Skip to main content

Asia Week 2022 Dealer Remarks

Press Preview for Asia Week New York 2022

Link to images:

Brendan:  Thank you, Dessa, Hello everyone. I’m Brendan Lynch and I’m delighted to give you a brief overview of the magnificent South Asian highlights –both contemporary and ancient–offered by our 7 dealers.

Our first highlight comes from Akar Prakar, from New Delhi, who are showing online.  In this contemporary painting entitled Connecting, Jayashree Chakravarty used acrylic, oil paper, shell flakes, synthetic adhesive and cotton on canvas. With disruptions and disasters that have caused us to experience sudden, inexplicable loss, extreme vulnerability, and anxiety all around us, the artist seeks recuperative energies through her work.

Among the Indian paintings featured at Art Passages is Nawab of Oudh Shuja ud-Daula seated in a pavilion writing a letter, painted by the court artist Gobind Singh, circa 1760. Shuja ud-Daula was an important and powerful ruler of Oudh (Awadh) between 1754-75 and Chief Minister to the Mughal Emperor Shah ‘Alam between 1759-1806, at the time of the breakdown of the Mughal Empire. Singh was an important artist whose training was at the royal atelier of the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah. He was quite active at the courts in Lucknow and Faizabad and later contributed to several paintings in albums created for foreign officials and patrons of Indian art.

In “Women Artists from 20th Century India,” at DAG, an acrylic on wood sculpture titled Surveyor and the Surveyed, by Navjot, takes center stage.  This sculpture, with its reference to African wood sculpture was a result of Navjot’s excursions into the forested heartlands of India. She examines the representation of the female body from the point of view of women who have been instructed, since childhood, to survey their bodies as a response to being constantly surveyed by others.

Oliver Forge and I are delighted to present this striking image of The Hindu God Vishnu as Venkateshvara, dated late 18th century. This gouache heightened with gold on paper, depicts the four-armed Hindu god Vishnu in his human avatar as Venkateshvara or forgiver of sins. It was painted in Andhra Pradesh in south India, probably at Tirupati, north-west of Madras (Chennai), where a school of painting flourished in the eighteenth century. The style of painting, with lavish use of gold, is distinctly south Indian.

On view at Francesca Galloway is a rare and important Folio from the Dastan-i Amir Hamza (Hamzanama or ‘Story of Hamza’) commissioned by the Emperor Akbar, circa 1565.
The Hamzanama, its usual abbreviated title, is a rambling series of tales dealing with the mythical adventures of Amir Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet. Here, Hamza clings to the Rukh’s legs to carry him home across the sea.

Kapoor Galleries will feature a 4th century Buddha Head, from the ancient region of Gandhara now modern Pakistan. This sculpture is made of schist, a widely used material in the Gandharan period, which allowed for detailed carving, as exemplified by the deep definition of the hair which undulates in symmetrical waves from the Buddha’s center part, framing his face with a widow's peak.

I close with this magnificent Attush robe, at Thomas Murray, who is exhibiting online.  The robe was made by the Ainu people, in Hokkaido, the northern most island of Japan. The tan colored ground cloth is from elm-bark fiber and decorated with appliquéd indigo cotton, silk tassels, shells, marine creatures, and white embroidery. With compelling ancient graphic designs known to ward off evil, this robe is one of the finest ever to come to light and likely belonged to a shaman or a high-status chief.

Thank you. And now, Eric Zetterquist will preview some of the fantastic Chinese works of art.

Eric Zetterquist: Thank you, Brendan.  Hello everyone.  This year, 5 galleries specializing in contemporary and ancient Chinese works of art are participating.

We start at Ralph M. Chait Galleries, which is featuring a rare set of Three Qingbai Glazed String Design Ewers, from the Northern Song period, 10th century. This form with the string design of a delightful and whimsical variation on a classic form is very rare.

Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, a first-time participant to Asia Week New York, presents Saltscape Lattice, by Michael Cherney and Arnold Chang, which is the most innovative and experimental of all the works in the exhibition. The "salt print" was one of the earliest processes for producing positive photographic images on a sheet of standard drawing paper; wetting a paper sheet with a salt solution was the first step in making it sensitive to light. As an homage to this process, Mr. Cherney photographed salt crystals dissolving under a microscope. He enlarged details of the images, which evoke the nature of salt and other crystals. When printed, the fractal qualities of the images are enhanced and take on the appearance of rocks, flowers, or other natural forms. By arranging them into the shape of a lattice for printing, Mr. Cherney created a “canvas” of random, yet orderly configurations that Mr. Chang could attempt to weave into a coherent composition.

The highlight at INKstudio is Traveling through Sacred Mountains, by Bingyi, which is part of the exhibition called Land of the Immortals.  A calligrapher, painter, film maker, poet and land artist, Bingyi reimagines the history of Chinese landscape painting from the Northern and Southern Song masters such as Guo Xi and Li Tang.  Primarily concerned with the themes of ecology, ruins, rebirth, and poetic imagination, Bingyis work will also be part of “Making Waves,” in collaboration with Joan B Mirviss LTD.

