What's Happening in Asian Art...
August 11, 2022
In this issue, Fredric Schneider tells how and why he formed a collection of cloisonné enamels, now a promised gift to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Tribute is paid to two JASA members, Jacqueline Avant, a Los Angeles lacquer collector, and Kōichi Yanagi, a premier art dealer with a gallery in New York. At the Jewish Museum in New York, Evgeny Steiner considered a display of Edmund De Waal’s netsuke, made famous in The Hare with Amber Eyes. Hollis Goodall describes the world of ghosts and demons exhibited in Santa Fe and New South Wales. Betty Swinton reviews a handy new book on ukiyo-e by Julie Davis, and Rosina Buckland tackles a lavish publication on Japanese screens; even though the book is too heavy to read in bed, it discusses the spatial aspects of screens with a conceptual, often French-focused approach. Samuel Morse introduces an exhibition of pottery in Minneapolis and its catalogue, Kamoda Shōji—The Art of Change. Finally, John Carpenter invokes Shōki, the Demon Queller, called upon in times of epidemic.
Read more and to order copies, click here
August 10, 2022
Shu Hao (active late 19th century), Zhou Dunyi Admiring Lotus Flowers, fan-shaped album leaf, ink and color on silk. Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, in memory of La Ferne Hatfield Ellsworth, 1986
Companions in Solitude: Reclusion and Communion in Chinese Art,
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Concludes August 14, 2022
This exhibition explores the twin themes of solitude and togetherness in Chinese art. For more than two thousand years, reclusion—removing oneself from society—has been presented as the ideal condition for mental cultivation and transcending worldly troubles. At the same time, communion with like-minded people has been celebrated as essential to the human experience. This choice, to be alone or to be together, has been central to the lives of thinkers and artists, and Chinese art abounds with images of figures who pursued both paths—as well as those who wove them together in complex and surprising ways. Companions in Solitude brings together more than 120 works of painting, calligraphy, and decorative arts that illuminate this choice—depictions of why and how people have sought space from the world or attempted to bridge the divide between themselves and others. In the wake of 2020, a year that has isolated us physically but connected us virtually in unprecedented ways, this exploration of premodern Chinese reclusion and communion will invite meditation on the fracture and facture of human connection in our own time.
August 9, 2022
A Soul Haunted by Painting, China Institute
In-person program, Thursday, August 11, 2022, 6-8:30pm
Set at the beginning of the 20th century, the film tells the story of Pan Yuliang, a young woman employed as a prostitute, who eventually climbs her way into becoming a professor for a prestigious Chinese institute of learning, and an accomplished artist, renowned as the first woman in the country to paint in the Western style. This film was made in 1994, directed by Huang Shuqin, and featured Gong Li.
The screening will be introduced by Jiaxuan (Jim) Zhang, who has taught Chinese Cinema at Queens College for 20 years. Jim is also an accomplished photographer and calligrapher, as well as a film critic for both Chinese and English publications in the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China.
The screening is free, although advance registration is requested. All visitors must bring a photo ID when entering the building and present proof of COVID vaccination. Masks are required when on site at China Institute.
To register, click here
August 8, 2022
Bird-shaped Vessel, Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C.–A.D. 676), 3rd century, earthenware,
H. 12 7/8 in. (32.7 cm). Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1997
Jegi: Korean Ritual Objects, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
August 6, 2022-October 15, 2023
Rituals and customs help celebrate life’s milestones, remember the past, and mark time. In addition to their significance as social conventions, rituals often reaffirm state, governmental, and religious principles. In Korea, performing ancestral rites (jesa) is an enduring tradition that embodies respect for parents and the commemoration of ancestors, key tenets of Confucianism.
During the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), Neo-Confucianism was the ruling ideology. People engaged in rituals on the birth and death anniversaries for ancestors upward of five generations, and on major holidays, such as the Lunar New Year and Chuseok (Harvest Moon Festival). Court ancestral rites became the bedrock of Joseon political life and were enacted on a grand scale that included musical and dance performances. A key feature throughout was a table bearing food and drink offerings presented on jegi, or ritual objects.
