What's Happening in Asian Art...

Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art Announces New Acquisitions

July 16, 2022

Samurai armor from the Inaba clan, early Edo period (1615–1867)

Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art, which is based in Milan, Italy, has just announced the acquisition of several important and appealing Japanese works of art. At the top of the list is this fine example of tosei gusoku (modern armor), a type that was common throughout the time period but had certain significant innovations added. It was owned by the Inaba clan, who originated in 16th century Mino province and during the Edo period were named daimyō of large and strategic provinces. In addition to this fine suit of armor, Giuseppe Piva has also added several impressive swords and sword furnishings.

Jugyoku II, Large wood netsuke of a Nio guardian, late 19th century, L. 5.8 cm

For those looking for more decorative works of art, the gallery has dramatic paintings and finely crafted three-dimensional art works. A particularly skillfully rendered example is this Large Wood Netsuke of a Nio Guardian. Carved in the late 19th century by Jugyoku II, this powerful and energetic muscular guardian deity is shown wearing a billowing shawl and sitting on a straw sandal, while he pulls on a long rope.

For more information about these and other fine items, click here.

San Antonio Museum of Art Opens Creative Splendor: Japanese Bamboo Baskets from the Thoma Collection

July 15, 2022

Wada, Waichisai III (1899-1975), Flower Basket, 1945-72, madake, rattan, wood and urushi covered metal beads, object: 12.5 x 11 x 12 in. Collection of Carl & Marilynn Thoma, © Artist or artist estate, courtesy of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation, photo by TAI Modern

Creative Splendor: Japanese Bamboo Baskets from the Thoma Collection,
San Antonio Museum of Art July 15, 2022-January 2, 2024

Creative Splendor: Japanese Bamboo Baskets from the Thoma Collection is a series of three installations of approximately fifteen baskets, each, that will survey the outstanding accomplishments of Japanese basket makers active since the nineteenth century to the present day from three regions of Japan: the Kansai region, which encompasses the ancient capital, Kyoto; the Kanto region, which stretches westward from Tokyo; and the southernmost island of Kyushu. The exhibition demonstrates the specific techniques and styles of cutting and weaving bamboo that are particular to each of these geographic regions.

Final Days for Falcons: Art of the Hunt

July 14, 2022

Follower of Lin Liang (ca. 1428-ca. 1495), Hawk Pursuing Water Birds, hanging scroll,
ink and color on silk, Gift of Charles Lang Freer, F1919.146

Falcons: Art of the Hunt, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution
Final day July 17, 2022

Swift, fierce, and loyal, falcons have been celebrated for millennia. In ancient Egypt, they were closely associated with Horus, the god of the heavens. By the early eighth century in Syria, falcons were being trained to become skillful hunters at the royal courts. The art of falconry soon spread across the rest of the Islamic world, to the Byzantine empire in the west, and to the east as far as China. It is still practiced in many societies today, especially in the Arab world.

Akar Prakar's The Architectonics of Form Closes Soon

July 13, 2022

Ganesh Haloi, Scroll 21, 2021, gouache and Chinese ink stick on Japanese scroll paper, 53.25 x 13.75 inches

The Architectonics of Form: Scrolls by Ganesh Haloi, Akar Prakar
In person in Kolkata and online, July 16, 2022

Sound encompasses both time and space, weaving the two into complex structures of material manifestation that we experience and express as forms through our sensorial perceptions (smell, taste, see, feel and hear). The scrolls by Ganesh Haloi, are cartographic mappings of the layered sensations that have impressed upon him for decades. Beginning with the steady lyricism of Ajanta murals, resonant whispers of the varying landscapes, the rhythmicity of the alpana forms, structurality of manmade interventions and the poetics of space.

