What's Happening in Asian Art...
February 5, 2021
Maharaja Sarabhoji Accompanied by His Minister, Tanjore, Company Style, circa 1790, Opaque water-based pigments with raised gold on board, 23 1/2 x 17 1/4 in. (60 x 44 cm.), Kapoor Galleries
Given as a gift to Lady Henrietta Clive (1758-1830) in 1800 by the Maharaja Sarabhoji (r. 1798-1832).
Sophus Andreas Bergsøe (1838-1896), Aalborg circa 1880.
Thence by descent.
It seems incongruous to include an elaborate European ormolu clock in an Indian Tanjore Company Style painting of Maharaja Sarabhoji Accompanied by His Minister, circa 1790. The maharaja, depicted as a heavily bejeweled figure with an elaborate turban and side-whiskers, stands formally facing outward with the index finger of his left hand pointing downward towards his ceremonial sword, and a minister with pressed palms faces the maharaja awaiting instructions. They are framed on one side by a curtain with gold fringe and tassels and are flanked by two European-style gilt-legged tables. The clock is placed upon one of the tables. The European accoutrements of the room are inspired by European portraiture, and this portrait is painted in a style that developed in the mid-eighteenth century, which catered to the tastes of the British colonials. The raised gold is typical of Tanjore painting.
Maharaja Serfoji II of Tanjore (also known as ‘Sarabhoji,’ r. 1798-1832), the last ruler of the Maratha Bhonsle Dynasty of Tanjore, was installed by the British as the titular head of Thanjavur. He was the adopted son of Maharaja Thulajah. As a young man, he was entrusted to the care of a Danish missionary, Reverend Christian Freidrich Schwartz, who sent him to Madras for his formal education. He enjoyed an excellent relationship with the British after he acknowledged their administration of Tanjore and was then granted sovereignty over the lands surrounding the Fort of Thanjavur as well as a pension (see Archer, Rowell, and Skelton, Treasures from India: The Clive Collection at Powis Castle, London, 1987, p.124; and John Chu, Game of Thrones in an ‘Asiatic World’: Henrietta Clive and Anna Tonelli in British India, National Trust Historic Houses & Collections Annual, 2018, p. 40.).
February 3, 2021
Wrapping cloth (Uchikui) Hemp, stencil and resist dyed, Okinawa, early Showa period, 20th century, David M. Kahn Collection
LIVE ZOOM WEBINAR: COLLECTING MINGEI: THREE PERSPECTIVES
Sunday, February 7, 5 P.M. EST
Japanese folk art and crafts both fall into the collecting category Mingei. This overarching term covers everything from preindustrial crafts to handmade everyday tools and vessels. Discussing their approach on collecting will be Kyoko Utsumi Mimura, Waseda University arts faculty member and former Director of the Mingeikan in Tokyo; Ty Heineken, Joint Director, Studio Japan, in Kingston, New Jersey, and author with his wife, Kiyoko, of Tansu: Traditional Japanese Cabinetry, published by John Weatherhill in 1981, the first cultural overview on the subject in a foreign language; and David M. Kahn, Executive Director of the Adirondack Experience in upstate New York and a JASA board member.
Click here to register: February 7 Zoom Webinar.
February 2, 2021
Wang Guangyi’s Great Criticism series, which juxtaposes revolutionary images with the Coca Cola and other western commercial logos, has become an iconic representation of China’s contemporary art movement. The series has been described again and again as a form of subtle political protest. But what did Wang really mean? Do we oversimplify Chinese art? Peggy Wang, author of the new published The Future History of Contemporary Chinese Art, examines China’s most famous “political pop” and challenges the way the art world views Chinese art.
Pieces of China is an online series that tells the story of China, one object at a time. Each live-streamed 15-minute episode features experts, thought leaders, and friends, who will share objects, places, and ideas—personal or culturally significant—that combine to build a unique picture of modern China.
Peggy Wang is associate professor of art history and Asian studies at Bowdoin College. Her research explores how meanings and histories are constructed in light of cultural globalization. Her new book, The Future History of Contemporary Chinese Art, which focuses on methods of interpretation and narratives of agency, speaks to Wang’s inquiries into what it means for histories of contemporary art—and Art History more generally—to be inclusive.
To Register: https://www.chinainstitute.org/event/pieces-china-peggy-wang-wang-guangyis-great-criticism/
February 1, 2021
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) In the Snow, Nakayama Hichiri Road, Hida, dated 1924
KAWASE HASUI: MASTER OF SNOW
Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) is one of the 20th century's most celebrated Japanese landscape shin hanga artists. His genius was in capturing a specific place during a specific season and time of day, creating surprisingly personal scenes that also have universal appeal. The refined techniques of the printers and carvers of the late Taisho and early Showa periods also are the finest of the century. We celebrate the recent storms with a select group of Hasui snow prints, which are some of his most appreciated and sought-after works. Stay tuned: more Hasui works to come!
