What's Happening in Asian Art...

Final Online Auctions in March 2022 Asia Week

March 31, 2022

Maqbool Fida Husain (1913-2011), Untitled (Horse and Rider), 1994, Christie's

In the past two days, Christie's and Sotheby's concluded their final online sales in this season's Asia Week New York with the following results.

Sotheby's, China/5000 Years, March 18-29, sales total $1,740,438
Christie's, Rivers and Mountains Far from the World: Important Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Rachelle R. Holden Collection Online, March 15-29, sales total $452,214
Christie's, South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art Online, March 15-30,
sales total $1,329,174

The most expensive lot in these three sales was the above painting by Maqbool Fida Husain, sold at Christie's South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art Online for $94,500

 

Chinese Archaic Bronze Food Vessel, Ding, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, Estimate $80,000/120,000, iGavel's Asian, Ancient, and Ethnographic Works of Art, April 7-26, 2022

Last but by no means least, the last sale of Asia Week March 2022 will be iGavel's Asian, Ancient, and Ethnographic Works of Art, which will take place online on April 7-26. For more information, click here

Samurai Splendor: Sword Fittings from Edo Japan Opens at the Met

March 30, 2022

Sword Guard (Tsuba), late 18th–early 19th century, inscribed by Ishiguro Masatsune, copper-gold alloy (shakudō), copper-silver alloy (shibuichi), gold, copper

Samurai Splendor: Sword Fittings from Edo Japan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Recently opened–Spring 2024

After almost a century and a half of near-constant civil war and political upheaval, Japan unified under a new ruling family, the Tokugawa, in the early 1600s. Their reign lasted for more than 250 years, in an era referred to as the Edo period, after the town of Edo (present-day Tokyo) that became the new capital of Japan. The Tokugawa regime brought economic growth, prolonged peace, and widespread enjoyment of the arts and culture. The administration also imposed strict class separation and rigid regulations for all. As a result, the ruling class—with the shogun as governing military official, the daimyo as local feudal lords, and the samurai as their retainers—had only a few ways to display personal taste in public. Fittings and accessories for their swords, which were an indispensable symbol of power and authority, became a critical means of self-expression and a focal point of artistic creation.

This installation in the Arms and Armor galleries explores the luxurious aspects of Edo-period sword fashion, a fascinating form of arms and armor rarely featured in exhibitions outside Japan. It presents a selection of exquisite sword mountings, fittings, and related objects, including maker’s sketchbooks—all drawn from The Met collection and many rarely or never exhibited before.

Yale University Art Gallery Reopens

March 30, 2022

Kyoto Kano School, Scenes from the Tale of Genji, 1625–60, pair of six-panel folding screens, ink, color, gold pigment, gold flecks, and gold foil on paper

After being closed due to Covid, the Yale University Art Gallery is now open again to visitors. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, and from September to June, is open late Thursday nights.

The gallery’s collection of Asian art comprises nearly 8,000 works from East Asia, South Asia, continental Southeast Asia, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey and spans the Neolithic period to the 21st century. Highlights of the collection include Chinese ceramics and paintings, Japanese paintings and prints, and Indian and Persian textiles and miniature paintings.

As communicated by Denise Patry Leidy, Ruth and Bruce Dayton Curator of Asian Art, three new thematic displays of paintings are on view in the Asian art galleries through May 2022. Practice as Power in the Paintings of South Asia highlights works from the gallery collection that illustrate ascetic practices, as well as wrestling and other physical activities, alongside comparable paintings from the Yale Center for British Art. The installation explores the longstanding South Asian tradition of engaging with the body as both a conduit toward and evidence of spiritual transcendence. Painting during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) examines the multifaceted ways in which painters, whether amateur or professional, reimagined classic stylistic traditions such as those of the Northern Song (960–1127) and Southern Song (1127–1278) dynasties. Addressing ingenious Japanese responses to this continental preoccupation with the past, Nanga: The Japanese Transformation of Continental Literati Art centers on painting and writing as means of self-development and self-expression, a notion shared by all East Asian cultures.

Visit Lhasa with Songtsam

March 29, 2022

Built on a hillside, Lhasa Linka offers spectacular views of the nearby Potala Palace.