This exhibition features the various types of ritual vessels and accessories that were used for this purpose and entombed, as well as the kinds of musical instruments played at state events. Though the vessels’ shapes, sizes, and materials may differ, a persistent feature is elevation, either through a high foot or a pedestal. In contemporary Korean society, no longer constrained by prescriptive state rules, jegi inspire contemporary artists and influence the form of everyday tableware.
The exhibition is made possible by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea (MCST).
August 6, 2022
A Chinese "100 Bats" Porcelain Charger, Guangxu mark and likely of the period, Dia. 13 1/2 in.
Lot 1057, Estimate: $800-1,200
Online auction, New York
Online sale available now through August 12
Exhibition dates: August 8-10, 12-5pm
Doyle is offering Asian Works of Art Online as a timed auction closing on Friday, August 12, 2022 at 10am. Showcased will be the arts of China, Japan and throughout Asia from prominent estates and collections across the country.
Read more, click here
August 5, 2022
Photo courtesy of Erna Marcus
In June Stephen Allee retired from his 34-year long career at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution, where he served as associate curator of Chinese paintings and calligraphy since 2012. Whether specialist or casual visitor, in person or as a reader, everyone who has engaged with the museum's renowned collection of Chinese paintings and calligraphy benefitted profoundly from Allee's exhibitions, online and print publications, illuminating wall labels, copious translations, enriching talks, and behind-the-scenes research, explication, and organization. Allee has also been deeply generous with and shared access to and information about objects in the collection to an unrivaled degree.
Stephen Allee's training and extraordinary abilities are as a linguist. In addition to studying classical and modern Chinese, especially ancient poetry, he also mastered Russian, Icelandic, and Old Norse. Building on his learning of the Chinese language that began in his teens, Allee studied ancient Chinese language and literature at George Washington University and the University of Washington. In 1978 he was one of the eight who were the first American graduate students to study in mainland China since 1949, and he spent a year-and-a-half focused on spoken Chinese, as well as classical Chinese literature and history, especially fifth-century poetry, at the University of Nanjing.
Allee's career at the NMAA began in 1988, and during those early years he worked under curators Fu Shen and then Joseph Chang and focused primarily on object research and documentation, as well as exhibitions. Since 2012 he has been responsible for all curatorial responsibilities for the museum's Chinese paintings and calligraphy.
Stephen Allee discusses Chinese paintings with interns at the NMAA. Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Asian Art.
The list of exhibitions in which Allee was involved during his long career are far too numerous to list. A few highlights are Painting with Words: Gentleman Artists of the Ming Dynasty in 2016, In Pursuit of Heavenly Harmony: Paintings and Calligraphy by Bada Shanren (1626–1705) from the Collection of Wang Fangyu and Sum Wai in 2003, and Brushing the Past: Later Chinese Calligraphy from the Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth in 2001. Similarly Allee has written and contributed to myriad publications, including the online publication Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy in 2010, the three-volume Contemporary Calligraphy and Paintings from the Republic of China in 1990, as well as the catalogues for the above exhibitions. Recently Allee contributed in Chinese the conference paper "Observations Regarding Dong Qichang’s Authentications on Seven Song Dynasty Works in the Freer Gallery of Art” and the catalogue entry "Qiu Ying, A Donkey for Mister Zhu” to the Shanghai Museum's 2019 project The Ferryman of Ink World: Dong Qichang's Calligraphy and Painting Art.
Looking ahead, Allee plans to focus more on research, with several studies of important paintings in the NMAA's collection in process. He also anticipates traveling, usually at a more leisurely pace that allows more time for deeper study. A generous teacher, Allee also hopes to participate in educational projects in which he can share the rich wealth of knowledge and experience that he has accumulated and to which we all eagerly look forward.