January 29, 2021
Sosi Mehren is our new social media coordinator. She has been posting to our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts for a week, and already her fresh approach has boosted Asia Week New York numbers of followers significantly.
From Tucson Arizona, Sosi is a third-year student at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, majoring in Middle East Studies with a focus in Visual Culture. She is especially interested in Mughal Painting and Architecture and will enjoy seeing images from several of our members. She is also studying Arabic, in which she hopes to become fluent, and pursuing this in Jordan is part of that plan once it is again possible to travel.
“My favorite thing so far about Asia Week New York is experiencing the beautiful images that come from the variety of galleries and the depth of expertise across these fascinating areas of study,” said Sosi, who promises to be a valuable addition to our team.
January 28, 2021
One of the longest-running and most renowned live cultural events in New York City, The 34th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert will return this year for a special virtual edition combining live and pre-recorded segments streaming via Mandolin, the premiere concert livestream platform for artists, venues, and fans. For the first time ever, this year’s concert offers viewers around the world the unique opportunity to experience the warmth, sense of community and amazing music the evening has provided for so many years at Carnegie Hall. Joining esteemed composer and artistic director Philip Glass, who once again curated this year’s line-up, will be Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Flaming Lips, Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard, Valerie June, Angélique Kidjo, Laurie Anderson, Chocolate Genius Inc. , Tessa Thompson, Saori Tsukada, Jesse Paris Smith, Tenzin Choegyal, Rubin Kodheli and many, many more to be announced soon.
Tibet House US is also deeply honored to announce that the concert will begin with a personal video message from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
There are few events that stand the test of time, and for more than three decades this annual event has been a standout. For over 33 years, this consistently sold-out concert has assembled some of the most legendary and exciting names in music and art, dazzling concertgoers with its unique mix of surprises and mesmerizing performances.
Tickets for this year’s special virtual concert are on sale now ($25-$250). Also available now are unique sponsor level cyber-tables starting at $5,000.
To Register: https://boxoffice.mandolin.com/pages/tibet-house
January 27, 2021
This international symposium explores Japan’s role in the “First Global Age” through a comprehensive and interdisciplinary investigation of its cultural, material, and intellectual production from about 1500 to 1700. The thematic focus lies on transcultural exchange and its related processes, such as shifting taxonomies and iconographies; translation, interpretation, and appropriation; re-evaluation and re-interpretation; and the construction of social biographies of moving objects.
A key goal is to advance the discussion beyond prevalent yet limiting models such as, for instance, a narrowly conceived, bilateral exchange between Iberia and Japan. Instead, this symposium aims to complicate and deepen our understanding of the complex amalgam of actors and trajectories of exchange by exploring the pre-existing cultural, political, and economic spaces of an “East Asian Mediterranean;” transfer routes via South and South-East Asia as well as the Americas; diasporas and hybrid communities; continuities, ruptures, and innovations in the conceptualization of self and other; and processes of mapping, labeling, and appropriation.
Researchers from top institutions around the world and from a wide disciplinary range will convene to bridge the classical humanities (history, art history, literature, religious studies, intellectual history) and history of science (astronomy, cartography). The aim is to find a balance between established and emerging scholars as well as between the academic cultures of Japan, Europe, and the Americas.
This symposium is co-organized and co-funded by Kyushu University’s Faculty of Humanities and Yale University’s Council of East Asian Studies.
January 26, 2021
Kuniyoshi, Beauties admiring the cherry blossoms at Toeizan, 1846-48
The Art of Japan is exhibiting fine Japanese prints in the virtual edition of the West Coast Print Fair from Friday, January 22 to Monday, February 8. www.WestCoastPrintFair.com
46 dealers from the United States, Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom exhibit selections from inventory in the same place at the same time. Browse through over 800 fine prints from old masters to contemporary.
Look for new acquisitions soon at www.theartofjapan.com
January 25, 2021
Where does that exquisite De Gournay Chinese-inspired wallpaper originally come from? China, of course—dating back to the 1700s in the workshops of Suzhou. Join us as interiors expert and member of the British National Trust Emile de Bruijn takes us on a journey to examine a woodblock-printed wallpaper from 1750 (which survives in three magnificent British houses), that tells the story of the beginnings of China’s trade with the West, as well as the impact of Chinese design from the 18th century to today.
Emile de Bruijn is one of the world’s leading experts on Chinese Wallpaper. He worked in the Japanese and Chinese departments of the auctioneers Sotheby’s in London before joining the National Trust, where he is now a member of the central collections management team. Emile has lectured and published on many different aspects of chinoiserie in historic houses and gardens. He is the author of Chinese Wallpaper in Britain and Ireland (2017), and a co-author of the catalogue Chinese Wallpaper in National Trust Houses (2014).
