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Songtsam’s First Low-Carbon Hotel in Tibet is Officially Open

Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso on the holy Lake Basong Tso

Asia Week New York sponsor, Songtsam, an award-winning luxury boutique hotel collection and Destination Management Company, located in the Tibet and Yunnan Provinces of China announces the official opening of their first low-carbon hotel, the Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso in Jieba Village, Tibet. This 122-room and suite Retreat is Songtsam’s 16th and largest property.

Mr. Baima Duoji, Songtsam Founder & Chairman, hopes that the location of the hotel will enable more visitors to experience the extraordinary beauty of the location and the local Tibetan culture. He also hopes that Songtsam’s goal of achieving zero-carbon implementation will serve as a model for other businesses in the area to also become more sustainable.

In 2022, Songtsam and Siemens Energy signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement to jointly promote green and low-carbon circular development in rural areas, resulting in Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso. Energy consumption is offset by self-generated electricity, and carbon emissions are reduced to a minimum by using the abundant solar energy in Tibet to power the hotel. Songtsam is also committed to supporting the local and economic development of the community while preserving its culture by providing at least 120 jobs for local villagers and giving 5% of the property’s operating income to the adjacent Jieba village every year.

Lake Basong Tso

Mountain view from Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso

The design and layout of the Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso was inspired by the settlement style of the Cuogao Ancient Village, which is also on the shore of Lake Basong Tso. The staggered heights of the buildings expand the viewing angle as well as make the building complex itself appear as an integral part of the surrounding landscape, echoing the long-standing life wisdom of the Gongbu Tibetans, who used the architectural space to build the connection between people and even reference the relationship between people and nature. For the interior, the chosen color schemes are extensions of the natural scenery of Lake Basong Tso itself. From the public area to the guest rooms, the use of different shades of green reflect the seasonal changes of Lake Basong Tso.
Basong Tso View

The view of Jieqing Naragabu (also known as “Burning Flame”) from Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso

There are many opportunities for Songtsam guests to experience the spirituality and nature of the surroundings. One can opt to go on an escorted walk to the Xincuogou hidden in the deep valley of the high gorge. Along the way, there are snow-capped mountains and glaciers, and groups of yaks wandering leisurely in the grassland covered with flowers. Hiking enthusiasts can go upstream to find Zhong Lake at the end of the river or stroll nearby the idyllic Zhala River. The mysterious and tranquil Doqin Monastery is a spiritual pilgrimage in itself and a visit to the Cuogao Ancient Village provides the visitor with an opportunity to appreciate the charm of Gongbu architecture, its wood carvings, and even participate in a plant art prints handicraft workshop.

Learn more here: https://www.songtsam.com/en

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Songtsam’s First Low-Carbon Hotel in Tibet is Now Open

Mountain view from Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso 

Asia Week New York sponsor, Songtsam, an award-winning luxury boutique hotel collection and Destination Management Company, located in the Tibet and Yunnan Provinces of China announces the soft opening of their first low-carbon hotel, the Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso in Jieba Village, Tibet. With the official opening planned for mid-September, this 122-room and suite Retreat will be Songtsam’s 16th and largest property.

Mr. Baima Duoji, Songtsam Founder & Chairman, hopes that the location of the hotel will enable more visitors to experience the extraordinary beauty of the location and the local Tibetan culture. Baima further stated that he hopes that Songtsam’s goal of achieving zero-carbon implementation will serve as a model for other businesses in the area to also become more sustainable.

Last year, Songtsam and Siemens Energy signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement to jointly promote green and low-carbon circular development in rural areas. The energy consumption of this new low-carbon hotel is offset by using self-generated electricity and reducing carbon emissions by utilizing the abundant solar energy in the region. Songtsam is also committed to supporting the local and economic development of the community while preserving the local culture by providing at least 120 jobs for local villagers and giving 5% of the property’s operating income to the adjacent Jieba village every year.