Lhasa means "Blessed Land" in the Tibetan language, and with its vast terrain, abundant water, and fertile valley soil on both sides of the Quji River, it is well suited for farming. When you open your eyes in the morning at Songtsam Lhasa Linka Hotel, you will be greeted by the awe inspiring view of the sacred Potala Palace. Also nearby, located in the old city, is the 1,300-year-old Jokhang Temple, revered by Tibetans and named as a UNESCO world heritage site. The four-storey “House of Buddha” temple is the most popular pilgrimage destination in Tibet.

From the hotel’s slaked lime coloured walls to the indigo carved windows and fish-fin shaped facade, all of these architectural details pay great respect to traditional artisans, Tibetan culture, and ancient wisdom. The interior design of the hotel is inspired and derived from the lifestyle of Lhasa natives; stylistically decorated with exquisite Thangka paintings and wall tapestries to recreate an environment typical of noble families from centuries ago. All 45 rooms exhibit a unique combination of modern and traditional Tibetan aesthetics that are elegantly decorated with wooden floors, Tibetan carpets, and handcrafted copperware.

Read more, click here

National Museum of Asian Art Presents Discussion on
Nazi-Era Provenance

March 28, 2022

Storage room filled with crates at Wiesbaden Collecting Point, 1946, James J. Rorimer papers,
1921–1982, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Art and the Third Reich: A Provenance Discussion
National Museum of Asian Art

Webinar, Thursday, March 31, 9:30–11:30am EDT

During the tumultuous years of World War II, the Nazi regime and its collaborators orchestrated on an unprecedented scale a system of confiscation, coercive transfer, looting, and destruction of cultural objects in Europe. Countless art objects were forcibly taken from their owners. This webinar explores a little studied subject in the field of art history—art market studies—and World War II history, asking how the Nazi occupation impacted the market for Asian art. In so doing, it also explores the unique complexities of researching and documenting Asian objects that circulated during the period.

Bringing together a panel of provenance experts for a moderated conversation, this webinar highlights the experiences of dealers and collectors of Asian art who lived through or fled the Nazi regime. Panelists will speak to the different experiences of dealers and collectors across occupied Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States, offering insight into how the Third Reich influenced regional art markets and the international trade of Asian art. The conversation will also consider how the atrocities committed by the Nazi party influenced the formation of postwar museum collections and the academic study of Asian art in the West.

This program is part of the series Hidden Networks: Trade in Asian Art, which is co-organized by the National Museum of Asian Art and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Read more and register, click here

Japan Society Hosts Panel on Okinawan Brutalist Architecture

March 28, 2022

Naha Prefectural Museum, Okinawa, Ishimoto and Niki Architects, 2007, Image
@brutal_zen Paul Tulett ©

Concrete Paradise: Okinawan Brutalist Architecture, Japan Society
Free Live Webinar, Wednesday, March 30 at 7 pm EDT

Brutalist architecture on Japan's Okinawa prefecture was born of necessity, as seasonal typhoons are commonplace and concrete buildings can better withstand severe weather than those made of wood and other natural materials. Today, 90 percent of new buildings on Okinawa are made of concrete, reflecting in architecture the post-Occupation Americanization of Japan. This live webinar explores the little-known Brutalist architecture on Okinawa as part of special programming commemorating the 50th anniversary year of Okinawa's return to Japanese sovereignty from the U.S. in 1972. Speakers also address the problems of concrete as a building material, considering sustainable strategies such as re-use and longevity while questioning its continued prevalence in building and associated environmental costs.

Speakers:
Paul Tulett, Okinawa-based photographer
Michael Kubo, Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for Architectural History and Theory, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design,
University of Houston
Moderator: Tiffany Lambert, Curator, Japan Society

Read more and register, click here

Asia Week New York March 2022 - Sales in the Galleries

March 25, 2022

Ken Matsubara, Chaos (detail), 2021, 12-panel screen, Ippodo Gallery

Asia Week New York galleries were extremely active during this season and sold many important works of art. Below is a survey of some of the many successful sales, with many wonderful works of Asian art going to new homes.

