What's Happening in Asian Art...

Highlights of the New York September Asian Art auctions

October 1, 2021

A Partial Chinese Imperial Falangcai European-Subject Porcelain Vase, Qianlong four-character seal mark in blue and of the period, Height 4 7/8 inches, width overall 4 inches. Doyle, Asian Art sale, lot 189.

A rare and important Chinese Imperial falangcai vase achieved the week’s top price, $2.45 million at Doyle’s Asian Works of Art auction. It is one of a rare group of wares created during the reign of Qianlong (1735-1796), of which there are very few extant examples. The vase was the star of the collection of Belk department store heiress and philanthropist Sarah Belk Gambrell (1918-2020). Determined bidders from around the globe competing via telephone sent the vase soaring over its pre-sale estimate of $100,000/300,000.

The highlight of the sales at Bonhams was a gilt copper alloy figure of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali, Ming dynasty, 15th Century, which fetched $687,812 in the Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art sale. Unusually large in scale at a foot and half high, the figure was exhibited in the National Palace Museum in Taipei in 1987 as part of a landmark exhibition dedicated to Buddhist Art from the prestigious Nitta Group Collection (lot 1207, est. $600/800,000).

Paintings from their sale, The Reverend Richard Fabian Collection of Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy III were sought after, particularly a hanging scroll in ink and color on paper by the well-known modern artist Huang Binhong (1865-1955). The work brought $275,312, far more than the $100/150,000 estimate (lot 11).

One of the top lots in the Important Japanese Art sale at Christie's was an iron articulated sculpture of a mythical beast (Shachi) from the Edo period (18th century), signed Toto Ju Myochin Shikibu (Sosuke), which sold for $625,000, above the estimate of $120,000/170,000 (lot 12).

Jehangir Sabavala (1922-2011), The Embarkation, oil on canvas, 42 ¼ x 32 ¼ in. (107.3 x 81.9 cm.), Painted in 1965, Christie's, South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art, lot 624.

The week's highest price at the same house was $1,590,000 for The Embarkation, a much-published work by major modern artist, Jahangir Sabavala (1922-2011) in the South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art sale (lot 624, est. $300/500,000). The work achieved a world auction record for the artist. The painting, an oil on canvas, was painted in 1965, a period when Sabavala’s work underwent important changes.

Property from the Springfield Museums, sold to support art acquisitions and collections care, did very well in the house’s Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale. Two late Ming, 15th century gilt-bronze figures of deities did the best, selling for $1,158,000, more than double the $300/500,000 estimate (lot 601). They are notable for their large size and fine casting.

Chinese paintings were the stars at the Heritage Auctions Asian Art sale. Scholars and Attendants with Painting, a hanging scroll in ink and color on silk, attributed to 14th century artist Chen Yu (1313-1384), sold for $137,500, many times the $15/20,000 estimate (lot 78233).

Prices were very strong for many of the archaic bronzes from the MacClean Collection, sold in the Sotheby's sale of Important Chinese Art. The first lot, an extremely rare pair of late Shang Dynasty archaic bronze ritual vessels (ding), were the stars. They sold for $1,895,500, multiples of the $200/300,000 estimate. Not only do very few pairs of such vessels survive, but their inscriptions, Zi Gong, seem to have been rendered partly in mirrored image, identifying them as a true pair.

A Copper Alloy Figure of Vishnu, Bhudevi and Sridevi, South India, Vijayanagar, circa 14th/15th Century, Height of tallest 15 in. (38.1 cm), Sotheby's Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art, lot 371

The highest selling Indian & Southeast Asian antiquity in the recent week of sales was a copper alloy figure of Vishnu, Bhudevi and Sridevi, from South India, Vijayanagar, circa 14th/15th Century. It brought $685,500, a reflection of the rarity as well as the exceptional quality of the group (lot 371, estimate $200/300,000). The Alice Boney and Pan Asian Collection provenance was an additional asset.

Preserving Tibetan Cultural Heritage at Songtsam Lodge Laigu

September 29, 2021

Songtsam is Asia Week New York's 2021 Presenting Sponsor. Learn more about another one of their stunning retreats below!

