What's Happening in Asian Art...: Participant News
May 28, 2022
Elaine Ildan Choi, Here and Now, Korean Cultural Center
Now through May 31st
The Korean Cultural Center New York sheds light on the life and art of artist Elaine Ildan Choi (born 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 was 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 the artist's 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.
In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI), the Korean Cultural Center invites viewers to leave comments after watching Elaine Ildan Choi, Here and Now, which currently has over 40k views on YouTube since its premiered back in March, before the end of the day on May 31st. The artist Elaine Ildan Choi will select a total of 10 comments from participants, and the selected 10 will receive a special prize, prepared by the artist and the center.
For more information, including details and eligibility about this special online program, as well as for other related programs, please visit the Korean Cultural Center New York’s website, click here.
May 27, 2022
L-R: Mokichi Otsuka (born 1956), Teabowl, ceramic, H. 3 3/8 x Dia. 4 ¾ in. and Tomoyuki Hoshino (born 1976), Sugar-coated Bowl, ceramic, H. 3 3/8 x Dia. 5 1/8 in.
Magic of the Tea Bowl, Volume 2, Ippodo Gallery
June 2-July 7, 2022
Opening reception: Thursday, June 2, 5-8pm
The Japanese tea ceremony was first established during the 16th century and has continued to flourish to the present day. Closely related to Zen philosophy, it has held a central place in Japanese art, culture, and soul. Known as chawan, tea bowls are handed from the tea master, who prepares the tea, to the guests, transmitting the scent and warmth of the tea through the hands to the lip.
Ippodo Gallery held the Magic of the Tea Bowl exhibition last year, which was collected during the height of the pandemic (2020-2021) by visiting workshops around Japan. Many tea bowls left the hands of potters to the hands of their owners. In this second exhibition, Ippodo has added new artists and collected their masterpieces: Yasushi Fujihira, Hideyuki Fujisawa, Noriyuki Furutani, Hiroshi Goseki, Tomoyuki Hoshino, Morimistu Hosokawa, Takeshi Imaizumi, Koichiro Isezaki, Yukiya Izumita, Tsubusa Kato, Kohei Nakamura, Akio Niisato, Mokichi Otsuka, Kai Tsujimura, Shiro Tsujimura, Yui Tsujimura, Koichi Uchida, and Kodai Ujiie.
Read more, click here
May 26, 2022
Blanket from Zhuang Tribal, early 20th century, silk supplementary weft on a fine cotton tabby ground, 45 x 67 in., Collection of Chinalai Tribal Antiques
Auspicious Dreams: Tribal Blankets from Southern China,
Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University
Last day May 31, 2022
The Charles B. Wang Center celebrates precious, rarely seen Chinese textiles, specifically blankets made by South and Southwest Chinese tribes in Auspicious Dreams: Tribal Blankets from Southern China exhibition. Often made with fine materials, exemplary techniques, and unparalleled artistry, these striking textiles convey the unique identities, statuses, and traditions of diverse Chinese tribal groups. Curated by Vichai and Lee Chinalai of Chinalai Tribal Antiques and Jinyoung Jin, director of cultural programs at the Charles B. Wang Center, the treasures in this exhibition take visitors on a remarkable journey across regions and time.
Read more, click here
May 25, 2022
Art for Breakfast 2022 Japanese Painting for the 21st Century | Ryo Shinagawa
Asia Society Japan
May 31, 8am Tokyo time/May 30, 7pm EDT
Asia Society Japan is honored to invite artist, Ryo Shinagawa for Art for Breakfast this May. His works at first sight look academic and historic. They are contemporary Japanese paintings using traditional Japanese materials but mixing modern expressions that are highly minimized. Like the artist himself, his works are philosophical, quiet, and disciplined.
In this program, Mr. Shinagawa will talk about his process, journey, and experiences abroad had broadened his work to go beyond the limits of Japanese paintings and expand their future. He is bringing together elements of Japanese art to discover contemporary meaning for traditional materials and styles.
Read more and register, click here
May 24, 2022
Toshio Tokunaga (born 1952), Vibrato Chair, Triple, Yoshino Cedar, Japanese Zelkova,
H. 37 3/8 x W. 59 1/8 x D. 19 3/4 in. (95x150x50 cm)
Bring Forest Bathing to the Home: Chairs by Toshio Tokunaga
Concludes Thursday, May 26
Toshio Tokunaga (born 1952) is an artist whose expertise in furniture is uniquely attuned to the natural world. Precious Zelkova, mulberry, cherry, and cypress woods are all sourced with passion and dedication from local forests, then dried for decades. The artist delicately familiarizes himself with each rare tree’s individual spirit, allowing him to develop a strong bond with the work and can thus infuse each chair with this warm understanding.
Read more and watch a recorded interview with the artist, click here
Wonju Seo, Through My Window: Ocean, Sky and Wind, 2021, silk organza with abstract painting images, silk thread, 112 x 105 in. (284.48 x 266.7 cm.)
