New York, NY (March 2011)—Extraordinary works of art will be on view at 34 simultaneous exhibitions during Asia Week New York 2011's Open House Weekend on March 19-20, presented by an international roster of specialists in ancient to contemporary works of art from China, the Himalayas, India, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. This unprecedented collaboration among 34 Asian art specialists, 5 auction houses plus 18 Asian cultural institutions and museums in the metropolitan New York City area, Asia Week New York 2011 (March 18-26) will be filled with must-see events for visitors' spring calendars. To help navigate all the exciting exhibitions, sales and programs during Asia Week New York 2011 is a comprehensive, 88-page guide, which features in-depth listings of all participants, an events calendar, detailed maps and more. The guide is available through all of the participating galleries, auction houses, Asia Society and Japan Society. Also, a thorough, mobile-accessible website, www.AsiaWeekNY.com, is filled with all the essential information, as well as a version of the guide that is available for download.
Among the featured works of art to be seen at the 34 exhibitions during Open House Weekend are an extremely rare, colorfully glazed earth spirit that dates to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.); recently completed, large-scale ink paintings by China's most famous living ink painter; a nearly three-foot-tall, bronze Shiva Nataraja from South India that dates to the Chola Dynasty (11th century); a 19th-century Korean eight-panel folding painted screen that depicts the Chinese classical subject of General Guo Ziyi's banquet; and a contemporary stoneware horse sculpture by one of Japan's leading ceramicists; to describe but a few of the hundreds of superb Asian works of art available for sale. The following are more highlights not to be missed at the exhibitions:
Chinese Ancient through Contemporary Art
Ralph M. Chait Galleries (724 Fifth Avenue, 10th Floor; March 19-26): A fine and rare, large, Chinese blue-and-white porcelain charger decorated with five Fu lions playing with brocaded balls, which are symbolic of children living in harmony with one another. The quality of the painted decoration and the blue color on this piece from the Shunzhi/early Kangxi period (ca: 1640-60s) is particularly fine; its large size is also rare.
China 2000 Fine Art (434A East 75th Street; March 19-25): A two-panel, ink-on-silk painting, Ambiguous Space aka Hua Xuan, 2009, by Annysa Ng was inspired by a Qing dynasty work titled Eight Beauties by Hua Xuan (circa 1736). The traditional work depicted a group of women existing in a realm that blurred the public and private, which is a departure from the typical meiren (literally "beautiful woman") paintings found during this period. The ambiguity in the existence of space in that 18th-century painting passed from generations onto the 21st-century work of Annysa Ng, who signifies the state of perpetual cultural drift between the West and the East in her birth place of Hong Kong.
The Chinese Porcelain Company (475 Park Avenue; March 19-26): Two large-scale, black ink paintings of poppies by Liu Dan (b. 1953), undoubtedly the most famous living ink painter in China today. Technically superb, his work is strongly tied to classical Chinese painting traditions, while presenting a modernist approach to the medium. A master of detail, he is well-known for his large-scale, finely detailed depictions of imaginary landscapes and rocks, sunflowers, and poppies. His works show an elegance, romance and sophistication that linger with the viewer.
Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. (100 Central Park South; March 19-26 by appointment only): A whimsical porcelain sculpture with over-glazed enamel design, Rock Paper Scissors, 1955 by the artist Yuriko Matsuda (b. 1943), depicts a pair of anatomically incorrect feet with big toes. This tongue-in-cheek work represents, in the artist's world, the foot as sacred; here painted with auspicious red and golden Chinese characters to symbolize blessing, longevity and happiness and mounted on pedestals.
Galerie Christian Deydier (exhibiting at Galerie Friedman Vallois, 27 East 67th Street; March 17-26): An archaic, Chinese bronze vessel pan from the Shang Dynasty (13th-11th-century B.C.) with a large, shallow basin supported on a ring foot. The vessel's interior is decorated with an impressive coiled snake; in its center is the animal's large face with two protruding eyes. The outside of the vessel is decorated with a band of leiwen.
