What's Happening in Asian Art...

The Met opens Jegi: Korean Ritual Objects

August 8, 2022

Bird-shaped Vessel, Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C.–A.D. 676), 3rd century, earthenware,
H. 12 7/8 in. (32.7 cm). Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1997

Jegi: Korean Ritual Objects, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
August 6, 2022-October 15, 2023

Rituals and customs help celebrate life’s milestones, remember the past, and mark time. In addition to their significance as social conventions, rituals often reaffirm state, governmental, and religious principles. In Korea, performing ancestral rites (jesa) is an enduring tradition that embodies respect for parents and the commemoration of ancestors, key tenets of Confucianism.

During the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), Neo-Confucianism was the ruling ideology. People engaged in rituals on the birth and death anniversaries for ancestors upward of five generations, and on major holidays, such as the Lunar New Year and Chuseok (Harvest Moon Festival). Court ancestral rites became the bedrock of Joseon political life and were enacted on a grand scale that included musical and dance performances. A key feature throughout was a table bearing food and drink offerings presented on jegi, or ritual objects.

This exhibition features the various types of ritual vessels and accessories that were used for this purpose and entombed, as well as the kinds of musical instruments played at state events. Though the vessels’ shapes, sizes, and materials may differ, a persistent feature is elevation, either through a high foot or a pedestal. In contemporary Korean society, no longer constrained by prescriptive state rules, jegi inspire contemporary artists and influence the form of everyday tableware.

The exhibition is made possible by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea (MCST).

Asian Works of Art Online at Doyle

August 6, 2022

A Chinese "100 Bats" Porcelain Charger, Guangxu mark and likely of the period, Dia. 13 1/2 in.
Lot 1057, Estimate: $800-1,200

Online auction, New York
Online sale available now through August 12
Exhibition dates: August 8-10, 12-5pm

Doyle is offering Asian Works of Art Online as a timed auction closing on Friday, August 12, 2022 at 10am. Showcased will be the arts of China, Japan and throughout Asia from prominent estates and collections across the country.

Read more, click here

 

Stephen Allee Retires from the National Museum of Asian Art

August 5, 2022

Photo courtesy of Erna Marcus

In June Stephen Allee retired from his 34-year long career at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution, where he served as associate curator of Chinese paintings and calligraphy since 2012. Whether specialist or casual visitor, in person or as a reader, everyone who has engaged with the museum's renowned collection of Chinese paintings and calligraphy benefitted profoundly from Allee's exhibitions, online and print publications, illuminating wall labels, copious translations, enriching talks, and behind-the-scenes research, explication, and organization. Allee has also been deeply generous with and shared access to and information about objects in the collection to an unrivaled degree.

Stephen Allee's training and extraordinary abilities are as a linguist. In addition to studying classical and modern Chinese, especially ancient poetry, he also mastered Russian, Icelandic, and Old Norse. Building on his learning of the Chinese language that began in his teens, Allee studied ancient Chinese language and literature at George Washington University and the University of Washington. In 1978 he was one of the eight who were the first American graduate students to study in mainland China since 1949, and he spent a year-and-a-half focused on spoken Chinese, as well as classical Chinese literature and history, especially fifth-century poetry, at the University of Nanjing.

Allee's career at the NMAA began in 1988, and during those early years he worked under curators Fu Shen and then Joseph Chang and focused primarily on object research and documentation, as well as exhibitions. Since 2012 he has been responsible for all curatorial responsibilities for the museum's Chinese paintings and calligraphy.


Stephen Allee discusses Chinese paintings with interns at the NMAA. Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Asian Art.

The list of exhibitions in which Allee was involved during his long career are far too numerous to list. A few highlights are Painting with Words: Gentleman Artists of the Ming Dynasty in 2016, In Pursuit of Heavenly Harmony: Paintings and Calligraphy by Bada Shanren (1626–1705) from the Collection of Wang Fangyu and Sum Wai in 2003, and Brushing the Past: Later Chinese Calligraphy from the Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth in 2001. Similarly Allee has written and contributed to myriad publications, including the online publication Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy in 2010, the three-volume Contemporary Calligraphy and Paintings from the Republic of China in 1990, as well as the catalogues for the above exhibitions. Recently Allee contributed in Chinese the conference paper "Observations Regarding Dong Qichang’s Authentications on Seven Song Dynasty Works in the Freer Gallery of Art” and the catalogue entry "Qiu Ying, A Donkey for Mister Zhu” to the Shanghai Museum's 2019 project The Ferryman of Ink World: Dong Qichang's Calligraphy and Painting Art.

