What's Happening in Asian Art...

Sotheby's Offers the Dr Wou Kiuan Collection

March 20, 2022

A Large Inscribed Jade Luohan Grotto, Qianlong period (1736-1795), lot 24, the Dr Wou Kiuan Collection

A Journey Through China's History: The Dr Wou Kiuan Collection Part 1
Sotheby's

On sale Tuesday, March 22 at 9am

This March, Sotheby’s will present Part 1 of one of the most comprehensive collections of Chinese Art ever assembled, The Dr Wou Kiuan Collection. Celebrating over 4,000 years of Chinese culture and art history, this distinguished encyclopedic collection ranges from Neolithic utilitarian vessels to paintings, calligraphy, imperial jades and porcelain, and more. The New York auction will be the first of a series of four single-owner sales to be held globally and represent the finest examples of virtually every category of Chinese art.

The collection of Dr. Wou Kiuan was long tucked away in a discreet corner of the southern British Isles. Across seven interconnecting rooms displayed a comprehensive visual history of China. Covering some 4,000 years of Chinese art, the collection formed by Dr. Wou Kiuan (1910-1997) ranges from utilitarian storage vessels made by the first Neolithic cultures that emerged along the Yellow River to the most dazzling porcelains ever commissioned to adorn the palaces of the Qing Emperors of China’s final dynasty. The extraordinary scope of the collection sets it apart from all other private collections of Chinese art formed in the mid-20th century, and it remains one of the last great collections of Chinese art in Europe today.

The uniquely comprehensive collection was formed by Wou Kiuan (Wu Quan, Heng Zhi), son of the Republican politician Wou Lien-Pai (Wu Jinglian, Wu Lianbo) (1873-1944). Wou Kiuan was born in Xingcheng, Liaoning Province in Northeast China on June 25, 1910, entering the world mere months before the overthrow of the Qing dynasty. Educated at Zhendan University in Shanghai, Wou Kiuan studied French language before he moved to France at the age of twenty to study law at the University of Grenoble and was awarded his doctorate degree from the Sorbonne in Paris. Appointed Secretary-General for the Overseas Chinese Committee at the League of Nations in Geneva in 1937, Wou embarked on an illustrious career in diplomacy. In 1939, he joined the newly-formed Chinese government Foreign Affairs Service at the French embassy in Paris; before moving to London in 1941 where he worked for the Chinese embassy in London until 1947 when he was recalled to China to serve in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs until his retirement in 1952.

At the heart of Dr Wou’s drive to collect was a burning desire to preserve the relics of China’s rich historical past scattered across Europe and to promote Chinese art and culture. It was no doubt fortuitous that Wou’s years of collecting coincided with an abundant availability of exceptional Chinese art on the London market. From the mid-1950s to late 60s he was able to form a collection of well over 1,000 works that together represented virtually every category of Chinese art. In 1968 he opened the doors to the Wou Lien-Pai Museum, named in honor of his father. The collection was arranged chronologically, with the objects displayed in wood-framed vitrines, each accompanied by typed and handwritten didactic texts. Over the years the Museum became a destination for collectors, academics, and visiting dignitaries. To this day the Wou family has remained a conscientious custodian of the collection, loaning works to exhibitions and publishing a two-volume catalogue in 2011, thereby continuing to educate future generations.

Read more, click here

Asia Week March 2022 - Day 5

March 20, 2022

Jonathan Yukio Clark (born 1987), Moonrise in the Quiet Wind, 2021, monotype print on washi, sugi, maple, © Jonathan Yukio Clark, Courtesy: MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, New York

Day 5 - Open House Weekend

Asia Week New York 2022 hosts a day of previews:

•All 22 gallery exhibitions are open today—find out who's open with this list with handy graph, which you can take with you while you gallery hop. Visit the Dealers' pages for more details and images of highlights.

