What's Happening in Asian Art...
June 29, 2022
Songtsam's Meili Lodge—A Sacred and Breathtaking Tibetan Mountain Retreat
Every year Tibetans and travelers from all over the world make their journey to worship at Mount Kawagebo, the major peak of the Meili Snow Mountain range and one of the holiest mountains in the larger Tibetan region. Songtsam Lodge Meili was built in this spectacular area. A highlight is waking up and experiencing the morning sunrise. First golden sunlight shines over Mount Kawagebo and then spreads quickly over the 13 peaks. Against the backdrop of the dark-blue sky, the sunrise is considered very holy and only lasts for a few minutes. Rooms are furnished with large comfortable beds, sofas, and timber flooring, providing a warm atmosphere that combines rustic charm with modern comforts. Most rooms also feature a cozy fireplace.
The Meili Snow Mountain range is a sub range of the Hengduan Mountains, which run north to south, marking the boundary between Tibet and Yunnan province. It is remarkable for its impressive chain of glaciated peaks, rising more than 6,000 meters high, and during sunrise and sunset, the soft sunlight illuminates all thirteen peaks. As of today, none of the major peaks have been summited. Standing at 6,740 meters, the main peak, Kawagebo, is the first of the six most sacred mountains and over ten thousand pilgrims make the 240 kilometer trek circumnavigating the mountain each year.
The scenic drive from Shangri-La to Meili winds through lush temperate and alpine forests, crossing the Baima Mountain Pass at 3,292 meters. The Yangtze drainage area lies on one side of the pass and the Mekong on the other. On emerging from the pass onto a steep descending road, the Meili peaks soon appear in the distance. Baima Snow Reserve, a UNESCO designated world heritage sight, is one of the truly wild places left in China. Nearly all of the world’s species of rhododendron originate from this area. There are even a few spots where red pandas and snow leopards roam free.
Songtsam is Asia Week New York's 2022 sponsor.
For more information about Songtsam, visit: www.songtsam.com/en/about
June 29, 2022
Tuan Andrew Nguyen, The Specter of Ancestors Becoming, 2019 4-channel video installation, Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and produced by Sharjah Art Foundation with additional production support from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, New York.
Asia Society Texas
Making Home: Artists and Immigration
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, July 2. Also available on Saturday at 10am is a docent-led Architecture Tour of Asia Society's iconic and unique Center designed by Yoshio Taniguchi.
Read more, click here
Asia Society Japan
JapanCraft21: Building a Movement
In-person and online program, July 5 8am Tokyo time/July 4 7pm EDT
JapanCraft21 Director Steve Beimel will take a hard look at the current situation around Japan’s Master Crafts tradition — why the system is faltering, what can be done to turn it around, and the actions that JapanCraft21 is taking.
Read more and register, click here.
June 28, 2022
A Rare and Large Kesi "Peach" Panel, 19tn-20th century, hanging scroll, 90⅜ x 47¼ in. (229.6 x 120 cm), Lot 71, Estimate: $30,000-40,000
CHINA/5000 YEARS, Sotheby's New York
Online auction June 17-29
CHINA/5000 YEARS features a selection of over 130 Ming and Qing porcelains and textiles, early ceramics, bronzes, jades, Asian and Chinese art reference books, and other Chinese works of art. Highlights include a large famille-rose ‘peach’ vase (Tianqiuping), a late Shang/early Western Zhou dynasty archaic bronze ritual wine vessel (Zhi), a selection of Ming and Qing porcelains from a New York private collection, and a group of early ceramics from a Canadian private collection.
Read more, click here.
June 27, 2022
Miwa Kyūwa (Miwa Kyūsetsu X) (1895-1981), White Hagi square vase in the form of a handled bucket, ca. 1965, glazed stoneware, 12 1/2 x 6 3/4 x 6 3/8 in.