Looking ahead, Allee plans to focus more on research, with several studies of important paintings in the NMAA's collection in process. He also anticipates traveling, usually at a more leisurely pace that allows more time for deeper study. A generous teacher, Allee also hopes to participate in educational projects in which he can share the rich wealth of knowledge and experience that he has accumulated and to which we all eagerly look forward.

 

Last Days for Lasting Life at MIYAKO YOSHINAGA

August 3, 2022

Dominique Paul, Insects of Surinam 7, 2013, (diptych) archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, 12 x 18 3/4 in. (30.5 x 47.5 cm). © Dominique Paul

Lasting Life: Dominique Paul & José Luis Fariñas,
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA

Closing day August 5, with a reception at 6-8pm

Don't miss MIYAKO YOSHINAGA's summer show juxtaposing inspiring works by Canadian Dominique Paul and Cuban José Luis Fariñas. Insects are a common element in their work as a result of being fascinated by the abilities and secrets of species that have existed on this planet much longer than humans.

The opulent photographic collages created by Paul portray the survival of humans against a backdrop of imminent climate change and genetic transformation learned from the metamorphosis of insects, whereas Fariñas's delicate drawings explore the same issues beyond the physical sense. His work taps into introspective and philosophical implications of human existence.


José Luis Fariñas, The Beginning of the Emotions, 2007, extra fine brush and watercolor on paper,
14 1/8 x 20 in. (35.9 x 50.8 cm). © José Luis Fariñas

Summer Book Sale
In collaboration with 10X10 Photobooks, the award-winning advocate group for this genre, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is currently offering 15-20% discount prices on a special selection of books by established and emerging international artists. Don't miss this opportunity to explore these books that cover issues from the environment to humanity. (some items are in-store purchases only).

Read more, click here

Ralph M. Chait Galleries Joins the Nantucket Antiques Show

August 2, 2022

Chinese Carved Jade Figure of a Leaping Carp, ca. 19th-20th century

Nantucket Summer Antiques Show, Ralph M. Chait Galleries
August 5-8, 2022
Opening reception August 4, 6pm
Hours:
Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 10am-5pm
Monday 10am-3pm

Ralph M. Chait Galleries is participating in this year's show and displaying a wonderful assortment of porcelain, pottery, works of art, and China Trade pictures. This year’s show, which includes 32 carefully selected fine antiques dealers and art galleries from the US and abroad, offers art and antiques in every category. Organized by the Antiques Council, this not-for-profit organization is committed to supporting charitable organizations that benefit the Island of Nantucket, its history, and architecture.

Read more, click here

Ippodo Hosts a Special Tea Program

July 29, 2022

Tea-leaf Storage Jar and Tea Filling Ceremony 2022
Saturday, July 30, 11:30am-2pm
In conjunction with the previous tea lecture, Ippodo Gallery continues their collaboration with tea master Yoshitsugu Nagano. During this upcoming event, tea masters Yoshiki Mizoguchi and Mr. Nagano will teach you how to fill the tea urn with sencha, and get hands-on experience! Later, Mr. Nagano will do the tea ceremony and serve you tea with fresh unmatured tea.

To register, click here.

Summer Group Show: The Rain Freshens Begins Tomorrow at Fu Qiumeng Fine Arts

July 28, 2022

Yau Wing Fung, Riding Mist XXI, 2022, ink and color on paper, 70 1/2 x 38 in. (179 x 96.5 cm)

Summer Group Show: The Rain Freshens, Fu Qiumeng Fine Arts
Chen Duxi, Yau Wing Fung, Zhang Xiaoli, Zhang Yirong
July 29-September 3, 2022
Opening reception, July 29, 6-8pm

Fu Qiumeng Fine Art is pleased to present Summer Group Show: The Rain Freshens from July 29th to September 3rd, 2022, featuring the works of four new-generation ink painters who explore and reinterpret classical aesthetic paradigms and practices from both Eastern and Western tradition. The artists include Chen Duxi (b. 1983), Yau Wing Fung (b. 1990), Zhang Xiaoli (b. 1989), and Zhang Yirong (b. 1979).