Wonju Seo: Travelogue, Korea Society
Concludes Friday, May 27
This exhibition, Wonju Seo: Travelogue, is a contemporary abstract textile art exhibition. In her solo exhibition, Seo reinterprets the aesthetic value of traditional Korean wrapping cloth called Bojagi with a modern twist.
Read more and see a talk by the artist, click here
May 23, 2022
AWNY Executive Director Margaret Tao (left) with Katherine Martin, former Chairman of the AWNY Planning Committee, AWNY Treasurer, and Director at Scholten Japanese Art during Asia Week March 2022. Courtesy Annie Watt Agency
A veteran of the Asian Art world and lifelong New Yorker, it is not an understatement to say that Asia Week New York runs so well in large measure as a result of the leadership and sheer hard work of Executive Director Margaret Tao. While most AWNY participants know Margaret professionally and socially, few likely realize how diverse and crucial her responsibilities are.
Margaret started working at AWNY in 2011, just a couple of years after the organization was started, as Administrative Coordinator. In 2015, Margaret succeeded Noémie Bonnet to become Executive Director and was the first to bring Asian Art experience to the role. At the outset, Margaret assumed responsibility for managing interactions with existing AWNY dealer, auction, and museum members, expanding membership, supervising staff and consultants, financial oversight and supporting and collaborating with AWNY’s Planning Committee and Board of Directors. She also manages all facets of organizing the March event, including the preparation of the Gallery Guide, planning the various events and programs, the reception at the Met, and overseeing promotion and publicity. In other words, Margaret is essentially the public face of AWNY and in one form or another involved with or responsible for nearly all the organization’s undertakings, along with the rotating Planning Committee Chairperson.
Recently outside factors, most notably the COVID pandemic, tariffs placed on Chinese art imports, and issues of repatriation of Asian works of art have impacted AWNY. As readers are well aware, AWNY responded by dramatically expanding its activities during the past two years, so that Margaret’s tasks now run year-round with ongoing promotion of and engagement with members and followers. In addition to the annual March Asia Week, AWNY now also is engaged in the September Asian art sales, auctions, and exhibitions. Moreover, AWNY has significantly increased its online roster of programs, especially offering virtual exhibitions during Asia Week and regular webinars. The weekly newsletter is emailed to more than 6,000 readers; fresh material is posted most days on AWNY’s website, which now has over 68,000 visits, an increase of 75% since last year; AWNY also communicates actively on social media, including in Chinese on RED.
As a result of these endeavors, all under Margaret’s purview, AWNY has grown to have not only nationwide reach but also international scope. While New Yorkers are the most numerous users of AWNY’s website, the second largest number are in California and Virginia, respectively. And while 60% of users are based in the US, an impressive 17% are in China, followed by the UK, Japan, and Canada.
L-R: Margaret Tao works closely with AWNY’s Planning Committee, Courtesy Annie Watt Agency
Margaret has had a global outlook since childhood, when she attended the Lycée Français in New York and then in London and so is bilingual in French. In college at Wellesley, she majored in Asian Studies and studied Mandarin intensively. Margaret has worked in all aspects of the Asian art market during her career, which provides an unusually wide range of experience and personal contacts. She began at Sotheby’s in the Antiquities and Chinese art department and then was gallery director for Didier Aaron Gallery. She was the US representative for Orientations magazine for twenty years, contributing reviews of Asian art exhibitions and auctions in New York. Margaret’s journalism activities benefited several other major art periodicals, including Art and Auction, The Art Newspaper, Departures, and Architectural Digest. She covered the Asian art sales for Asian Art Newspaper up until March 2020 when Covid halted live art events.
Always interested in deepening her understanding of Asian culture and art, over the years Margaret has traveled to China frequently and spent long holidays there. These trips allowed her to refresh her Chinese language abilities and explore many parts of the country and culture. Margaret studied Chinese traditional painting with artist, connoisseur, and collector C.C. Wang for several years and recalled that she particularly enjoyed copying a painting of rocks from his collection by the Qing-dynasty master Shitao, like the below painting at the Met.
L-R: Shitao (1642-1707), Landscapes of the Four Seasons (detail), album of 8 leaves, Bequest of
John M. Crawford Jr.,
1989.363.155a–h and C.C. Wang (1907-2003) practicing calligraphy, courtesy of Eileen Travell
Looking ahead, Margaret expressed a desire to expand the membership of Asia Week New York and to broaden the organization’s outreach and influence. She is also exploring ways to attract a new group of collectors to Asian art by using all existing tools available and enlisting new devices and practices.