The Kaneshige Family and the Bizen Tradition
The Miwa Family and the Hagi Tradition
Joan B Mirviss LTD
Live and online exhibition, closes June 30, 2022
The widespread popularity and distinguished reputations that Japan’s ancient ceramic traditions enjoy today are largely indebted to a core group of mid-twentieth century artistic visionaries: among them, Kaneshige Tōyō (1896-1967) for Bizen ware and Miwa Kyūwa (1895-1981) for Hagi ware. Both men were inheritors to their highly esteemed, long-established, multi-generational family names that had been associated with excellence in their respective ceramic traditions for centuries. Together with scholar-potter Kawakita Handeishi (1878-1963), they co-founded the artistic discussion group Karahinekai in 1942, formed of artists who were dedicated to the recovery of lost techniques from the golden age of ceramics during the 16th century Momoyama period.
The gallery's website includes an online catalogue, as well as links to articles on the show by Ceramics Now, Antiques Trade Gazette, and Yomitime.
Read more, click here
June 26, 2022
Emi Anrakuji (born 1963), Untitled 8, early 2000s, archival pigment print on a vintage postcard
(circa 1900s), 3 1/2 x 5 3/8 in (8.9 x 13.8 cm) (image), @Emi Anrakuji
Emi Anrakuji: Ehagaki–Picture Postcard, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA
Through June 30
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.
Be sure to read Loring Knoblauch's in-depth review of this exhibition in Collector Daily online, click here.
Read more about the exhibition, click here.
June 25, 2022
Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva with Six Light Bodhisattvas, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 16th–17th century
The Afterlife Journey: Divine Protectors and Guides in Korean Buddhist Painting, The Art Institute of Chicago
In-person lecture by Professor Cheeyun Lilian Kwon
June 30, 4-5pm CDT
Cheeyun Lilian Kwon, professor at the School of Fine Arts, Hongik University, Seoul, will discuss the Ksitigarbha painting in the Art Institute’s collection. Influenced by an unique amalgamation of various sources, Korea adopted a vision of the afterlife that was protected by the Ksitigarbha bodhisattva and accompanied by a host of heavenly beings. In this talk, Professor Kwon will discuss the Ksitigarbha painting in light of the Buddhist tradition that became deeply rooted in Korea for over a millennium. Such paintings acted as central agents in the Buddhist rituals dedicated for the dead in pre-modern Korea.
Professor Kwon teaches in the Arts and Cultural Management Department and the School of Fine Arts, Hongik University, Seoul. She received her PhD in East Asian art from Princeton University and taught Korean and East Asian art at American University and George Mason University. She also served as curator of Korean art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and curatorial consultant at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution.
This program is generously funded by the National Museum of Korea.
Read more and to register, which is required, click here
June 23, 2022
Oki Toshie (born 1976), Rapids, 2017, madake bamboo, rattan, 3.5 x 21 x 13 in.
Oki Toshie, TAI Modern
June 24-July 23, 2022
Opening reception June 24, 5-7pm
Artist's live talk, June 25, 3pm
One of bamboo art’s few female artists presents her first solo exhibition in the United States. This impressive Japanese artist shares her joy, creativity, and drive for beauty and expression with each piece.
Oki Toshie (born 1976) is a self-proclaimed introvert who cherishes the opportunity to communicate through her artwork. Her strongest desire is to create works that will move the hearts of viewers. “I try to balance my personal expression with beauty of form,” she says. “It is a constant process of trial and error, but I am proud to say that I put my heart and soul into each piece I create.”
The last student of Living National Treasure Iizuka Shokansai, her engagement with Japanese bamboo art began at an exhibition she visited while in high school. She was amazed that a utilitarian object such as a basket could reflect artistic vision. “Japanese people are particularly good at expressing themselves within the limitations of a fixed form, such as in haiku and tanka poetry,” says Oki. In a similar way, Oki expresses herself within the constraints of vessel forms, creating elegant and evocative trays and flower baskets.
One of the foremost bamboo artists working in Japan, Oki’s exhibition at TAI Modern includes this year’s Asahi Newspaper Prize winning piece from the Eastern Division. Her works have been included in major museum collections and exhibitions throughout the United States and Japan.