The title of the exhibition, “The Rain Freshens,” is derived from the English translation of 空山新雨后 - "an empty mountain after freshly fallen rain” written by the Tang dynasty poet Wang Wei 王維 (699-751) in Autumn Twilight, Dwelling Among Mountains《山居秋瞑》. This poetic scene is uncannily parallel to the term “petrichor,” with its ancient Greek root, describing the earthy and pleasant scent that permeates the air when rain first falls on dry soil. Although Wang’s writings and the concept of petrichor originate from different cultures and contexts, both use literary synesthesia as a rhetorical device to transcend the boundaries between the visual and olfactory senses and capture the artistic form of the throb of new life in nature. Despite the perceived cultural differences, art strives to explore human life and nature. This exhibition bridges across cultures to represent a new generation of contemporary ink painters who practice and create art in a newly interconnected and globalized world.

Read more, click here

DAG Opens Two Ground-Breaking New Exhibitions

July 27, 2022

Henry Singleton (1766-1839), The Last Effort and Fall of Tippoo Sultaun, ca. 1802, oil on canvas,
40 x 50 in. (101.6 x 127 cm.)

Tipu Sultan: Image and Distance, DAG New Delhi
The Claridges, New Delhi
Opens July 26, 2022
An extraordinary exhibition of paintings, prints, maps and other objects recount a visual history of the Mysore Wars between the East India Company and Tipu Sultan. Collected from around the world and now housed permanently in India, this DAG exhibition explores how the narrative might have changed 222 years after the siege of Seringapatnam of 1799 that culminated with the death of Tipu Sultan.

DAG’s historic exhibition consists of a large body of works—paintings, prints, maps and other objects, mostly by British artists—crafts a story of the Mysore Wars between the East India Company and Tipu Sultan and his father Haider Ali. The images, based on the British view of the time, are critically examined by curator Giles Tillotson to reflect changing perceptions and Indian views on this epic battle and its political and social fallouts. The reviewing of this visual material with the benefit of distance in the exhibition Tipu Sultan: Image & Distance follows the recent acquisition of a major painting by Henry Singleton depicting The Last Effort and Fall of Tippoo Sultaun’ among others, bringing this primary material permanently to India. Made by a British artist for British audiences, the painting had remained in Britain since the time of its making, shortly after the event that it depicts that occurred in 1799.

Tipu Sultan: Image & Distance surveys paintings and engravings illustrating key episodes and events from the Mysore Wars fought between 1767 and 1799, and places them in the context of history painting in Britain and France in the late eighteenth century. Leading artists such as Mather Brown, Henry Singleton and Robert Ker Porter produced and displayed many large canvases depicting such turning points as the surrender of two of Tipu’s sons to Lord Cornwallis as hostages in 1792, the siege of Srirangapatna and the death of Tipu Sultan in 1799 at the close of the siege, without ever having visited India. Painted based on British records and through imagination, they appealed to the voyeuristic interest the British had in stories of British triumphalism, greatly enhancing the artists’ reputations and incomes. To put these views and objects in a wider context, the exhibition includes some works by Indian artists made around the same time.

Read more, click here.


M.S. Morgan, engraved by T.H. Sheratt, Storming of Delhi, 1859, engraving on paper

MARCH to FREEDOM, DAG Kolkata
Reflections on India's Independence on its Thirty-Fifth Anniversary
Indian Museum
July 23-September 18, 2022
Consisting of 159 works of art and historical artifacts, the exhibition re-interprets the well known story of the Indian freedom struggle and anti-colonial movement. It draws on DAG's extensive collection of modern and early modern Indian art, and ranges from eighteenth and nineteenth century European paintings and prints, to unknown works by Indian artists that merit greater recognition, as well as several iconic pieces by celebrated modern artists. Particularly noteworthy are the seldom seen before historical maps, travel and cinema posters from pop culture and collectible figures that add to the diversity of material being showcased in this grand-scale collaboration. Daily activities and special events will be organized throughout the run of the show to engage audiences of all ages.