Bonhams, Christie's, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, iGavel and Sotheby's are holding auction viewings today

Akar Prakar, Egenolf Gallery, Kaikodo LLC, and Thomas Murray are live with their online exhibitions 

Asia Week New York's Online Exhibition is available

Today's Featured Events:

•Live lecture: Reflections of a Collector with ukiyo-e collector George Mann at 11am at Japan Society, Japanese Art Society of America (JASA)

•Exhibition tour: Healing Practices: Stories from Himalayan Americans at 2pm, The Rubin Museum of Art

•Artist's Talk by Jonathan Yukio Clark at 2pm and 3pm, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA

Today's Online Programs:

•Online talk: The Bottles They Carried: A Conversation on Provenance and The Rachelle R. Holden Collection of Important Chinese Snuff Bottles by Clare Chu and Andrew Lueck at 12pm, Christie's

View all calendar events here

Access the full Asia Week schedule here

San Antonio Museum Hosts Lecture on the Qidan

March 20, 2022

Twin Phoenix Crown, Chinese, Liao, 907-1125, gilt copper, San Antonio Museum of Art

Riders from the North: The Qidan—Their Culture, Lifestyle and Beliefs, Jenny So
San Antonio Museum of Art
March 22, 6-7pm CDT/7-8pm EDT
Delivered live and streamed

This lecture, delivered by Dr. Jenny So, Professor of Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, will explore the relationship between the artistic legacy of the Qidan, founders of China’s first major foreign dynasty, and their multi-cultural background. Dr. So will discuss how the Qidans’ hunting and herding livelihood among pine-covered hills in the north and semi-deserts in the west are revealed by the artifacts they made for use in life and burial in death. Illustrations will be drawn from the collection of the San Antonio Museum of Art and recent archaeological discoveries in China.

Read more and register, click here

Asia Week March 2022 - Day 4

March 19, 2022

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001), Painting 4, 1972, oil on canvas, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, Sotheby's

Day 4 - Open House Weekend

Asia Week New York 2022 hosts a day of previews:

•All 22 gallery exhibitions are open today—find out who's open with this list with handy graph, which you can take with you while you gallery hop. Visit the Dealers' pages for more details and images of highlights.

Bonhams, Christie's, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, iGavel and Sotheby's are holding auction viewings today

Akar Prakar, Egenolf Gallery, Kaikodo LLC, and Thomas Murray are live with their online exhibitions 

Asia Week New York's Online Exhibition is available

Today's Featured Events:

•Live lectures: Claude de Marteau: The Master Dealer and Collector by Edward Wilkinson at 2pm and Forensic Iconography: Chronology, Region & Art Style by Jeff Watt at 3pm at Bonhams. Limited seating.

•Exhibition tour: Healing Practices: Stories from Himalayan Americans at 2pm, The Rubin Museum of Art

•Exhibition talk: Yufu Shohaku Solo Exhibition; Selected Works of Japanese Bamboo Art at 2:30pm, TAI Modern

•Live lectures: Reconsidering the Sir Michael Butler Collection of 17th century Chinese Porcelain by Katharine Butler and Teresa Canepa at 4pm and Dr Wou Kiuan and the Wou Lien-Pai Collection by Rose Kerr at 5pm at Sotheby's

View all calendar events here

Access the full Asia Week schedule here

Bonhams offers Chinese Paintings from the Collection of Reverend Richard Fabian

March 19, 2022

Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), Landscape for Lin Qingni, 1967, lot 37

Reverend Richard Fabian Collection of Chinese Paintings, Bonhams
On view this weekend
Sale: Monday, March 21 and online sale through March 24

Reverend Richard Fabian, founder and rector of San Francisco's ecumenical St. Gregory Nyssen Episcopal Church, first discovered the compelling beauty of Chinese paintings while majoring in Chinese art at Yale University in the 1960s. Over three decades, he formed a panoramic collection spanning the 200-year development of modern Chinese paintings.

This collection has been generously shared through major exhibitions at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco on numerous occasions and in the Honolulu Academy of Art in 2007, to name just two institutions. It has also been published in the scholarly, and often very large, catalogues: New Songs on Ancient Tunes: 19th-20th Century Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy from the Richard Fabian Collection and Between the Thunder and the Rain: Chinese Paintings from the Opium Wars to the Cultural Revolution, 1840–1979. The painting illustrated on the cover of New Songs, Immortal Image (Posthumous Portrait of Gao Yong's Wife) by Xugu (1823/24-1896) is included in this sale.