Dai Ichi Arts LTD
Future Forms: Avant-Garde Sculpture in Modern Japanese Ceramics
Among the works of art that were sold was The Scripture of Himiko, made in the 1990s in stoneware with gold luster by Miwa Ryosaku

Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints
Masterworks by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Included in the several works that the gallery sold is this rare print by Yoshitoshi of Sogo Goro Gallops Bareback to Oiso Triptych

Fu Qiumeng Fine Arts
Ink Affinities 墨缘: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney
Several works were sold, including the innovative Salt Lattice, made in 2018

HK Art and Antiques LLC
Korean Paintings and Sculptures: Past and Present
Among the works that were sold was this Late Joseon dynasty eight-panel screen depicting scenes from the Three Kingdoms (Samgugji)

INKstudio
Bingyi: Land of Immortals
From the collaboration with Kondō Takahiro: Making Waves, organized by Joan B Mirviss LTD, several ink paintings by Bingyi were sold, including these three leaves from her series Eight Views of Bewilderment to a New York collector

Ippodo Gallery
Chaos to Cosmos: White Road between Two Rivers
Among other sales, Ippodo Gallery sold Ken Matsubara's monumental, 12-panel screen Chaos to the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Sebastian Izzard Asian Art
Privately Commissioned Japanese Prints and Albums from the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries
This exhibition is nearly sold out, including the rare set of eight woodblock prints, Eight Views of the Suburbs of Edo (Edo kinkō hakkei no uchi) by Utagawa Hiroshige 

Brendan Lynch and Oliver Forge Ltd
India and Iran: Works on Paper
Half the exhibition was sold to European, Asian, and American private collectors and museums, including this Dance Performance (Nautch) for a Group of Seated Gentleman, by the Company School, Thanjavu, circa 1810-1820

Joan B Mirviss LTD
Kondō Takahiro: Making Waves
From this (nearly?.....the exhibition is still open!) sold-out show, going to a new home is one of the largest and most imposing art works, Kondō Takahiro's Wave, made in 2021

Thomas Murray
Important Indian, Indonesian and Other Textiles
Several works sold, including this very rare and imposing Attush Robe of the Ainu People from Hokkaido, purchased by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Onishi Gallery
The Eternal Beauty of Metal
From the number of works sold in this exhibition is the featured item Tea Caddy Shunpu (Spring Wind) by Murose Kazumi, a Living National Treasure

Scholten Japanese Art
Influencers: Japonisme and Modern Japan
Many of the prints in this exhibition found buyers, including Bertha Lum's Bamboo Road, a woodblock print made circa 1912

TAI Modern
Yufu Shohaku Solo Exhibition; Selected Works of Japanese Bamboo Art
Among the several sales in this exhibition is Genbu (Black Tortoise) by Yufu Shohaku

MIYAKO YOSHINAGA
"In the Space of the Near and Distant"- Solo Exhibition by Jonathan Yukio Clark
Several large works were sold from this exhibition, including Moon Rise in the Quiet Wind, executed with his monotype technique

Zetterquist Galleries
Chinese Ceramics from Tang - Yuan Dynasty
Approximately two-thirds of this exhibition was sold, including this imposing Tang-dynasty Xing-yao bottle vase

Asia Week New York - March 2022 Auction Results

March 25, 2022

Asia Week March 2022 Top Auction Item: An Important and Very Rare Inlaid Bronze Faceted Hu, Fanghu, Warring States Period, 4th-3rd Century BC, sold for US$2,760,000 at Christie's

Asia Week March 2022 New York Auction Results

BONHAMS

Bonhams' Top Selling Lot: A Gilt Copper Alloy Figure of Green Tara, Nepal, Early Malla Period,
13th Century, sold $2,310,312

Asia Week total - $11,559,220

CHRISTIE'S

Second Highest Top Selling Lot: A Magnificent and Important Gilt-Bronze Figure of Guanyin,
Dali Kingdom, Late 11th-Early 12th Century, sold $2,580,000

Asia Week total - $67,890,084

•Rivers and Mountains Far from the World: Important Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Rachelle R. Holden Collection - sales total $2,252,502
•Japanese and Korean Art Including the Collection of David and Nayda Utterberg - sales total $10,626,210
•Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art - sales total $3,732,120
•South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art, Including Works from the Collection of Mahinder and Sharad Tak - sales total $20,188,926
•Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art - sales total $31,090,326
Note: two online sales are still continuing