Basong Tso River

Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso on the holy Lake Basong Tso

During the soft opening there will be 41 guest rooms available, showcasing the ingenious fusion of Tibetan architecture and modern design. The Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso’s design was inspired by the Cuogao Village’s settlement style and provides excellent views of the holy Lake Basong Tso and the holy mountain. The structure and appearance of the hotel building are a tribute to the local cultural history of Basong Tso, while the color schemes inside the hotel reflect an extension of the natural scenery of Lake Basong Tso itself.

Basong Tso View

The view of Jieqing Naragabu (also known as "Burning Flame") from Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso

Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso is located in the historic Jieba village where villagers keep Gongbu Tibetan traditions alive. During festivals, the villagers go around the lake, race horses, and dance, while on weekdays, the elderly villagers are often dressed in gorgeous and heroic Gongbu Tibetan costumes providing Songtsam guests a rare opportunity to witness age-old Tibetan customs and experience the spirituality and nature of their surroundings.

For more information: https://www.songtsam.com/en

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Flowers on a River Exhibition on NYC-Arts

May 4, 2023, 8pm

One of the segments on NYC-Arts is featuring China Institute Gallery’s current exhibition Flowers on a River: The Art of Chinese Flower and Bird Painting, 1368-1911, to be introduced by Philippe de Montebello.

Make sure to visit this landmark exhibition, Flowers on a River: The Art of Chinese Flower and Bird Painting, 1368-1911. Flowers on a River, a handscroll in ink on paper by one of China’s most famous Qing dynasty artists, Zhu Da (1626-1705) is one among many masterpieces from the Tianjin Museum and Changzhou Museum, and this is a unique opportunity to see them in New York.

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Songtsam will open a new property this summer!

3D Architectural Renderings of the upcoming Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso

Asia Week New York sponsor, Songtsam, an award-winning luxury boutique hotel collection and Destination Marketing Company, located in the Tibet and Yunnan Provinces of China expects to open their first zero-carbon hotel, the Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso in Tibet in July 2023. The 120-room Retreat will be their 16th and largest property.

Founded in 2000 by Mr. Baima Duoji, Songtsam has always had a strong commitment to preserving the essence of Tibetan culture, environmental conservation and sustainability by supporting the economic development of the local communities.

Songtsam Architectural Renderings

3D Architectural Renderings of the upcoming Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso

Mr. Baima noted, “Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso will partner with Siemens and Schneider Electric to strive to build Songtsam's first zero-carbon hotel. The entire hotel will achieve maximum zero carbon dioxide emissions through building energy saving systems and by making full use of solar power generation and energy storage.” He hopes that it will serve as a model for other businesses in the area to become more sustainable.

Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso will also give 5% of the operating income to the adjacent Jieba village every year and will provide at least 120 jobs for villagers from the local community. The property will be built in such a way that it will become an integral part of the beautiful landscape surrounding the local village.

The new hotel is situated near Lake Basong Tso in Gongbujiangda County, Nyingchi. The largest natural lake in southeastern Tibet, Basong Tso means “green water” in Tibetan. It is a 4 ½-hour drive from the holy city of Lhasa and the world-famous Potala Palace, as well as the Songtsam Linka Retreat Lhasa. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava is said to have subdued “demons” in Lake Basong Tso, and the lake has since become sacred to members of Tibetan Buddhism. Every year the lake attracts many pilgrims who come to honor their Guru.

Songtsam Architectural Renderings

3D Architectural Renderings of the upcoming Songtsam Linka Retreat Lake Basong Tso

In recent years, Zhongcuo, Xincuo and other places near Lake Basong Tso have become increasingly popular hiking destinations. Songtsam recognized a need for upscale accommodation to meet the growing number of travelers exploring this area. Surrounding the lake are a number of villages and Cuogao and Xincuogou, where the two snow-capped mountains of Basong Tso, “the King’s Throne” and “Burning Flame”, can be seen towering over the blue-green waters of the lake.