January 21, 2021
A party of hunters returning to camp, Leaf from the British Library-Chester Beatty Library Akbarnama, Mughal India, 1603-04
9 by 5 in., 22.9 by 12.7 cm., painting; Image courtesy Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch Ltd.
New York: Continuing its lively series of virtual panel discussions, Asia Week New York is delighted to present Tales in Connoisseurship: Appreciating Indian Painting with an all-star panel of specialists including Brendan Lynch, co-director of London-based Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch Ltd., Marika Sardar, PhD, Curator, The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and collector Gursharan Sidhu, PhD. These renowned experts will reveal their personal journeys of connoisseurship within the rich and wonderful world of Indian paintings. The presentation will be held on Thursday, January 28 at 5:00 p.m. (EST), 2:00 p.m. (PST). To reserve, visit: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ksNoWmVSRzagAi5UYrouCg
Says moderator Anu Ghosh-Mazumdar, Senior Vice President & Head of the Indian & Southeast Asian Art Department at Sotheby’s: “Any collecting category requires three lynchpins to thrive and survive – the collector, the curator and the dealer. We are excited to host this panel which brings together these three key elements, showcasing the synergy of interest, curiosity, discipline, scholarship and commerce in forging connoisseurship.”
About the Experts:
Anu Ghosh-Mazumdar has been with Sotheby’s since 2003 and was appointed Head of the Sotheby’s Indian & Southeast Asian Art department in 2011. A specialist for both Classical as well as Modern Indian art, she plays a key role in securing major consignments for Sotheby’s sales of Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art and Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art held in Asia, Europe and the United States. Landmark sales of Indian and Himalayan art for which she recently provided her expertise include: Indian paintings from the Estate of Dr. Claus Virch (2015 & 2016), The Richard R. and Magdalena Ernst Collection of Himalayan Art (2018), and most recently an historic collection of Mughal and Ottoman textiles from the Estate of H. Peter Stern, co-founder of the Storm King Art Center (2020). Ms. Ghosh-Mazumdar has lectured widely on the South Asian art market at both private and public international forums.
Brendan Lynch is a London-based dealer in Indian and Islamic Art. He spent twenty years at Sotheby’s, working in London and New York, and left in 1997 as Director of the Islamic and Indian Art Department. In 1998 he set up, with former colleague Oliver Forge, an art consultancy dealing and acting as agents in Indian and Islamic Art and Art of the Ancient World. The company has exhibited Indian Court Paintings annually at Asia Week New York since 2009.
Gursharan S. Sidhu holds degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Madras) and Stanford University. After a long career in academia and the technology sector at Apple Inc. and Microsoft, he now focuses on his lifelong passion for the arts of India. Currently, Sidhu is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Art Museum, as well as on the Acquisitions Committee of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the Board of Trustees of the Museum for Art and Photography (MAP), in Bengaluru. He served as co-chairman of the Board of the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington DC. He and his wife collect traditional and vernacular paintings from India and art from Mexico.
Marika Sardar is Curator at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. She previously worked at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her major exhibitions include: Interwoven Globe (2013), focusing on the worldwide textile trade from the 16th-18th century; Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1750 (2015), examining the artistic traditions of the Muslim sultanates of central India; and Epic Tales from Ancient India (2016), looking at narrative traditions and the illustration of texts from South Asia. Ms. Sardar, along with John Seyller and Audrey Truschke, has recently published the Mughal-era Persian-language manuscript of the Ramayana in the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art.
About Asia Week New York
The collaboration of top-tier international Asian art galleries, the six major auction houses, Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, iGavel, and Sotheby’s, and numerous museums and Asian cultural institutions, Asia Week New York is a week-long celebration filled with a non-stop schedule of simultaneous gallery open houses, Asian art auctions as well as numerous museum exhibitions, lectures, and special events. Participants from Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, and the United States unveil an extraordinary array of museum-quality treasures from China, India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Japan, and Korea.
Asia Week New York Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade membership organization registered with the state of New York. For more information visit www.AsiaWeekNewYork.com @asiaweekny #asiaweekny
About Songtsam, Presenting Sponsor
Founded by Baima Duoji, in 2000, the Songtsam Group is the only collection of luxury Tibetan-style retreats found across the Tibetan Plateau that offers guests sophisticated elegance, refined design, modern amenities, and unobtrusive service in places of natural beauty and cultural interest. With his long-standing and strong interest in Chinese, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian art, Mr. Baima started collecting art long before he established his first hotel, Songtsam Lodge Shangri-La, which is located next to the famous Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La. Many of the properties across the Tibetan plateau are decorated with Mr. Baima’s personal collection, with each hotel acting as a private art museum. For more information, visit www.songtsam.com.