Xugu (1823/24-1896), Immortal Image (Posthumous Portrait of Gao Yong's Wife) , lot 39

Zhang Daqian's Landscape for Qingni in this sale exemplifies Reverend Fabian's central position in the life of San Francisco through the church that he founded and his interest in Chinese art. The artist painted this work in 1967 while visiting the Bay area, and sold it to Tsao Jungying, the owner of Far East Fine Arts, a well established source for important Chinese paintings and knowledge in the Bay area. As noted in Bonhams catalogue, this painting was subsequently exhibited and published locally on several occasions.

This sale marks the fourth section of Bonhams' sale of Reverend Fabian's collection and will be sold live on Monday morning, March 21st and online through March 24th. Read more, click here

Wang Fangyu: A Wenren in America

March 19, 2022

Wang Fangyu in Short Hills, New Jersey

Wang Fangyu: A Wenren in America, Christie's
March 18-23

During Asia Week Christie's offers the special exhibition about the scholar, collector, teacher, and artist Wang Fangyu (1913-1997), who lived in the New York area after leaving China in 1945. For those who learned from and treasured Wang Fangyu, also known as Fred Wang, and his wife Sum Wai, and for those who were not fortunate enough to know him, this is a rare opportunity to see his imaginative calligraphy and to gain a glimpse into his friendship with influential artists Zhang Daqian, Huang Junbi, Qi Gong and others. When creating the paintings and calligraphy that they made for Wang Fangyu and his wife, they clearly were inspired by such a sophisticated and talented recipient to do their best works.

Christie's exhibition, which is located on the second floor.

The exhibition was prepared by Christie's Chinese paintings specialist Sophia Zhou. Included in the display is a large landscape painting by Bada Shanren, which represents Wang Fangyu's many years of research on this artist. The highlight of the show is an album of inscriptions and paintings by 25 artists and scholars who recorded their visits with Wang Fangyu and his family between 1945 and 1993.

Accompanying the exhibition is an informative online catalogue on Christie's website that not only summarizes Wang Fangyu's biography but also explores the impact that he and his friends made on the field of Chinese painting, both its production and the understanding of its history. A selection of old photographs of Wang Fangyu and his visitors enliven the essay, click here

Asia Week March 2022 - Day 3

March 18, 2022

Anonymous, Young Men Enjoying Pastimes (detail), Edo period, Kanbun era (1661-1673), eight-panel folding screen, Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art

Day 3, Asia Week March 2022

Asia Week New York 2022 hosts a day of previews:

•All 22 gallery exhibitions are open today—find out who's open with this list with handy graph, which you can take with you while you gallery hop. Visit the Dealers' pages for more details and images of highlights.

•Opening today: Art of Japan, Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, Sebastian Izzard Asian Art, and Thomsen Gallery

Bonhams, Heritage Auctions, iGavel and Sotheby's are holding auction viewings today

Akar Prakar, Egenolf Gallery, Kaikodo LLC, and Thomas Murray are live with their online exhibitions today

Asia Week New York's Online Exhibition is available.

Today's Featured Events:

Healing Practices: Stories from Himalayan Americans exhibition opens at
Rubin Museum of Art

Buddhist Art of Gandhara and the ‘Year 5’ Buddha: New Studies in Chronology and Iconography, Juhyung Rhi, Metropolitan Museum of Art at 4:30pm. This program will take place live and be live streamed.

•Evening Receptions at Dai Ichi Arts Ltd, Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, and Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art

Today's Online Program:

Adopt, Adapt, Assimilate, and Transform: Early Chinese Buddhist Sculpture, Robert D. Mowry, Christie's at 1pm

View all calendar events here

Access the full Asia Week schedule here

The Claude de Marteau Collection at Bonhams

March 18, 2022

A 15th century gilt brass statue of Manjushri from the Ming dynasty, Yongle period (1402-1424)

The Claude de Marteau Collection:
Treasures from Tibet, Nepal, India and Southeast Asia

Bonhams

Exhibition in New York: March 16-21

On view in New York after touring Brussels, Geneva, and Paris are highlights from the collection of Claude de Marteau, the highly acclaimed dealer and collector. His unique accumulation of artworks, gathered over decades, spans 1,500 years and includes works from the Hindu and Buddhist cultures that flourished in India, Nepal, Tibet and China.