For more information:
https://www.songtsam.com/en

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Asia Week New York Featured in Arts of Asia

Robin Markbreiter, publisher and editor of the highly regarded and long-lived Arts of Asia periodical, highlights the upcoming Asia Week New York in his Editorial in the Spring issue. In particular, he highlights upcoming exhibitions by several AWNY dealers: TAI Modern, Sebastian Izzard LLC, Dai Ichi Arts, Kaikodo, Thomas Murray, and Eric Zetterquist Galleries. Robin mentions that after a three-year hiatus, he will travel to New York this year to join Asia Week New York this year.

To read the full article, click here

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Peabody Essex Museum Announces Exciting New Developments

L-R: Stephanie Hueon Tung and Andō Jūbei Company, Vase with Radiating Black-and-White Stripes, Shōwa period, 1930s, wireless enamel on metal with silver rims, Promised Gift of Fredric T. Schneider and Lynn Whisnant Reiser. Photography © 2022 John Bigelow Taylor.

In recent weeks the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts  reported important collections and curatorial advances. Stephanie Hueon Tung has been appointed the new Byrne Family Curator of Photography, a role which oversees one of the nation’s oldest and largest photography collections, which includes approximately 2,500 works of 19th-century photography of China. Formerly serving as PEM’s Assistant Curator and then Associate Curator with a focus on photography, Tung was instrumental in shepherding the 2020 acquisition of approximately 1,600 photographs by artists with ties to East Asia. Tung served as the Assistant Curator on PEM’s 2019–20 exhibition, A Lasting Memento: John Thomson’s Photographs Along the River Min, and is currently co-curating PEM’s highly-anticipated, upcoming exhibition, Power and Perspective: Early Photography in China which opens in September 2022.

Prior to joining PEM in 2018, Tung worked at the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing, China, as a curator and director of international affairs. Tung has published widely on photography and contemporary art from China. Her most recent book, Ai Weiwei: Beijing 1993-2003 (MIT Press, 2019), was co-authored with Ai Weiwei and John Tancock. Tung holds a BA in Literature and History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, and a MA in Art & Archeology from Princeton University. This year, she is completing her Ph.D. in Princeton’s Art & Archeology program.

The Peabody Essex Museum also announced that it will receive a generous and inspiring gift of Japanese cloisonné enamels from renowned scholar and collector, Fredric T. Schneider. The collection, which Schneider began assembling in 1993, features approximately 900 works tracing four centuries of cloisonné enamel production. Works include commissions for the Japanese imperial family, pieces for export — among them masterworks exhibited at many International fairs — as well as a group of important cloisonné enamel pieces by contemporary master practitioners.

In 2010, Schneider authored the most comprehensive book to date on the subject–The Art of Japanese Cloisonné Enamel: History, Techniques and Artists, 1600 to the Present. Works in the Schneider Collection demonstrate the full range of techniques employed in cloisonné enamel on diverse forms. The collection also represents many of today’s leading practitioners.

Selections from the collection will be on display in PEM’s galleries and forthcoming exhibitions and the entire collection will be accessible to researchers. An extensive, illustrated interview-essay with Fredric T. Schneider will appear in Impressions 43, Part Two (2022), the Journal of the Japanese Art Society of America (JASA).

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The New York Times Reviews Japan Society’s Exhibition

Courtesy of the artist and Zürcher Gallery, New York

Kazuko Miyamoto: To perform a line
Japan Society

Now through July 10, 2022

In the Fine Art section of Friday's (May 27) The New York Times, preeminent art critic and journalist Holland Cotter published an informative, insightful, and complimentary review of Japan Society's current exhibition of the work of Kazuko Miyamoto. In the review, “Maverick Minimalist, Global Citizen”, Cotter summarizes Miyamoto's biography, which included her birth in Tokyo in 1942, move to New York in 1964, friendship and work with Sol LeWitt, and decades-long work, life, and involvement with the Lower East Side. Cotter surveys the various influences, developments, and styles of Miyamoto's oeuvre, which is now on display in her first institutional solo exhibition. To read Cotter's review, click here.