Moving on to Kaikodo LLC, who are exhibiting online, we find a bronze Taotie mask with a ring handle from the 4-5th century. The taotie is an exceptional motif related to Chinese culture, prevalent during the Bronze Age.  It appears as a decorative embellishment in the arts and crafts of China over several millennia, down to the present day. During the Han and Six Dynasties period the frontal, bilaterally symmetrical zoomorphic masks produced in bronze and fitted with loose ring handles were a common accoutrement.

One of the highlights at Zetterquist Galleries is this Xing-yao bottle vase from the Tang Dynasty. A porcelaneous stoneware bottle vase with baluster shaped body and a flat foot, this piece is beautifully proportioned, with a tapered neck rising from a cushioned indentation, which flares to a beveled mouth-rim.

I hope you enjoyed this enticing sampling of Chinese works of art and look forward to seeing you in person next month. And now, here’s Christina Prescott-Walker, who will guide you through the Japanese works of art.

Christina: Hello, everyone. I’m happy to see all of you again. The Japanese works of art shown by 13 galleries provide a wide selection of contemporary and ancient ceramics, woodblock prints, sculpture, bamboo baskets, and photography.

First up is The Art of Japan and their color woodblock print called Black Cat and Tomato Plant, by Takahashi Hiroaki, dated 1931, in an edition of 100. This charming print is twice the usual size and printed on thick hosho showing a black and white cat on the hunt and winding his way around a tomato plant. The artist must have been fond of cats as he designed a number of other prints of cats, but this is far and away the best.

Jamon Spiral, by Ayumi Shigematsu, is one of the many stoneware pieces that will be offered at Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd.  She is part of a vanguard generation of highly influential post-war female artists in Japan whose practices are inspired by concepts of female sexuality and representations of nature.  Here Ayumi reflects on the hand-building clay production founded during the Jomon Era. Jomon, or cord-patterned pottery, is a method of hand-building clay used by women during this period before wheel-thrown pottery traditions were established in Japan

Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints presents Mount Yoshino Midnight-Moon from “One Hundred Aspects of the Moon,” by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, a color woodblock print, dated 1886.  The juxtaposition of beauty and violence is captured as this beautiful court lady, Iga no Tsubone, fearlessly confronts the ghost of Kiyotaka. Her long hair flows freely down her back as maple leaves float down beneath a shadowed full moon. The ghost is clutching at the title cartouche with his eerie fingers and glaring at her with yellow eyes.

Ippodo Gallery is mounting Chaos to Cosmos: White Road Between Two Rivers, a single artist exhibition featuring the work of Ken Matsubara. This painting, titled Chaos, is inspired by "Nikawa Hakudo Zu," which Matsubara saw when he was a child at the Zendoji Temple. This piece is particularly spectacular not only because of its size but also because of the material. Matsubara creates all his paints naturally from his local surroundings. He collects fine minerals and pigments forms earthy tones of brilliance and creates the extraordinary texture by applying clay layers on a washi paper background. This composition illustrates a beautiful but not overbearing essence of chaos.

In their exhibition Privately Commissioned Japanese Prints & Albums from the Late 18th and 19th CenturiesSebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art will feature a complete set of color woodblock prints in the series Eight Views of the Suburbs of Edo, each signed by Utugawa Hiroshige, the great master of traditional woodblock printing. Here we see one of them, Autumn Noon on the Tama River.

Nami, Wave is just one of the 30 spectacular works by the celebrated artist Kondo Takahiro on view at Joan B Mirviss Ltd.  The exhibition, “Making Waves,” includes his new sculptures in swirling black, gray, and white marbleized porcelain which marry his mastery of clay with his passion for painting. His signature silver mist overglaze creates the illusion of beading droplets over pooling "ink" running over the surfaces of his angular monoliths, vessels capped with cast glass, and sculptural tea bowls. In collaboration with INKstudio, the gallery will also show contemporary ink paintings by rising star Bingyi, who was inspired to create her latest works to accompany Kondo's sculptures.

One of the highlights at Onishi Gallery is Sako Ryuhei’s modern interpretation of mokumegane, a centuries-old metalworking technique steeped in rich history and tradition. To create the intricate pattern, Sako forges twenty to thirty layers of metal under incredibly high temperatures. Once the metals have amalgamated into a single, thick billet, she then incises the billet, revealing the stratum of metals below. Afterwards, she flattens the incised billet into a thin, circular sheet, allowing the layered metal to form organic patterns. Finally, using a metalworking hammer, the sheet is hammered into the artist's desired shape.

Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art returns to New York in person, with an 18th century Gomai-do tosei gusoku with Kyu kamon, from mid-Edo period, Kaga School. This rare samurai suite of armor features some typical characteristics of Kaga’s armor-smiths, who were famous for their fine and richly decorated armor.