June 22, 2022
Shigeru Uchida (born 1943), Ji'an tea house, at Ippodo Gallery
Lecture and Tea Ceremony with Tea Master Nagano Yoshitsugu, Ippodo Gallery
In-person program, June 28, 2022, 2-4pm
This special program is organized to complement Ippodo's current exhibition, Magic of the Tea Bowl, Volume 2. Nagano Yoshitsugu will first give a lecture, How to Experience the Sensations of a Tea Bowl, in which participants will learn the points of how to appreciate tea bowls while appreciating the tea bowls displayed in the gallery. In the second half of the program, each person will be able to choose a bowl of tea and drink powdered green tea prepared by Nagano sensei using that bowl.
Nagano Yoshitsugu, Japanese Tea Ritual Instructor and Professor of the Ueda Soko School, is the youngest person to be certified in the highest rank of the Ueda Soko School (USRJWT), which has been practiced in Hiroshima for 400 years. He received a BFA from the Faculty of Art in the Hiroshima City University in 2012. In 2019 he relocated to New York City, where he energetically promotes the aesthetics and spirituality of the Japanese Tea Ritual, which is rooted in Zen Buddhism. He also works to establish new styles of a modern Tea Ceremony that incorporates new expressions into the traditional rituals to create new ways of engaging with the Tea Ceremony.
Read more and register, click here
June 22, 2022
Katsukawa Shunkō (1743–1812), Actor Onoe Matsusuke I as Retired Emperor Sutoku, about 1780
The Golden Age of Kabuki Prints, Art Institute of Chicago
Last day June 26
The Kabuki theater district of 18th-century Edo (modern-day Tokyo) was one of the centers of urban life. At the theater, people could escape the rigid confines of a society controlled by the shogunal government and watch their favorite actors perform in dramas that were often based on ancient historical events and myths. The drama of Kabuki theater was most successfully conveyed in the prints of the Katsukawa School of artists because they captured the individual characteristics of each actor. Founded by Katsukawa Shunshō (1726–1792), the Katsukawa school included several prominent artists, including Katsukawa Shunkō (1743–1812) and Shun’ei (1762–1819). This exhibition includes examples by all three of these artists and is drawn from the more than 700 Katsukawa School prints in the Art Institute’s collection.
Senju, Waterfall, 2019
Senju's Waterfall for Chicago
Last day June 26
These enchanting painted screens are the work and a gift of Senju (born 1958), a contemporary proponent of Nihonga, traditional Japanese painting. Known for his signature Waterfall works, Senju created the panels on view at the Art Institute specifically for the museum’s Gallery 109, the space designed by architect Andō Tadao. Thinking of the exhibition as a collaboration between himself and the architect through time, Senju tailored the scale and lighting to best suit this distinctive space.
Read more, click here
June 20, 2022
L-R: Paul Binnie (born 1967), Matsumoto Koshiro IX from the play Shibaraku, 1995, oil on canvas, framed 57 x 44 in. (144.78 x 11.76 cm), Scholten Japanese Art and Fesitval Kimono decorated with Carp Ascending a Waterfall, Akita prefecture, late 19th-early 20th century, cotton shibori (shape resist), The John R. Van Derlip Fund and the Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund, purchase from the Thomas Murray Collection, 2019.20.84, Minneapolis Museum of Art
The intent focus and long hours of AWNY members Scholten Japanese Arts and Thomas Murray are now coming to fruition with the gallery’s new exhibition NOH: More Drama, Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie and the opening of Dressed by Nature: Japanese Textiles at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, respectively. Here we look at the efforts that made these new shows possible.
Paul Binnie and Katherine Martin present a discussion of his artistic process in Scholten gallery in 2017.