Japan Society's website offers more information about the artist and her long career, with a video preview and online 3-D exhibition tour. Also available are details about the organization's current visit protocols and processes. For more details, click here.

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend and Summer’s Beginning!

Karamono and Birds (detail), 18th century, pair of two-panel screens, ink, colors, gofun, and gold leaf on paper, each: 170 x 165 cm, Courtesy of Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art

The exuberant flowers and exotic birds in this vibrant and colorful pair of screens set a lively tone for the beginning of summer. Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art in Milan provides an informative commentary about this 18th century painting.

The term karamono is used to define ceramic, carved lacquerware, furniture, bronzes and other decorative items imported from China. They became highly prized as imported curios, used in Japan as kazari (display items) and even the shōgun would install karamono in his chamber (zashiki) and invite members of the court and clergy to view them. Often karamono have been copied by Japanese craftsmen, so shapes from Chinese bronzes and porcelain have been used in Japan for centuries. Flower baskets for ikebana were also imported from China. These karamono baskets had formal, symmetrical structures with tightly plaited weaves. Unlike those used during the tea ceremony, that maintain a natural and austere wabi-sabi construction, karamono bamboo baskets, like those represented on this pair of screens, were modelled on Chinese bronzes and show classical forms. Chinese bronzes themselves, as seen here, would also be used to display flower compositions.

Even exotic birds would serve as kazari. While bird-keeping was already popular since the early Edo period for the enjoyment of their songs, the habit of breeding birds for aesthetic purposes was quite unusual. Some entertainment stalls kept parrots and other rare specimens in exquisite cages for their customers’ enjoyment. The composition of this pair of screens seems inspired by the same amusement: kept on an elaborate perch or in an elegant cage fitted with a scholar’s stone, these birds are intended to intrigue and fascinate the viewer. Also, natural history studies became fashionable in Japan during the 18th century, due to the import of European books and prints. These imported images inspired paintings of rare birds which, regardless of whether they had any significance or meaning, were highly appreciated by collectors. Painting with this style were introduced by the nanga samurai painter and Confucian scholar Yanagisawa Kien (1703-1758), who began his training with artists of the Kanō school, but became a disciple of Watanabe Shūseki and then of the nanga painter Gion Nankai.

Read more and see more details, click here

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Last Days for Chanoyu: A Taste of Tea at Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd.

Chanoyu: A Taste of Tea, Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd.
Last day May 30, 2022

Dai Ichi Gallery is delighted to present a group of teawares this Spring, functional wares representing the art of Chanoyu, the ritual Japanese tea ceremony that involves serving, taking, and drinking of tea. The modern history of Chanoyu carries through the style and grace of tea tradition. Vases, teabowls, water jars, and other functional objects act as aesthetic anchors for the ceremony.

The exhibition focuses on functional pieces, featuring tea bowls, vases, water jars, and functional works by artists: Kato Mami 加藤真美 (born 1963), Goto Hideki 後藤秀樹 (born 1973), Shingu Sayaka 新宮さやか (born 1979), Murata Gen 村田元 (1904-1988), Shimaoka Tatsuzo 島岡達三 (LNT, 1919-2007), Kinjo Jiro 金城次郎 (LNT, 1912-2004), Sugimoto Sadamitsu 杉本貞光 (born 1935), Nakamura Takuo 中村卓夫 (born 1945), and many more.

Read more, click here

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LAUNCH Video Available to Watch

Asia Week New York's LAUNCH Video, March 15, 2022
Available to watch online

For those who missed AWNY's LAUNCH presentation on March 15th, which gave an overview of Asia Week March 2022 highlights, the recording is now available on our website. Kicking off this spring's Asia Week, AWNY Planning Committee Chair Dessa Goddard emceed the presentations of gallery-exhibition highlights and auction previews by members of AWNY's Planning Committee. Mike Hearn, Douglas Dillon Chairman of the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, surveyed the variety of Asian art exhibitions currently on view in this institution.

To watch the video, click here

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