Along Dr. Venkateswaran, specialists have contributed to the accompanying book and the making of the exhibition. Instead of following a chronological order of historical events, the narrative of the exhibition has been divided into eight distinct thematic sections. They are as follows:
Battles for Freedom investigates the significance of the myriad wars scattered through India's past.
The Traffic of Trade situates India and South Asia's colonial histories within a global history of trade, and refocuses attention on the individuals with the broad-brush narratives we construct.
See India considers the role of travel and seeing India, both literally and through circulating images, in conceiving a nation.
Reclaiming the Past is about the power endowed in the simple act of being able to tell one's own story.
Exhibit India is about being able to showcase one's culture.
From Colonial to National focuses on the different places and institutional spaces in which the anti-colonial struggle took place.
Shaping the Nation emphasizes historical individuals who led those efforts over the decades.
Independence explores the moment of the nation's independence and the aftermath of the joys, sorrows, and multitude of experiences of freedom.

Read more, click here.

TAI Modern Exhibits Honma Hideaki

July 27, 2022

Honma Hideaki (born 1959), Current-2021, 2021, madake bamboo, menya, nemagari, rattan,
22.5 x 29.5 x 19.5 in.

Honma Hideaki, TAI Modern
July 29-August 27, 2022
Opening reception, July 29, 5-7pm
Virtual Artist's Talk, August 4, 6pm MDT/8pm EDT

This solo exhibition of works by Honma Hideaki, his generation's leading bamboo master, celebrates his 35th year working as an artist.

Honma Hideaki’s uncle, the pioneering bamboo artist Honma Kazuaki, had no children, so he adopted Hideaki (who loved to draw and work with his hands) as his son, student, and heir to the family’s bamboo business. The family business was booming at the time, so Honma did not go through a traditional apprenticeship but was immediately put to work harvesting bamboo and preparing material for older employees. Honma now considers himself fortunate not to have undergone formal training before he started creating works of his own because it freed him from the traditional thinking process around how bamboo art is “supposed” to be made.

Born in 1959 in Hatano-cho, Sado-gun, Niigata prefecture, Hideaki draws inspiration for his creations from nature on Sado Island, where he lives, and uses men’yadake, a local variety of bamboo that is soft and flexible. Honma’s process involves (1) sketching out ideas; (2) testing out his ideas using maquettes; (3) making an armature out of wood; (4) constructing the basic structure of the sculpture out of bent bamboo; and (5) filling in this frame with woven bamboo to complete the piece. This process may seem logical to the Western audience, but it is rather unique among bamboo artists in Japan.

Read more about the exhibition, click here.

To register for the artist's talk on August 4th, click here.

Songtsam Hotels Announces an Exciting New Initiative

July 26, 2022

View of Songtsam's new Padma Pu-er Hotel

Songtsam, the award winning luxury boutique group of hotels, lodges, and tours located in the Tibet and Yunnan provinces of China, announced the opening of the first property of their new Padma sub-brand, the Padma Pu'er Hotel. The Padma, a new sub-brand created by Songtsam, is positioned to provide tourists with a more affordable option that will enable them to have immersive experiences and connect with local people to celebrate the culture and biodiversity of Yunnan and Tibet.

The new property in Pu’er is in a key location, the starting point of Songtsam Tours’ Ancient Tea Horse Road Route in Yunnan, which is part of the historic Silk Road. Songtsam plans to develop more Padma properties along this Ancient Tea Horse Road tour route. The Padma Pu’er Hotel is located in the Wetland Park in the northern part of Simao district, Pu'er city, known for pu'er tea.


L-R: The fine Chinese restaurant in Padma Pu'er Hotel and the on-site swimming pool

The four-story Padma Pu’er Hotel has 25 rooms, which are divided into four categories of accommodation: deluxe room with garden view, deluxe room with Wetland Park view, a one-bedroom suite, and a two-bedroom suite. Each room has a private balcony where guests can enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. The building itself is constructed in Songtsam's traditional architectural style, with wood used for the main body and combined with materials typically used in subtropical monsoon climates. The color of the hotel's façade is a range of coffee colors mixed with white, which fully integrate the building with the surrounding natural environment and create the feeling of a natural and simple home whether bathed in sunshine or rain. The public area of the hotel includes a Chinese restaurant, swimming pool, tea room, garden, and parking lots and other facilities; with the restaurant divided into indoor and outdoor areas. The open-air swimming pool provides guests with a relaxing and refreshing option in the subtropical monsoon climate.

Read more information about Songtsam, click here

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