Ganesh Haloi (b.1936) was born in Jamalpur, Mymensingh(in present-day Bangladesh). He moved to Calcutta in 1950 following the partition. The trauma of displacement left its mark on his work as it did on some other painters of his generation. Since then his art has exhibited an innate lyricism coupled with a sense of nostalgia for a lost world. In 1956, he graduated from the Government College of Art and Craft, Calcutta. In the next year he was appointed by the Archaeological Survey of India to make copies of Ajanta murals. Seven years later, Haloi returned to Calcutta. From 1963 until his retirement, he taught at the Government College of Art and Craft. He is a member of The Society of Contemporary Artists, Calcutta since 1971, and lives and works in Calcutta.

To view the exhibition, click here

Final Days for David Orr: Radiance + Reflection

July 13, 2022

David Or, Moon Mandala [No. 20]

David Orr: Radiance + Reflection, Tibet House US
Last day July 17, 2022

This exhibition integrates two primary bodies of work which evoke interconnection and impermanence: Mandala Lunae, photographs of the moon, repeated and arranged in geometric patterns via digital reflection, and ILLUMINED, a series wherein photographs of sacred manuscripts, texts, and sūtras—from myriad traditions—have been reconfigured into purely visual forms. In both series, the visual modifications are key, transforming the original subjects into contemplative forms.

The catalogue for the exhibition is available online, click here.

MIYAKO YOSHINAGA Presents Lasting Life

July 12, 2022

Dominique Paul (born 1967), Insects of Surinam 13, 2013, archival pigment print on
Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, 12 1/8 x 9 1/8 in. (30.5 x 22.9 cm), Edition 3 of 6

Lasting Life: Works by Dominique Paul and José Luis Fariñas

July 6-August 5, 2022
Opening Reception: Wednesday, July 13, 6-8pm

This exhibition features a selection of works by Canadian artist Dominique Paul and Cuban artist José Luis Fariñas. Both artists utilize insects–bees, butterflies, etc.–as a metaphor for the changing nature of human existence. Paul's opulent photographic prints concern the biological and ecological coexistence of humans and insects, whereas Farinãs's intricate ink-and-watercolor drawings deal with the introspective and philosophical implications of their coexistence.

Dominique Paul (born 1967) is fascinated by the transformation of the human body as a result of physical exercise, plastic surgery, or genetic engineering. This once controversial but now congenial notion of body transformation informs Paul’s fantastical invention of hybrid creatures. She combines the elements of human bodies with those of plants and insects in her “Insects of Suriname” series. The lacy cutouts of bodybuilder’s flesh are buoyed by colorful consumer products, all found in various magazines. These surrealistic scenes of chaos share a background of cutout collage images of flora and insects by Maria S. Merian, a Baroque-era naturalist. Taking the form of a botanical mandala, Paul strives to express a sense of urgency and questions the durability of the entire ecosphere in these times of human exploitation of the planet’s resources.

José Luis Fariñas (born 1972), On the Backyard of the Sky (Soul's Documents), 2012, fine brush and watercolor on paper, 18 7/8 x 14 1/8 in. (48 x 35.6 cm)

José Luis Fariñas (born 1972) explores the subjects of chaos, infinity, and transmutation in philosophical and biblical allusions in ink-and-watercolor drawings. These images are threaded together through Fariñas’s singular vision of the universe, in which our conflicted reality is successively metamorphosing. Unlike Paul whose work is informed by scientific observation, Fariñas invents an array of symbolic motifs to fortify this vision. He repeatedly portrays a half-human half-insect creature such as a winged old man with insect antennae in nightmarish scenarios, as well as an egg that is metaphorically the birth of the universe. In the mysterious surroundings of human life, Fariñas sees the eternal cycle of our emotional ups and downs without end.

The gallery’s summer hours are Tuesday–Friday, 12 noon–6 pm.

Read more, click here

Dai Ichi Arts Opens New Exhibition Modern Splendor

July 11, 2022

Fukami Sueharu 深見 陶治 (born 1947), Untitled, 1985, with signed wood box, celadon porcelain on wood base, H. 6.2 x W. 18 x D. 2 in. (15.7 x 45.7 x 5.0 cm)

Modern Splendor: Exceptional Contemporary Japanese Ceramics,
Dai Ichi Arts Ltd.