The Laigu lodge is Songtsam’s highest property and is one of the most unique heritage hotels to be found in the world (it was the Winner for best Architectural Design by Heritage Architecture and received The Architecture MasterPrize 2019). With the prime consideration given to the preservation of natural and Tibetan cultural heritage, the building was designed with modular prefabrication and embedded under a high cliff hidden from sight. The project pays special attention to environmental sustainability in tectonic design and construction. Complete with twenty guest rooms, each one has a breathtaking view of Rawu Lake and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. The lodge is equipped with state of art oxygen concentrator technology to achieve a 24-hour closed oxygen supply. The floor heating is imported from Denmark and the floor-to-ceiling triple-layered vacuum glass windows provide warmth and UV protection.

Destinations & Activities
At an elevation of 3,800 metres, Rawu Tso (Ranwu Lake) is the largest lake in eastern Tibet and to the west is one of the three largest glaciers in the world. Nearby there is an ancient village that inhabits a dozen families. This rural area is one of the word’s best-kept secrets and is nestled amongst glaciers, snow-capped mountains and lakes.

“Untold Stories: Women and the Asian Art Trade” Webinar, September 30, 8:30am-12pm EST

September 28, 2021

Alma Karlin (1889–1950) inspecting a vase, 1920s

Please join us on Sept. 30th, 8:30 am–12:00 pm EST for “Untold Stories: Women and the Asian Art Trade.” This program is the third installment in the series Hidden Networks: Trade in Asian Art, co-organized by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art; Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; and the Harvard Art Museums. You can find the complete program here, and registration link here.

This program highlights the often overlooked—but nevertheless profound—influence of women on the circulation of Asian art objects. The historical analysis of the market has long focused on contributions of male dealers and collectors, as cultural norms provided them more access to formal education, financial resources, and exclusive social circles. While women were part of these networks, their participation and contributions were often less documented and have sustained little scholarly focus. This webinar attempts to recover the histories of these women and place them within the history of Western consumption of Asian art.

Focusing on historical figures, this webinar reveals how women shaped private and public collections, thereby influencing the field of Asian art history. Bringing together historians, museum curators, archivists, and provenance specialists, “Untold Stories: Women and the Asian Art Trade” features new research that illuminates the diversity within the interconnected networks that moved Asian art around the globe in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Co-organized by:
Joanna M. Gohmann, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC
Christine Howald, Zentralarchiv/Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Sarah Laursen, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

New Exhibition at Korea Society

September 27, 2021

Sui Park, Flow, 2015-2021

September 30, 2021 - January 28, 2022
Opening Reception: September 30, 2021, 6 - 8 PM

In this group exhibition, three artists challenge and redefine the conventional idea of fiber and textile art by employing already-established techniques of weaving, embroidery, and assemblage with new materials and creating and inventing new forms. Featuring the work of Woomin Kim, Sui Park, and Jayoung Yoon.

Woomin Kim
Woomin Kim, Chochungdo, 2020

Woomin Kim examines the active materiality of daily objects and urban landscapes through her textile and sculptural projects. Sui Park’s 3-dimensional organic forms are composed of industrial materials that resemble transitions and transformations in nature; they capture subtle but continuous changes in our emotions, sentiments, memories, and expectations. Jayoung Yoon weaves strands of her own hair into forms to create intricate sculptures that resemble fine nets or webs, giving her works a delicate transparency and evoking a feeling of intimacy and envelopment.

Jayoung Yoon, The Offering Bowl 1, 2018

Due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), our gallery is open only by appointment. The appointment must be made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled visit. To make an appointment, please contact info@koreasociety.org. Per New York City’s mandate, visitors are required to provide proof of at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine in order to visit the gallery. For more information, please click here.

Fall has arrived!

September 24, 2021

Zheng Zhong (paintings dated 1610-1648) Traveler in Autumn Mountains, 1644, Fan painting, ink and color on gold-coated paper 50.2 x 16.4 cm. (19 ¾ x 6 ½ in.),

This is the final week of our Asia Week New York Autumn 2021 virtual exhibition!
Please click here to view it: http://autumn2021.asiaweekny.com. Many works can only be seen online:

Classical Chinese and Japanese works at Kaikodo LLC
A selection of Japanese prints from different periods at The Art of Japan and 20th century prints at Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints.
Contemporary Japanese baskets at TAI Modern.
Classical Japanese works of art at Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Fine Art.

Classical Indian paintings at Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch, Ltd.
These are also shown by Francesca Galloway along with other Indian works of art.
Thomas Murray focuses on tribal gold pieces from Indonesia.
Akar Prakar has a set of black and white woodcut prints depicting scenes from Indian mythology.