Scholten Japanese Art will present The Bridge, a snowy landscape print by B.J.O Nordfeldt. This excellent example of American Japonisme illustrates the theme of our upcoming exhibition, Influencers: Japonisme and Modern Japan, which will bring together works by Western artists who derived inspiration from Japanese art, and the response by Japanese artists in the development of a modern international style.

TAI Modern always offers us some interesting bamboo shapes and this piece doesn’t disappoint.  Here we see Meoto Iwa (The Wedded Rocks) made by Yufu Shohaku, which is part of his solo exhibition at the gallery. The 80-year-old artist, known for his robust and energetic, rough-plaited baskets, incorporate bamboo branches and roots, half-split chunks of bamboo, and bamboo ropes. The artist spent much of 2020 working on this sculptural homage to connection and new beginnings.

Thomsen Gallery presents a dramatic mountain landscape painted by Eiryō Satake

onto this monumental pair of six-panel screens which spans 22 feet in width.  Satake was famous for his landscapes and exhibited numerous times in the annual national art exhibitions during the modern pre-war era.

From Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art comes this 18th century hagoita battledore, which is a good luck charm for the new year! The quality is excellent with an interesting design and patina.

And closing our Japanese category is Asia Week New York newcomer MIYAKO YOSHINAGA who is mounting a solo exhibition by Jonathan Yukiko Clark, a Hawaii-based Japanese- American artist.  This show will consist of monotype prints and sculptures informed by the traditional Japanese living space, where the transience of nature and human life are closely connected as exemplified in this work, titled Imprint of Mihara.

Finally, at HK Art & Antiques LLC, our sole Korean art participant Heakyum Kim is delighted to present Korean Paintings and Sculpture: Past and Present. The work shown here is a bronze sculpture called Shadow of a Bird, by contemporary artist, Wonsook Kim, whose story-based figurative paintings and sculptures are poetic and ethereal in their fluid execution and mythical subject matter.

And with this, I pass you to Lark Mason who will point out several of the highlights at the six auction houses.

Lark: Good evening.  This year there will be 14 live auctions and 6 online which will take place from March 21st to the 25th. Here is a sampling of some of the highlights that will be offered:

A highlight of the New York Asia Week auctions at Bonhams is a Gilt Copper Alloy Figure of Tara from Nepal, Early Malla Period, 13th century, estimated at US$500,000-700,000. Coming from the esteemed collection of Michael Henss, a noted Himalayan art scholar, this beautifully proportioned figure epitomizes the elegance for which Nepalese sculpture is so revered. The bronze represents a popular Buddhist savior-goddess and is one of the finest examples of Tara from any style and period to come to market. Remnants of cold gold and blue pigment applied to the face and hair indicate the artwork’s prior worship in Tibet. This superlative sculpture makes its first appearance in the market since it was acquired over 35 years ago.

At Christie’s, The Banyan Tree, a painting dated 1984, by BHUPEN KHAKHAR (1934-2004)

Painted in 1994. The estimate is: $1,800,000-2,500,000. Paintings of this scale by the artist are very hard to come by. It has a great provenance: from the collection of Mahinder and Sharad Tak, among the most important patrons of South Asian Art in America.

Museum exhibition and publication from the early 2000s include Rutgers, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, India: Contemporary Art from Northeastern Private Collections, 2002

Doyle offers a Large Chinese Celadon-Glazed Porcelain 'Dragon' Charger with a
Yongzheng Seal Mark and of the Period, with fitted and labeled Japanese wooden collector's box. The provenance is from the Collection of an American Civilian Educational Coordinator stationed in Japan, 1948-1951. Estimate: $80,000-120,000 Auction March 21, 2022

At Heritage Auctions, a Pair of Large 18th century Chinese Imperial Carved Zitan Lanterns, Qing Dynasty, with an estimate of $50,000 – $70,000 will be offered.

Lark Mason Associates on the online platform, iGavel Auctions, is offering a Chinese Archaic Bronze Food Vessel, Ding, Early Western Zhou Dynasty with a provenance from the collection of Mrs. Henry Clay Foster who acquired the vessel with her husband in China during the 1930s, while traveling with a curator from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The estimate is $40,000-60,000.

On the iGavel Auctions online platform, Lark Mason Associates is offering a rare Chinese Archaic Bronze Food Vessel, from the early Western Zhou Dynasty, estimate: $40,000-60,000.  With a provenance from the collection of Mrs. Henry Clay Foster, who acquired this piece with her husband in China, while traveling with a curator from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

And from Sotheby’s comes this lovely painting by Manjit Bawa, with an estimate of $300,000-500,000.  Painted in 1992, Untitled (Sohni) is an exceptional example of the mesmerizing and inimitable visual language of Manjit Bawa. The work portrays the heroine of the tragic Punjabi love story of Sohni Mahiwal, in which the devoted Sohni loses her life swimming across the river Chenab to her beloved, Mahiwal. Here, Bawa depicts the tragic denouement, with Sohni enveloped by vivid blue water. Bawa is one of the most sought-after artists from the South Asian category, and here, Sohni’s fleshy, rounded form shown weightless atop a single, vibrant color field is Bawa at his finest.