August 3, 2022
Dominique Paul, Insects of Surinam 7, 2013, (diptych) archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, 12 x 18 3/4 in. (30.5 x 47.5 cm). © Dominique Paul
Lasting Life: Dominique Paul & José Luis Fariñas,
Closing day August 5, with a reception at 6-8pm
Don't miss MIYAKO YOSHINAGA's summer show juxtaposing inspiring works by Canadian Dominique Paul and Cuban José Luis Fariñas. Insects are a common element in their work as a result of being fascinated by the abilities and secrets of species that have existed on this planet much longer than humans.
The opulent photographic collages created by Paul portray the survival of humans against a backdrop of imminent climate change and genetic transformation learned from the metamorphosis of insects, whereas Fariñas's delicate drawings explore the same issues beyond the physical sense. His work taps into introspective and philosophical implications of human existence.
José Luis Fariñas, The Beginning of the Emotions, 2007, extra fine brush and watercolor on paper,
14 1/8 x 20 in. (35.9 x 50.8 cm). © José Luis Fariñas
Summer Book Sale
In collaboration with 10X10 Photobooks, the award-winning advocate group for this genre, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is currently offering 15-20% discount prices on a special selection of books by established and emerging international artists. Don't miss this opportunity to explore these books that cover issues from the environment to humanity. (some items are in-store purchases only).
Read more, click here
August 2, 2022
Chinese Carved Jade Figure of a Leaping Carp, ca. 19th-20th century
Nantucket Summer Antiques Show, Ralph M. Chait Galleries
August 5-8, 2022
Opening reception August 4, 6pm
Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm
Ralph M. Chait Galleries is participating in this year's show and displaying a wonderful assortment of porcelain, pottery, works of art, and China Trade pictures. This year’s show, which includes 32 carefully selected fine antiques dealers and art galleries from the US and abroad, offers art and antiques in every category. Organized by the Antiques Council, this not-for-profit organization is committed to supporting charitable organizations that benefit the Island of Nantucket, its history, and architecture.
Read more, click here
July 29, 2022
Tea-leaf Storage Jar and Tea Filling Ceremony 2022
Saturday, July 30, 11:30am-2pm
In conjunction with the previous tea lecture, Ippodo Gallery continues their collaboration with tea master Yoshitsugu Nagano. During this upcoming event, tea masters Yoshiki Mizoguchi and Mr. Nagano will teach you how to fill the tea urn with sencha, and get hands-on experience! Later, Mr. Nagano will do the tea ceremony and serve you tea with fresh unmatured tea.
To register, click here.
July 28, 2022
Yau Wing Fung, Riding Mist XXI, 2022, ink and color on paper, 70 1/2 x 38 in. (179 x 96.5 cm)
Summer Group Show: The Rain Freshens, Fu Qiumeng Fine Arts
Chen Duxi, Yau Wing Fung, Zhang Xiaoli, Zhang Yirong
July 29-September 3, 2022
Opening reception, July 29, 6-8pm
Fu Qiumeng Fine Art is pleased to present Summer Group Show: The Rain Freshens from July 29th to September 3rd, 2022, featuring the works of four new-generation ink painters who explore and reinterpret classical aesthetic paradigms and practices from both Eastern and Western tradition. The artists include Chen Duxi (b. 1983), Yau Wing Fung (b. 1990), Zhang Xiaoli (b. 1989), and Zhang Yirong (b. 1979).
The title of the exhibition, “The Rain Freshens,” is derived from the English translation of 空山新雨后 - "an empty mountain after freshly fallen rain” written by the Tang dynasty poet Wang Wei 王維 (699-751) in Autumn Twilight, Dwelling Among Mountains《山居秋瞑》. This poetic scene is uncannily parallel to the term “petrichor,” with its ancient Greek root, describing the earthy and pleasant scent that permeates the air when rain first falls on dry soil. Although Wang’s writings and the concept of petrichor originate from different cultures and contexts, both use literary synesthesia as a rhetorical device to transcend the boundaries between the visual and olfactory senses and capture the artistic form of the throb of new life in nature. Despite the perceived cultural differences, art strives to explore human life and nature. This exhibition bridges across cultures to represent a new generation of contemporary ink painters who practice and create art in a newly interconnected and globalized world.
Read more, click here