DOYLE

Top Selling Lot: A Large Chinese Celadon Glazed Porcelain 'Dragon' Charger, Yongzheng Mark and Period, sold $390,600

•Asian Works of Art - sales total $2,336,327

HERITAGE AUCTIONS

Top selling lot: A Chinese Six-Panel Screen Inlaid with Enameled Porcelain Plaques by Cheng Men,
19th century, sold $237,500

•Asian Art Signature® Auction - sales total $906,459

SOTHEBY'S

Top Selling Lot: Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001), Painting 4, 1972, sold $2,470,000

Asia Week total sales - $33,800,000

•Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art - sales total $9,600,000
•A Journey Through China's History: The Dr Wou Kiuan Collection Part 1 - sales total $10,600,000 - White Glove Sale
•Important Chinese Art - sales total $13,653,182
Note: one online sale is still continuing

Asia Week March 2022 grand total auction sales currently - $116,492,090

Coming soon Asian, Ancient, and Ethnographic Works of Art at iGavel,
online April 7-26.

More Asia Week March 2022

March 25, 2022

Sebastian Izzard Asian Art's installation of Japanese surimono prints.

For those who are sorry to see Asia Week March 2022 finish, there are still gallery exhibitions available to visit. And for those who wish to learn more about the works on view, many galleries have informative materials online and in print to read or watch. Below is a list of shows that you can still visit and materials you can study.

CONTINUING EXHIBITIONS:

Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art
Akar Prakar, Jayashree Chakravarty: Feeling the Pulse (in the pandemic year), ONLINE March 15-April 15
DAG, A Place in the Sun: Women Artists from 20th Century India, March 15-May 28
Thomas Murray, Important Indian, Indonesian and Other Textiles and Masks: Inspiration and Interpretation, ONLINE

Chinese Art
Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, Ink Affinities 墨缘: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney, March 18-May 7
INK Studio, Bingyi: Land of Immortals, March 16-April 22
Kaikodo LLC, The Ancients Among Us: Chinese and Japanese Paintings and Works of Art, ONLINE 

Japanese Art
Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd., Future Forms: Avant-Garde Sculpture in Modern Japanese Ceramics, March 1-30
Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints, Masterworks by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), ONLINE 
Ippodo Gallery, Chaos to Cosmos: White Road between Two Rivers,
March 10-April 14
Joan B Mirviss LTD, Kondō Takahiro: Making Waves, March 16-April 22
Scholten Japanese Art, Influencers: Japonisme and Modern Japan, March 16-April 15
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, "In the Space of the Near and Distant"-Solo Exhibition by Jonathan Yukio Clark, March 17-April 30

Korean Art
HK Art & Antiques LLC, Korean Paintings and Sculptures: Past and Present, March 17-April 6

GALLERY PUBLICATIONS TO READ AND WATCH:

Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art
Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch Ltd, India and Iran: Works on Paper
Francesca Galloway, Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th-19th Century
Kapoor Galleries, Dhanvantari's Blessing
Thomas Murray, Important Indian, Indonesian and Other Textiles and Masks: Inspiration and Interpretation

Chinese Art
Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, Ink Affinities 墨缘: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney
Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc., Spring Exhibition of Chinese Porcelains and Works of Art
INK Studio, Bingyi: Land of Immortals
Kaikodo LLC, The Ancients Among Us: Chinese and Japanese Paintings and Works of Art
Zetterquist Galleries, Chinese Ceramics from Tang-Yuan Dynasty

Japanese Art
Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd., Future Forms: Avant-Garde Sculpture in Modern Japanese Ceramics
Ippodo Gallery, Chaos to Cosmos: White Road between Two Rivers,
Joan B Mirviss LTD, Kondō Takahiro: Making Waves
Onishi Gallery, The Eternal Beauty of Metal
Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art, Japanese Art and Antiques
Scholten Japanese Art, Influencers: Japonisme and Modern Japan
Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art, Privately Commissioned Japanese Prints and Albums from the Late 18th and Early 19th
TAI Modern, Yufu Shohaku Solo Exhibition; Selected Works of Japanese Bamboo Art
MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, "In the Space of the Near and Distant"-Solo Exhibition by Jonathan Yukio Clark

Of course, museums are valuable resources of information and the auction houses have text and video stories that augment the catalogues.