July 11-August 31, 2022

Dai Ichi Arts' summer show features splendid works by Modern Japanese ceramic artists who are masters of their craft in technique and aesthetic sensibilities. This summer show includes works of art in clay by Fukami Sueharu, Yoshikawa Masamichi, Kawase Shinobu, Imanishi Masaya, Shimizu Keiichi, Mihara Ken, & more.

Read more, click here

Member Monday - Fu Qiumeng Fine Art

July 10, 2022

On the left is Zhang Daqian's forgery of a painting by Bada Shanren, Four Geese, vertical scroll, ink on paper, pictured on the right behind Fu Qiumeng

Although Asia Week New York’s youngest member, Fu Qiumeng is impressive in the diverse experience she has already acquired and in her vision for her gallery’s future. A native of Chengdu, Fu, who also uses the name Mona, encountered Chinese traditional paintings and calligraphy at a young age in the company of her father and grandfather, both avid collectors. She also started painting while still a child. However, she initially started a career in advertising until Fu realized she was meant to work in the arts.

In 2012 Fu began working for Yang Wu and Zeng Yiyan, a noted ink painter, calligrapher, and connoisseur, at their Bao Rui Ying International Auction Company in Beijing. Because the house was just starting, Fu was involved in all aspects of work and quickly gained a wide range of experience. In 2014 she enrolled at Northwestern University for an M.S. in Leadership in Creative Enterprises. After moving to New York, Fu garnered more experience by working for Lark Mason Associates and studying painting with scholar-artist Arnold Chang. But perhaps most influential was her time spent at the contemporary Southeast Asian art gallery Tyler Rollins Fine Art in Chelsea; as it was there Fu learned how to position Asian tradition in the realm of the contemporary art world. She determined to utilize strategies from this robust and active part of the art market to promote East Asian contemporary art characterized by a connection to China’s rich tradition and opened her own gallery in 2016. (For the gallery website, click here.)

View of Fu Qiumeng Fine Art’s main gallery during the exhibition Nothing but Recollection: Hisao Hanafusa, 2021

Now working in her gallery, which is well situated on 80th Street just a few blocks from the Met, Fu Qiumeng presents several exhibitions and events each year that feature the works of contemporary artists connected to the visual art history tradition. During March Asia Week, Fu exhibited the popular collaborative works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney in Ink Affinities (for more details, click here). Their innovative works combine the photograph details of China’s topography taken by Cherney, who lives in Beijing, with the traditional ink paintings of Chang, who is based in New Jersey. These collaborations create not only visually appealing images but epitomize Fu’s interest in engaging varied media and avoiding pigeonholes of ethnicity. Fu’s current show, Moonlight on Stones, presents the work of NY-based painter and calligrapher Wang Mansheng (for more details, click here). As Wang’s works and background are deeply steeped in Chinese traditional literature, Fu invited Dr. Chao Ling, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chinese and History, City University of Hong Kong, to curate the show. Fu seeks to engage the research, ideas, and voice of young scholars to imbue her exhibitions both with interdisciplinary insights and added layers of depth, while providing these specialists with a welcome platform and audience.

L-R: Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney, Da Ming Mountain Study #2, 2021, photography and ink on xuan paper, mounted on paper and Wang Mansheng, Celestial Lake on Mountain’s Top, 2013, ink, walnut ink, tempera, acrylic on paper

Fu Qiumeng Fine Arts expends much energy on preparing and sharing research and information about Chinese paintings and calligraphy. Fu productively spent the months of Covid isolation investigating in great depth the preeminent scholar and artist Wang Fangyu’s studies of the work of Bada Shanren. The result was the highly informative and thought-provoking exhibition Authentic or Forgery: How Does a Chinese Connoisseur Work?, presented from December 2020 to January 2021 (for more details, click here).  In addition to regular in-person and online lectures and numerous essays and news items on their website, the gallery also participates in wùgé publishing, which integrates art, scholarship, design, and bookmaking.

