combine traditional ink painting with photography in ways that subtly blur the distinction between the two media. The photographs of Cherney, an American residing in Beijing, and the ink landscapes of Chang, a Chinese-American living in New Jersey, are both rooted in the centuries-old tradition of Chinese painting. The collaborative works begin with Cherney’s meticulously selected excerpts of photographs taken in China and printed on xuan paper, and combine them with Chang’s elegant brushwork, resulting in a dialogue between the two media, as well as a conversation between the two artists. These works challenge the definition of shuimo 水墨 (“ink painting”), while simultaneously embracing and reaffirming the traditional aesthetics of Chinese landscape art.

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Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch Ltd. Presents
India and Iran: Works on Paper

March 5, 2022

Two Court Ladies Drinking Wine, Mughal India, circa 1760, opaque pigments with gold on paper

India and Iran: Works on Paper, Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch Ltd.
Live exhibition March 16-24
Opening reception March 16, 5-8pm
67 E. 80th St., Suite 2
New York, NY

Based in London since 1998, Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch are former directors of the Antiquities and Islamic and Indian Art departments at Sotheby’s, London. Their professional expertise encompasses Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Islamic art. They also specialize in the art of the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayas and Southeast Asia, covering works from the Buddhist and Hindu dynasties to the Mughals, with a special emphasis on Indian and Islamic miniature painting and manuscripts.

The Hindu God Vishnu as Venkateshvara, probably Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India, late 18th century, gouache heightened with gold on paper

Included in their exhibition in New York is this striking image of The Hindu God Vishnu as Venkateshvara, dated late 18th century. This gouache heightened with gold on paper depicts the four-armed Hindu god Vishnu in his human avatar as Venkateshvara or forgiver of sins. It was painted in Andhra Pradesh in south India, probably at Tirupati, northwest of Madras (Chennai), where a school of painting flourished in the eighteenth century. The style of painting, with lavish use of gold, is distinctly south Indian.

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National Museum of Asian Art Opens Mind Over Matter: Zen in Medieval Japan

March 5, 2022

Unkoku Tohan (1635-1724), River Landscape, Edo period, late 17th-early 18th century, handscroll,
ink and color on paper, Gift of Charles Lang Freer

Mind Over Matter: Zen in Medieval Japan, National Museum of Asian Art
March 5–July 24, 2022

This exhibition showcases the breadth of the museum’s medieval Zen collections, highlighting rare and striking works from Japan and China to illustrate the visual, spiritual, and philosophical power of Zen. Rooted in the culture of medieval Japan, the lessons of Zen have become an important part of contemporary American life, as applicable today as they were in premodern times.

Monastic Zen painting in medieval Japan (ca. 1200–1600) is one of the great artistic traditions of East Asia and of the world. The abbreviated, seemingly impromptu paintings in monochrome ink have influenced artists and enthusiasts for centuries. Many of the most accomplished artists of this era—Mokuan, Ryōzen, Shūbun, Sesshū, Sesson, and many others—were Zen monks credited by later generations as the creators of a unique and remarkable legacy of ink painting. Indeed, Zen monk-painters inspired a number of the most important professional painting lineages of Japan’s early modern period (ca. 1600–1868) and formed a thematic backbone of Japanese art and cultural identity in modern times.

To learn more about some of the key aspects of Zen, an online interactive experience Voices of Zen: Contemporary Voices accompanies the exhibition. The interactive features three artworks from the exhibition—a splashed-ink landscape by the sixteenth-century artist Sōen, dynamic calligraphy by the rebellious monk Ikkyū, and an early sixteenth-century tea bowl fixed using kintsugi repair.

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