Works by Women Artists at Asia Week March 2022

March 25, 2022

L-R: Bingyi (born 1975), Sea of Stars, 2021, ink on xuan paper, INKstudio; Shinoda Toko (1913-2021), Innovation, sumi-ink, gouache and platinum leaf on canvas, Christie's; Madhvi Parekh (born 1942),
Durga II, 2006, acrylic on acrylic sheet (reverse painting), DAG

This season's Asia Week, which coincided with Women's History Month, included a plethora of works by women artists in a wide variety of materials, art forms, and traditions, and featured artists from all corners of Asia, as well as ones who live outside Asia. While this is in no way a comprehensive list, it will demonstrate how varied and rich the work of women artists is and provide entry points for further investigation.

The artists whose work is illustrated above are three painters who use traditional ideas and/or materials to create new kinds of imagery and express personal perspectives.

Looking back in time, works by women of earlier periods included several woodblock-print-makers, such as Bertha Lum, who were inspired by the Japanese tradition, at Scholten Japanese Art.  Thomas Murray remarked that most, if not all, of the fine Indonesian textiles in his exhibition were made by women artisans, especially when they were to be used for ceremonial occassions.

L-R: Lin Suzhen (19th century), Immortal Magu, ink and color on silk, Bonhams; Bertha Lum (1869-1954), Bamboo Road, ca. 1912, woodblock print, Scholten Japanese Art; Iban People, Borneo, Ceremonial Cloth, pua sungkit with Skulls and Dancing Figures, 19th century, cotton; supplementary weft wrapping, Thomas Murray

Visits to the exhibitions shown at DAG and Akar Prakar offered a wealth of works by women painters from South Asia, as both galleries made this the theme of this season's exhibitions. Similarly, the auctions of South Asian modern and contemporary art at Sotheby's and Christie's not only included numerous works by women artists, but many sold well above their estimates. DAG NY director Josheen Oberoi participated in a recorded discussion of this topic with Sarab Zavaleta, East Meets West at Asian Art Week in NYC & Women's History Month, which can be accessed here.

L-R: Jayashree Chakravarty (born 1956), Pulsating, 2020-2021, acrylic, oil, audiotape, plant bark, paper and synthetic adhesive on canvas, Akar Prakar; Meera Mukherjee (1923-1998), Santur Player, 1981, bronze, Sotheby's

Numerous contemporary women artists whose work was on view this week employed art forms other than painting. The materials they used ranged from clay to bamboo to metalwares to textiles.

L-R: Shigematsu Ayumi (born 1958), Yellow Jomon, 2018, stoneware, Dai Ichi Arts LTD; Isohi Setsuko (born 1964), High Mountain, 2019, madake bamboo, rattan, TAI Modern; Otsuki Masako (b. 1943), Silver Vase Yo (Leap), 1998, silver metal carving with gold decoration and shakudo (alloy-copper, gold), Onishi Gallery

Whether rendered in two- or three-dimensional works, figural images that depict women can often have a self-portraiture quality or express some personal aspect of the artist's life. For example, Wonsook Kim has stated that her compositions are often influenced by her experiences in Korea and the United States, Iwasaki Eri's earlier job as a courtroom sketch artist resulted in her employment of intense emotions and humanity's dark side in her works, and Gogi Saroj Pal's self portrait shows a figure looking into a curtained future.

L-R: Wonsook Kim (born 1953), Words of Hope, 2016, oil on canvas, HK Art and Antiques; Iwasaki Eri (born 1968), Cotton Candy, 2019, mineral pigment, gofun, platinum paint on kozo paper mounted on wood panel, Christie's; Gogi Saroj Pal (born 1945), Self-Portrait, 1991, gouache on paper, DAG

The work of women artists is featured in several local museums. Presently on view at Korea Society is a display of the work of contemporary abstract textile artist Wonju Seo . The life and work of Elaine Ildan Choi is presented in a video available online by the Korean Cultural Center. The current exhibition, Japan: A History of Style at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, features a selection of Japanese contemporary metalwares by noted artists Osumi Yukie, Otsuki Masako, and Oshiyama Motoko. Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians — The Mohammed Afkhami Collection at Asia Society includes the work of nine women artists, and their art is discussed in an online feature.

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