You can also make an appointment to view the shows at the following participating New York-based galleries in person:
For Chinese art, especially ceramics, visit Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc. at 16 East 52nd Street, 10th Floor.
If you are looking for Chinese paintings, contemporary artist Tai Xiangzhou’s ink paintings are on view at Fu Qiumeng Fine Art at 65 East 80th Street.

Radha Watching a Storm, Signed ‘Mohammadi’, Mandi, dated 1824 (Samvat 1854), Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper

A wide selection of classical Indian and Himalayan art can be found at Kapoor Galleries at 34 East 67th Street.
DAG at 41 East 57th Street, Suite 708, is showing the exhibition, The Wonder of India: Explorations through 19th and 20th Century Art.

For classical Japanese art, go to Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts at 17 East 71st Street, 4th floor.
18th century Japanese prints and paintings are featured at Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art at 17 East 76th Street, 3rd Floor.
Scholten Japanese Art at 145 West 58th Street, Suite 6D, has an exhibition of Japanese prints produced before and after the Kanto Earthquake in Tokyo in 1923.

Set of Five Mukōzuke Dishes with Design of Plum Flower Blossoms and Geometric shapes, Mino ware, Green Oribe type, Momoyama period, 16th-17th century, Glazed stoneware
H 4.9 x L 11.1 x W 13.0 cm each, courtesy of Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts

Visit the following galleries to see contemporary Japanese art in several media:
Japanese ceramics by Suzuki Osamu and others are shown at Dai Ichi Arts Ltd at 18 East 64th Street.
Joan B. Mirviss LTD at 39 East 78th Street, 4th Floor, highlights the Mino ware ceramics of artists Hori Ichiro and Ito Hidehito.
Paintings by Ken Matsubara and other works evoking the season can be found at Ippodo Gallery at 32 East 67th Street.
At Onishi Gallery at 521 West 26th Street the spotlight is on vessels made from various metals and unique Japanese alloys.
Thomsen Gallery at 9 East 63rd Street, 2nd Floor, is showing nature paintings by Japanese artist Minol Araki (1928-2010).

Paintings of the sea by Paris-based contemporary Korean artist Cho Taikho are on view at HK Art & Antiques at 49 East 78th Street, 4B.

Zetterquist Galleries at 3 East 66th Street, 2B, is giving contemporary ceramic artist Ipek Kotan her first US show.

Thomsen Gallery at Design Miami/Basel

September 22, 2021

Thomsen Gallery booth at the previous Design Miami/Basel show

September 21-26, 2021
Basel, Switzerland

Japanese Bamboo Art

Thomsen Gallery is delighted to participate again in Design Miami / Basel showing Japanese bamboo art. If you are in Switzerland during the Art Basel week, please visit them in Hall 1 Süd, Messe Basel, at Booth G24. They have a limited number of admission tickets available.

Their exhibition at Design Miami / Basel, featuring more than 30 works, covers every aspect of the art as it has evolved over the past century: masterpieces from the first half of the 20th century, regarded as the Golden Age of Japanese basketry, through contemporary works by the current bamboo masters. Included are bamboo ikebana baskets by the most prestigious names in the history of Japanese bamboo art: Rōkansai, Chikuryōsai, Chikuunsai, and Chikubōsai. We are also proud to feature three of the six artists who have received the high honor in Japan of being named a Living National Treasures of Basketry: Iizuka Shōkansai, Made Chikubōsai II, and Katsuhiro Sōhō.

For more information about the show, click here: https://basel2020.designmiami.com

Upcoming Exhibition at Tibet House

September 21, 2021

Photo courtesy of Tibet House

Transforming Minds: Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche and Friends
Photographs by Allen Ginsberg 1989–1997
On view from Sept. 21 to Dec. 12, 2021 at Tibet House US Gallery
Free with reservation of timed ticket | Wed. through Sun., 11am–1pm & 2–4pm

Tibet House US is delighted to partner with The Allen Ginsberg Estate and Jewel Heart International on an exhibition of unique images by the celebrated visionary and poet Allen Ginsberg. The special exhibit will be on display at the Tibet House Gallery (22 West 15th Street, New York, NY) from September 21 – December 12, 2021 with more details and special events to be announced in the coming weeks.