May 22, 2022
Maharaja's Thrones, India, 1911, molded and carved silver sheet, wrapped around a wood core, with silk velvet, brocaded silk and horse or ox tail, 59 1/4 x 31 1/2 x 35 7/16 in. (150.5 x 80 x 90 cm.), Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund, 2013.10.1.1
Silver Splendor: Conserving the Royal Thrones of Dungarpur, India
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
May 21, 2022-May 28, 2023
Thrones communicate the authority and grandeur of their owners. Created in the early 1900s while India was under British colonial rule, these silver thrones and their regalia reveal complex histories of cultural exchange and the representation of political power. In 1911 the Maharawal (ruler) of Dungarpur, a small kingdom in the western state of Rajasthan, commissioned these European-style objects for use in a new royal palace. 1911 was also the year of the British King George V’s coronation as Emperor of India, an event celebrated by a grand Durbar (court assembly) and King-Emperor’s tour of India. Given the date, the thrones were likely created to receive dignitaries in Dungarpur during this year of tours and celebrations. A former Dungarpur king brought the thrones to Europe in 1969 and the Nelson-Atkins acquired them in 2013. Since then, the museum, with local and international partners, restored these objects, using a combination of advanced technologies and traditional Indian art forms to give a sense of their original appearance.
Visitors can request special tours of the exhibition. Read more, click here
May 21, 2022
Bahar Behbahani, Mother River, 2022, video still of drawing made by the artist with lapis lazuli on board, duration: 1 minute. Video still courtesy of the artist
Dialogues in the Diaspora: Bahar Behbahani and Farsad Labbauf
Asia Society New York
Online and in person, May 23, 6:30-8:30pm
Join Asia Society Museum Director Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe in conversation with Persian artists Bahar Behbahani and Farsad Labbauf about their respective practices and their experiences working in the diaspora.
Bahar Behbahani is a painter, collaborator, educator, and a hospitable instigator. Born and raised in Iran, she currently lives and works in New York City. Behbahani’s multilayered work explores the complexities of memory, loss, adaptation, and a fundamental search for a sense of place.
Farsad Labbauf is a multidisciplinary Iranian artist living and working in the New York area. Best known for his linear figurative paintings, Labbauf immigrated to the United States at the age of thirteen. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts, followed by a second degree in Industrial Design, from the Rhode Island School of Design. The origins of Labbauf’s work lie in Figurative Expressionism, a style he practiced for more than two decades leading to the creation of his linear figurative painting style. His paintings as well as his ongoing sewing series are inspired by studies in quantum physics and a reverence for ideas of Unity and Monism. Labbauf began exploring these ideas during his first visit back to his native country of Iran twenty-two years ago.
Read more and register, click here
May 20, 2022
Wang Mansheng (born 1962), Diary of Travels West of Changchun Zhenren, ink and color on cardboard
Moonlight on Stones | Wang Mansheng 王满晟
Fu Qiumeng Fine Art
May 20-July 23, 2022
Opening reception Friday, May 20, 6-8pm
Curated by Dr. Chao Ling
Fu Qiumeng Fine Art presents Moonlight on Stones, the gallery’s first solo exhibition devoted to the Asian-American landscape artist Wang Mansheng. Wang uses self-invented organic painting materials, in addition to conventional ones, to explore contemporary forms of landscape and finds enchanting and enlightening visual structures to embody his perception of nature.
Moonlight on Stones features 19 paintings selected from Wang’s Night Mountain and Ancient Trees series. These artworks, executed between 2008 and the present, are on display for the first time. Each work in the Night Mountain collection is inspired by a line from classical Chinese poetry. The relationship between text and image–a traditional scope–has been enacted in a novel way through the artist’s sensitivity and intellectual interests. The Ancient Trees collection represents his consideration of longevity and form. In intimate contact with the ecosystem of the Hudson River Valley, he makes brushes and ink out of local organic materials to paint objects found in the area while demonstrating his reflections on lines, shape and texture.
The exhibition is curated by Dr. Chao Ling, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chinese and History, City University of Hong Kong. An exhibition catalog will be published, in which his introductory essay will be included.
Read more, click here
May 20, 2022
Temple Kamasan Painting, Bali, 19th/early 20th century, cotton, crushed mineral pigments,
34 x 25.5 in. (86 x 65 cm)
HALI Virtual Fair, Thomas Murray
May 20-30, 2022
Opening today is HALI's annual fair, this year presented virtually. Among the numerous international textile specialists who are participating is Thomas Murray, an independent researcher, collector, lecturer and dealer of Asian and tribal art, with an emphasis on Indonesian sculpture and textiles, as well as animistic art from other cultures. He also features Indian trade cloths from the 14th-18th centuries. As an expert on tribal sculpture and textiles, he has been a Contributing Editor at HALI magazine for 30 years. With more than 50 publications, his recent books, Textiles of Indonesia, Textiles of Japan and Rarities–the Himalayas to Hawaii were met with critical acclaim.
In addition to multiple photos, identification, and elucidating commentary on each of the 22 textiles in Murray's online exhibition is an informative Introductory Video. To view Thomas Murray's display in the HALI fair, click here