Noh: More Drama, Theatrical Subjects by Paul Binnie, Scholten Japanese Art
June 16-July 15, 2022
Scholten’s new exhibition presents paintings, drawings, and prints of Japanese theatrical subjects by Paul Binnie. (For more information about this exhibition, click here.) This is the gallery’s fourth solo exhibition of work by this artist, whom Katherine Martin, Director of Scholten Japanese Art, first met in 2007. By a striking coincidence, Martin was given as a gift the book, then recently published, Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past: the First 100 Japanese Prints, shortly before the artist himself visited the gallery in his quest for prints by Hiroshi Yoshida. The gallery’s interest in Binnie’s art was formalized when Martin traveled to see Binnie’s studio in London and immediately recognized that he carried “the mantle of shin-hanga”. With Rene Scholten quickly on board, Scholten organized their first show of Binnie’s work in 2008, Echoes of Japan: the Woodblock Prints of Paul Binnie.
Paul Binnie was born in Scotland in 1967 and studied fine arts in Edinburgh, where he first became enthralled with and started collecting Japanese woodblock prints. In 1993 he moved to Japan to study traditional printing techniques as an apprentice under Seki Kenji (born 1940) for several years. Binnie is unique not only because he combines Eastern and Western practices but also because he undertakes all aspects—design, block-cutting, and printing—himself, rather than involving other specialists. In addition to these images of Kabuki and Noh theater, Binnie is also noted for his tattoo, landscapes, famous scenes of Japan, and bijin-ga ("beautiful women") series. (Read more about Paul Binnie, click here.)
Katherine Martin commented that collectors of Binnie’s paintings and prints vary depending on the subject. For example, his theater images tend to appeal to Japanese collectors and aficionados of Japanese art, while his landscapes have a broader audience. The visual impact and affordability (at least at the moment) of Binnie’s works also appeal to younger buyers. Among the most noteworthy acquisitions of his prints was the purchase of a complete set of Binnie’s tattoo series by the Metropolitan Museum in 2018 from Scholten Japanese Arts.
Woman’s fish-skin festival coat (hukht), 19th century, Nivkh people, fish skin, sinew (reindeer), cotton thread; appliqué and embroidery, The John R. Van Derlip Fund and the Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund, purchase from the Thomas Murray Collection, 2019.20.31, Minneapolis Museum of Art
Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan
Minneapolis Institute of Art, June 25-September 11, 2022
In 2019, Mia acquired Thomas Murray's collection of Japanese textiles and originally planned to display them in 2021. Despite the delay due to Covid, this exhibition will open this week. (For more information about this exhibition, click here ). These textiles focus on the resourcefulness of humans to create clothing from local materials like fish skin (as in the robe above), paper, elm bark, nettle, banana leaf fiber, hemp, wisteria, deerskin, cotton, silk, and wool. On view will be rare and exceptional examples of robes, coats, jackets, vests, banners, rugs, and mats, made between around 1750 and 1930, including the royal dress of subtropical Okinawa, ceremonial robes of the Ainu from northern Japan and the Russian Far East, and folk traditions from throughout Japan.
Andreas Marks, Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese and Korean Art at Mia and curator of this exhibition described Murray’s collection and its impact on Mia’s extensive Japanese art holdings. “Thomas Murray’s collection is equally impressive in its quality and depth. Built over nearly 40 years by a man with a fantastic eye for textiles, a collection of this importance and breadth could not be put together today. Mia is thrilled to be the recipient of these important textiles, which will catapult us amongst the foremost collections of Japanese textiles in the world."
"The Murray Collection adds important new dimensions to Mia’s Japanese art collection, which is particularly strong in the areas of paintings and prints, sculptures, ceramics, and works of bamboo. Until now, there were only a few textiles in the collection, including Noh robes used in theatrical productions, wedding kimono made of silk, and so-called meisen garments made in the 1910s and 1920s, which feature bold and graphic designs."
In addition to the extensive research available about these rare objects in Murray’s Textiles of Japan, published in 2018, Murray will speak at Mia on June 26 at 2pm. His talk Accounting for Taste: On the Collecting of Textiles from Japan will introduce the world-class collection of Japanese textiles that he assembled over almost 40 years and will explore the range and artistry of Japan’s tradition of fiber arts, as well as their original usage. To register, click here.