Eskenazi Ltd. (exhibiting at the Ukrainian Institute, 2 East 79th Street; March 15-26): A silver-gilt box and cover from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) This exquisitely decorated piece was previously in the distinguished collection of Walter Hochstadter, Adelaide, having been acquired in Shanghai in the 1950s. Only three other examples are known, two of which lack the knop. Modelled in the shape of a melon, the knop is a squirrel or tree shrew holding a bunch of grapes. Each of the eight melon lobes is decorated with a scrolling vine bearing bunches of grapes and a bird.
MD Flacks Ltd. (32 East 57th Street; March 19-25): A very unusual, small, asymmetrical, lobed tray with slightly out-flaring walls. In addition to the beauty of the shape and richness of the color and texture of the brass, this tray also reserves a surprise underneath. The tray stands on four, lobedshaped, flower feet that mirror the shape of the tray; in the center is a carving of a three-clawed, coiled dragon chasing a pearl. The detailing and quality on this piece suggests that it was made for a discerning patron.
Michael C. Hughes LLC (exhibiting at Mark Murray Gallery, 39 East 72nd Street, 5th Floor; March 18-26): An extremely rare, colorfully glazed earth spirit formerly in the Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong, which dates to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) It is an extraordinarily dynamic rendering of the leonine beast with powerful shoulders, sweeping tufted wings, curved horns and flaming central mane; it also has the extremely rare (if not unique on earth spirits) use of a turquoise glaze to highlight the more usual glazes of cream, amber and green that cover the beast perched on a rocky outcrop.
Andrew Kahane, Ltd. (42 East 76th Street; March 19-26): A Longquan celadon lotus bowl from the Southern Song Dynasty (late 12th-13th century), originally in the Hellner Collection, Stockholm, and published in Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections, which has even color and fine potting.
Kaikodo (74 East 79th Street; March 19-April 28): An extraordinarily large (14 in long x 10 in deep x 5 in high), green-glazed, ruyi-form cizhou pillow from the Jin Dynasty (12th-13th century) in the shape of a magical fungus that symbolizes "wish granting," an auspicious headrest for dreaming. The lushness of the decoration resembles William Morris brocade, and the pillow itself appears as though it were inflated due to the skill of the artisan who made it. This headrest could have been made for domestic use or for the tomb and is one of the best examples of its type.
J.J. Lally & Co. (41 East 57th Street, 14th Floor; March 19-April 9): A set of four painted bronze mat weights in the form of liubo players from the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-8 A.D.). This gambling game, which was wildly popular throughout the Han dynasty, was abandoned after Han and the rules of the game now are lost; the colorfully painted bronzes are well known as a Han dynasty innovation. The vivid colors on these figures are very well preserved and retain almost all of their original surface paint; very few survived in such fine condition. In the Han dynasty, chairs were not in use and everyone sat on the floor. These figures were made as ornament and held down the corners of floor mats for the elite.
M. Sutherland Fine Arts, Ltd. (55 East 80th Street, 2nd Floor; March 19-26): One of the artist Shi Ze's (born 1960, Beijing) recent masterpieces, Lotus Under the Stars, 2010, shows a crystalline rendering of the dried lotus pods, juxtaposed with feathered diffused pink petals existing under a bright sky of stars. The artist commented that he experimented with adding ground mother-of-pearl to the blue thanka tempura paint to simulate the sky filled with snow or stars, embodying the Buddhist notion of total fulfillment or spiritual completeness.
Cynthia Volk Asian Art (Iliad Gallery, 212 East 57th Street; March 19-April 2): The highlight of White on White: A Selection of White Wares from Tang through Qing Dynasties is the concept of "white" ceramics shown through a broad range of forms, tones, chronology and geography, as well as the fact that "white ware" as a genre has been produced from Neolithic periods onward and hold their own special place in the Chinese ceramics field.
Zetterquist Galleries (3 East 66th Street, Suite 1B; March 19-31): A large, barb-rimmed, Vietnamese blue-and-white porcelain plate depicting four islands in a seascape surrounded by three bands of lotus, wave and cloud decoration from the 16th century. The piece is important due to its size, pristine condition and beautiful painting.
Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art and Antiques
Art of the Past (1242 Madison Avenue; March 15-April 2): A rare, bronze Shiva Nataraja from South India, Tamil Nadu, dating to the Chola Dynasty (11th century), which stands nearly three feet tall. Shiva as the Nataraja, The Lord of the Dance, is the ultimate expression of divine totality and pure, primal, rhythmic power. As the Nataraja, Shiva creates the universe into existence by awakening inert matter with the rhythmic pulse of his dance, sustains this existence, and simultaneously sends all form into destruction.
Leiko Coyle Asian Art (311 East 72nd Street, Suite 15E; March 19-26): A gilt bronze with polychrome Yama Dharamraja that dates to the late 18th century in Tibet. The wrathful emanation of the God of Wisdom, Manjushri, this Buffalo-headed incarnation acts as a protector deity whose purpose is to subdue death or, more specifically, samsara, the endless cycle of death and rebirth. The large size and dynamism of this piece suggests that it was a primary object of worship used in Tantric practice related to the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Carlo Cristi (exhibiting at AFP Galleries, 41 East 57th Street, Suite 702; March 18-27): A fine bronze from southern India dating to the 12 th century (Chola Dynasty) representing Parvati. She was Shiva's consort, here standing in an elegant pose and with superbly modelled body and features.
John Eskenazi Ltd. (exhibiting at Adam Williams Fine Art & Moretti Gallery, 24 East 80th Street; March 16- 30): A striking, large terracotta head of an Indian ascetic dates from the late Gandharan period (4th to 6th centuries). Although this sculpture comes from northern India, the realism of the image shows that its creator was familiar with the sadhus who, then as now, congregated at pilgrimage sites and temples along the River Ganges. Similarly, the Buddha, who lived in the 5th century B.C., frequently encountered these men in his ministry when he travelled through much of northern India. Some of these charismatic teachers disputed the Buddha's universal message, even displaying such hostility as to put his life at risk; inevitably the Buddha's calmness and logical outlook prevailed and many opponents were won over to his teaching.
Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch (exhibiting at 9 East 82nd Street, Suite 1A; March 18-26): An exceedingly rare illustrated leaf from a romance (the Gulshan-i 'Ishq or The Rose-Garden of Love), written in Deccani Urdu by the fabled Bijapur court poet Nusrati: Angels descend to visit a sleeping princess, Bijapur, circa 1680. It is an evocative painting with a striking, predominantly white palette, heightened in red and gold under a starspeckled blue night sky in which nine polychrome female angels somersault towards a recumbent princess who slumbers in a palace interior, bathed in silvery moonlight. It is probably the finest miniature from what is unquestionably the finest Deccani manuscript of the period, outstanding for its calligraphy, its superb technical accomplishment and its poetical fantasy and is one of only ten known leaves from this manuscript; the others are now in private and public collections, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Kapoor Galleries (1015 Madison Avenue; March 19-26): A magnificent and early Gandhara bronze, Padmanpani Avalokitesvara, which dates to circa 6th century and exemplifies the influences of many cultures across the Central Asian Silk route. Padmapani, or lotus bearer, is a Bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. He is said to hear the cries of all sentient beings and work tirelessly to assist them in their path to nirvana (liberation). Often referred to as Avalokiteshvara or Lokeshvara, meaning "he who looks upon the world," Padmapani has refrained from achieving his own liberation until every being has achieved liberation from samsara (cycle of suffering and rebirth). This piece was displayed at the Denver Art Museum from September 1992_September 2010 and has been twice published.
Arnold H. Lieberman (311 East 72nd Street, Suite 6F; March 19-26): An excellent gilt brass, Nepalese Ganapati from the early 19th century, which is crowned, four-armed, sports a serpent around his neck (as in Purana texts), stands astride his two rat totems and is surrounded by a flaming mandorla. His hands hold a mala, his broken tusk, an ax and a fruit. Known as Dispeller of Obstacles, Ganesha—or Ganapati—is, therefore, one of the most popular deities in Hinduism, although he has Buddhist and Jain manifestations as well. Ganapati is connected with the arts and sciences, and is also evoked in order to purify anger. An inscription is carved into the base.