Yau Wing Fung, Riding Mist XXI, 2022, ink and color on paper

Fu Qiumeng will continue to feature the work of young artists this summer with their upcoming summer group show The Rain Freshens. On view July 29 through September 3, this show includes paintings by four vibrant ink artists of the new generation: Yau Wing Fung (born 1990), Chen Duxi (born 1983), Zhang Xiaoli (born 1989), and Zhang Yirong (born 1979), who explore and reinterpret classical codes and practices.

When asked why she decided to establish her gallery in New York, Fu Qiumeng noted that this city is the most vibrant in the U.S. for Chinese art, as there are several museums with exceptional collections and events, important university programs, and an active Chinese art community. Moreover, it is one of the world centers for contemporary art. Where better to build bridges between “east and west, contemporary art and traditional?”

For an engaging interview with Fu Qiumeng and Artnet, click here.

Korea Society Presents Artist Talk: Heeseop Yoon

July 10, 2022

Artist Talk: Heeseop Yoon, Korea Society
Online program, July 12, 2022, 5pm EDT

Although her intricate installations are often so large that they spread over walls onto ceilings and floors, Heeseop Yoon, whose solo exhibition Agglomeration is on view at The Korea Society Gallery through August 25, thinks of her work as freehand drawings. All of Yoon’s works are based on real spaces with vast messes, such as basements, workshops, storage spaces, or “places where everything is jumbled and time becomes ambiguous without the presence of people.” Based on photographs, Yoon draws freehand without erasing; based on her own drawings, she creates her enlarged wall drawings using black tapes. In the final installation, her miscalculations and corrections are visible, as Yoon is interested in how memory and perception constantly adjust both for herself and for her viewer, and the paradox that the more she corrects her work, the less legible the drawing becomes. In this video presentation, Yoon discusses her career and work.

Read more and register, click here.

Online Exhibitions at the National Museum of Asian Art

July 9, 2022

The Emperors Babur and Humayun, Folio from the Late Shah Jahan Album, Mughal dynasty, ca. 1640, opaque watercolor and gold on paper mounted on board, Purchase—Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler

For those who are unable to visit the National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. in person, the museum's website offers a rich array of online exhibitions and educational materials for enrichment and enjoyment. Two online exhibitions that are currently available explore the art associated with Mughal emperor Babur and the Sogdians of Central Asia.

Writing My Truth: The Mughal Emperor Babur
The founder of India’s Mughal dynasty (1526–1858), Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur (1483–1530), rose from origins as a Central Asian princeling to rule a vast empire stretching across today’s Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Over the course of his extraordinary life, he wrote a memoir known as the Baburnama, weaving incisive observations on art and nature into recollections of love, war, and political alliances. Babur’s grandson, the Mughal emperor Akbar (reigned 1556–1605), later commissioned the translation Writing My Truth: The Mughal Emperor Babur brings together Persian paintings from Babur’s lifetime with Mughal paintings from 1580 to 1650, when his autobiography was illustrated and circulated.

To explore this exhibition, click here.

Camel with Musicians, Tang dynasty (618–907), glazed earthenware, H. 58.4 cm,
National Museum of China, Beijing

The Sogdians: Influencers on the Silk Roads
The Sogdians: Influencers on the Silk Roads is a new digital exhibition that explores Sogdian art through existing material culture. It focuses on the golden age of the Sogdians, from the fourth to the eighth centuries CE, when Sogdiana flourished through trade and agriculture. Sogdian emigrant communities spread across China, South and Southeast Asia, and into the Central Asian steppe and Mongolia. During these centuries, a highly sophisticated and distinct Sogdian urban culture developed, epitomized by richly colored wall paintings and exceptional textiles, metalwork, and sculptures. Various dimensions of Sogdian culture, from art, music, and feasting to religious and funerary practices, are presented in this digital exhibition. New 3-D models of metalwork objects, photographs of archaeological sites, and international scholarship reveal new details about these forgotten people.

To investigate this exhibition, click here.

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