In 1989, Allen Ginsberg’s close friend, Philip Glass, a student of Rimpoche, brought Ginsberg to Michigan to perform a benefit concert for Jewel Heart. From that first meeting and until Ginsberg’s death in 1997, Rimpoche was his Tibetan Buddhist teacher and friend. Ginsberg, was also, in many ways, Rimpoche’s teacher — a consultant in matters involving the English language and the more puzzling facts of Western culture. The two formed an indissoluble bond.

For more information, click here.

Rarely Seen Asian Textiles Will Be On View at Nelson-Atkins

September 19, 2021

One Hundred Cranes Imperial Robe, Chinese, Late 17th-early 18th century Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). Embroidered damask, 57 7/8 x 91 inches. Courtesy of Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

For the first time in decades, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City will display precious, rarely seen Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Persian, and Turkish costumes and textiles. Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles opens Sept. 25 and runs through March 6, 2022. Made with fine materials, exemplary techniques, and artistry, Asian luxury textiles were treasured locally and were central to global trade. The sumptuous textiles in this exhibition conveyed the identities, status, and taste of both local and international patrons and consumers.

Weaving Splendor is curated by Ling-en Lu, Curator of Chinese Art, Kimberly Masteller, Jean McCray Beals Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Yayoi Shinoda, Assistant Curator of Japanese Art, and Michele Valentine, Department Assistant, South and Southeast Asian Art. Costumes of the court communicated power, while theater robes brought stage characters to life. Ornate wall hangings and furniture covers transformed palaces, temples, and homes, while shimmering, tapestry-woven carpets were created as diplomatic gifts for foreign rulers. The stories of these treasures of the collection take visitors on a remarkable journey across continents from the 1500s to today.

“For centuries, Chinese textile artists produced the most refined silk textiles utilizing luxury materials and techniques to make the garments not only functional but also appreciated as artwork,” said Lu. “One example is the picturesque embroidery of the One Hundred Cranes Robe, which came from the Qing dynasty imperial tomb of Prince Guo (1697–1738). This rare garment is widely considered to be one of the most important Chinese textiles in the United States.”

Between the late 1800s and early 1900s, Japanese artists made many high-quality textiles for American and European customers. These textiles were sold at international expositions, department stores, and art galleries in Europe, Japan, and the United States. They were also presented as diplomatic gifts from the imperial house and government to political allies. Japanese textile makers faced many challenges in the late 19th century, but nimbly adopted to the new economic and social changes. They did not reset their knowledge and skills, but built upon what they learned from predecessors in previous centuries by studying and adopting new clients’ taste and needs and new weaving technology brought from Europe.

The exhibition will also spotlight local fascination with Asian textiles. In the late 1800s, affluent Americans like Kansas City’s Jacob and Ella Loose boarded steamships and set sail for Asia. There they explored firsthand cultures and lands largely understood in the United States through published accounts, and as most tourists do, they shopped. Luxurious tapestries and wall hangings, like those produced in Japan and later donated by the Looses, were easy to pack for safe travel home. European and American collectors like the Looses purchased these large and impressive textiles to decorate their mansions.

For more information, click here.

Autumn 2021: This Weekend

September 17, 2021

J Sultan Ali, Adivasi Bhumimata, 1982, Acrylic and gouache on paper, 18.0 x 20.0 in., courtesy of DAG

Several Autumn 2021 exhibitors are open Saturday, September 18:

DAG, 41 East 57th Street, Suite 708, open 11am-6pm
Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, 65 East 80th Street, Ground floor, open 10am-6pm
Kapoor Galleries, 34 East 67th Street, Floor 3, call for appointment, 11am-6pm
Joan B Mirviss LTD, 39 East 78th Street, Suite 401, open 11am-5pm
Scholten Japanese Art, 145 West 58th Street, Suite 6D, call for appointment, 11am-4pm

The following auction house viewings are open Saturday and Sunday, September 18 and 19:

Bonhams, 580 Madison Avenue, open 10am-5pm
Doyle, 175 East 87th Street, open noon-5pm
Sotheby's, 1332 York Avenue, open Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 10am-5pm

Appointments are needed here:

Christie's, 20 Rockefeller Plaza
Heritage Auctions, 445 Park Avenue
iGavel, 227 East 120th Street

View the Asia Week New York: Autumn 2021 Viewing Rooms here

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