Sue Ollemans Oriental Art (exhibiting at Valencia Gallery Inc., 960 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor; March 19-25): A rare votive nandi set in the kundan style with cabochon rubies and worked in pure gold over a lead base dating to the 17th century or earlier from Deccan or Karnataka. Nandi figures are most frequently found facing Shaivite temple shrines; this figure would have been made for either a household shrine or for use in the temple. It is of the same form as the Karnataka figures from the Hoysala Dynasty of the 13th century, which indicates possibly an earlier date of manufacture. It is extremely rare to find objects of this date from India; this is the earliest piece in the exhibition.
Carlton Rochell Asian Art (44 East 74th Street; March 17-25): A highly refined head of a Bodhisattva is an exceptional example of Gandharan sculpture (c. 4th/5th century). The ancient Kingdom of Gandhara (located within the borders of present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan) was a fascinating period for Asian art given the fusion of Hellenistic style and Buddhist iconography that occurred there at the time. This head is an excellent example of the Mediterranean influence in the region. With classical facial features and lush tresses of curls that cascade downward from a loose topknot, the deity has been depicted with a wonderful sense of naturalism and elegance. Certainly, this head was modeled by the hand of a master sculptor; it is one of the best-quality terracotta heads extant from the region, and its condition is superb given its age. Another remarkably similar head with garnet eyes, likely attributable to the same artist, is a highlight in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
John Siudmak Asian Art (exhibiting at C.G. Boerner Gallery, 23 East 73rd Street; March 19-27): A rare, brass image of the Buddha on a molded, rectangular pedestal (7th century, Kashmir). It belongs to a small group of images in the classical Kashmir style, which emerged in the third quarter of the seventh century and developed over several centuries from various mainstream Indian influences. Th s piece is recognized by its harmonious proportions and serene smile and characteristic treatment of the robe with its subtle, symmetrical, ridged folds and triangular panel of meandering folds on the left shoulder.
Doris Wiener, LLC (1001 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3C; March 19-26): A superbly carved, rare sculpture of Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, from the 6th-7th century, Bihar, illustrates an ephemeral period in the history of Indian art in Northeastern India. This powerful, four-armed, stone figure stands with parallel feet on a double-lotus with broad petals clad in a pleated dhoti secured by a beaded belt and extra beaded strand, and a sash sweeps across his chest in narrow pleats. A multi-strand torque necklace, beaded sacred cord (upavita), high armlets and earrings adorn him. His hair, secured with a tiara, is piled in a jatamukuta with escaping tresses. His face is benign, its features including the characteristically Gupta almond shaped eyes beneath arched brows, the lips bowed and full, and the chin accentuated. A garland of flowers swirls around his upper back, in front of his elbows and down before his lower legs, bringing unity to the form.
Nancy Wiener (exhibiting at Trezza Gallery, 39 East 78th Street, Suite 603; March 16-24): A small, standing Vishnu in polished tan sandstone, which crystallizes the refined sensuality and exquisite detail that is characteristic of the Benteay Srei style in Khmer during the late 10th-early 11th centuries. This sculptural style has long been considered among the finest of the Khmer period.
Korean and Japanese Works of Art and Contemporary Korean and Japanese
Kang Collection Korean Art (9 East 82nd Street; March 19-27): A 19th-century, eight-panel, folding screen of General Guo Ziyi (from China's Tang Dynasty) holding a banquet. His heroic military accomplishments gained him popularity as a benevolent conqueror, and he became the ideal figure for Korean aristocrats. This rare and lively screen painted on silk depicts various values that are meant to ensure a prosperous long life and many offspring.
KooNewYork (exhibiting at Mark Murray Gallery, 39 East 72nd Street, 5th Floor; March 18-26): A recently discovered, unique and superb, large underdrawing richly depicting the Buddhist Pantheon from the early 18th century. Its exceptional brushwork and ink quality attests to a master monk painter. Although Buddhist paintings are more commonplace, it is extremely rare to uncover a master's workshop underdrawing. Thiswork remains in remarkably good condition, revealing the expansive pantheon intricately drawn by the draftsman's deft hands. With few known comparable examples in either Korea or the West, this extraordinary drawing will play an important role in the scholarship of Buddhist paintings. This masterpiece has been in a private American West Coast collection for more than forty years and has never been seen in public until this exhibition.
Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd. (39 East 78th Street, 4th Floor; March 16-April 29): One of three seminal founders of the extremely influential S_deisha ceramic movement in Japan, Suzuki Osamu (1926-2001) reinterpreted ancient haniwa horse forms in sculpture with a starkly modern appearance. He strove to create unique works that could not be implemented on the wheel where the form was completely reliant on the process of its creation. His stoneware piece, Umagata; Horse Form, 1982, with red slip and ash glazes is a highlight of this exhibition that marks the first time Osamu's work and the other founding artists of this movement, Yagi Kazuo (1918-79) and Yamada Hikaru (1923-2001), will be exclusively exhibited together in the United States.
Sydney L. Moss Ltd. (exhibiting at Alexandre Gallery, 41 East 57th Street, 13th Floor; March 18-27): A stunning example of work by Ogawa Haritsu, known as Ritsu_ (1663-1747), one of the great Japanese masters of the applied arts is an extraordinarily rare, lacquered and inlaid wood sculpture of a shaven-headed yamabushi (mountain hermit) representing the legendary warrior-monk Benkei. Clad in armor, he holds a gold lacquer horai (conch shell) to his lips. Most of the complex armor details are lacquered to simulate metal, leather and silk lacing. However, the five large buttons are raden inlays, and the red tasselate cord at the back is of tsuishu while other inlaid elements are hard to identify, but include prolific use of pottery, notably the clusters of three hexagons on his trousers and the decorative elements to the martial figure's breastplate. The sculpture is signed Haritsu underneath in silver lacquer and this attention to detail, whereby the underside is as lovingly decorated as the more visible parts, is typical of the Japanese, and particularly of Ritsu_.
Scholten Japanese Art (145 East 58th Street, Suite 6D; March 17-26): An illustrated manuscript recounting The Tale of Bunsho (Bunsho Zoshi), in the format of three hand scrolls with text by the court calligrapher Mushanokoji Sanekage (1661-1738) and illustrations attributed to Tosa Mitsuoki (1617- 1691), one of the most important Tosa school painters of the Edo Period (1603-1838). The Tale of Bunsho (the Saltmaker), is one of a group of short stories called otogizoshi, compiled in the Muromachi period (1338-1573) but more widely known by the 17th and 18th centuries. Sets of hand scrolls, such as this, were often commissioned from Kyoto artists for New Year's or dowry gifts. This particular tale recounts the life of Bunda (who later changes his name to Bunsho), a lowly servant, who, through hard work and devotion to a particular shrine, is able to achieve fortune and happiness for his family. The set was previously exhibited in the illustrious Japan-British Exhibition at the White City in London in 1910.
Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art (exhibiting at Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor; March 17- 28): A rare, surviving example from the Kamakura period (1185-1333) is one of the most artistically compelling and spiritually moving images of the Buddhist deity Jizo Bosatsu, greatly worshipped in medieval Japan as a saintly protector whose chief duty was the salvation of mankind. The luxurious robes of the figure highlight his divine status, while his shaven head, like those of Buddhist priests, signals his asceticism and purity. The sculpture exemplifies the ideal proportions, elegant decoration, and placid facial expression of Buddhist images-in-the-round from an era when a variety of Buddhist movements spread throughout Japan sparking vigor in the production of religious iconography. Carved in traditional hinoki wood, with much of the original polychrome and gilt painting intact, this Jizo Bosatsu is a paradigm ofJapanese Buddhist art.
These selected works are but a fraction of the superb pieces to be offered by each of the 34 participating Asian art specialists during Asia Week New York 2011. Visiting each exhibition will offer an unparalleled opportunity to see—and to acquire—some of the true treasures of Asia's past and present. For further information, please visit www.AsiaWeekNY.com. High-resolution digital images are available upon request.