As a young man, Claude de Marteau stumbled upon the art that was to be his lifelong passion while he was on an extended trip through Afghanistan, over the Hindu Kush to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Entirely self-taught, he became a respected dealer and an eminent authority on Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian and Southeast Asian art. He was renowned for his "great eye and intrinsic aesthetic sensibility", in the words of his friend, the museum curator and scholar of Southeast Asian and Himalayan art and culture, Dr. Pratapaditya Pal.

In his later years, de Marteau increasingly withdrew from public life. Although he displayed some of his collection within his mansion in the diplomatic quarter of Brussels, he kept most works in storage. As a result, only a handful of pieces from Claude's collection have ever been exhibited or published.

A comprehensive survey of the collection was published in December 2021 by the de Marteau Family, in partnership with Bonhams. This catalogue includes essays by Pratapaditya Pal, art historian Jane Casey, and an introduction by Bonhams' specialist Edward Wilkinson. The Claude de Marteau Collection will be offered in four sales by Bonhams in Paris and Hong Kong in June and October 2022 and June and October 2023.

Edward Wilkinson will deliver a live lecture about Claude de Marteau at Bonhams New York at 2pm on Saturday, March 19th (limited seating). Also, the Gandharan Shakyamuni Triad dated to "Year 5" that is the subject of Professor Juhyung Rhi's lecture at the Metropolitan Museum on Friday afternoon, March 18th, was formerly in de Marteau's collection.

Read more, click here

Asia Week March 2022 - Day 2

March 17, 2022

A Rare Teadust-Glazed Oviform Vase, Qianlong Impressed Mark and Period (1736-1795), Lot 1049, Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Christie's

Day 2, Asia Week March 2022-St. Patrick's Day

Asia Week New York 2022 hosts a day of previews:

•19 gallery exhibitions are open today—find out who's open with this list with handy graph, which you can take with you while you gallery hop. Visit the Dealers' pages for more details and images of highlights.

Bonhams, Heritage Auctions, iGavel and Sotheby's are holding auction viewings today

Akar Prakar, Egenolf Gallery, Kaikodo LLC, and Thomas Murray are live with their online exhibitions today

Asia Week New York's Online Exhibition is available.

Today's Featured Events:

•Evening Receptions at Onishi Gallery, TAI Modern, and MIYAKO YOSHINAGA

Today's Online Programs:

Water in a Shared World: Artist Perspectives (Practice or Action),
Asia Society

Fantastic Brush: Twentieth-Century Chinese Ink Art,
Denver Art Museum

Virtual Preview of Japanese and Korean Art Including the Collection of David and Nayda Utterberg and Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Christie's

Panel Discussion with the Celebrated Artist Kondō Takahiro,
Joan B Mirviss LTD

Fashioning an Empire: Design Inspirations from Iran,
National Museum of Asian Art

View all today's calendar events here

Access the full Asia Week schedule here

Gallery Online Exhibitions Now Available

March 17, 2022

L-R: Jayashree Chakravarty (born 1956), Soaring at Akar Prakar; Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), Ichikawa Danjuro IX as Kusunoki Masatsura at the Battle of Shionawate at Egenolf Gallery; Late Eastern Zhou Bronze Garment Hook with Plaques of Jade & Gold, 5th-3rd century B.C. at Kaikodo, and
Patolu Indian Trade Cloth India, found in Indonesia at Thomas Murray

The following four galleries are participating in Asia Week March 2022 with online exhibitions.

Jayashree Chakravarty: Feeling the Pulse (in the pandemic year)
Akar Prakar

March 15-April 15
As explained by Roobina Karode, director and chief curator of KNMA, "Feeling the pulse and sensing all is well has become a preoccupation emphasized more than ever before, with disruptions and disaster that have drawn us to witness sudden, inexplicable loss, extreme vulnerability and anxiety all around. Jayashree has been seeking recuperative energies through her art-making, using grass and roots, seeds and mud, imagining sproutings of a new life from within the fertile tending of her canvas."

View the exhibition, click here

Masterworks by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) was the last of the great 19th century ukiyo-e artists, known for his early works of explicit gore, as well as for his mature works of transcendence and pathos. A consummate draftsman, he developed a unique style of representation and narrative expression after first closely adhering to the manner of his teacher, Utagawa Kuniyoshi. A master at portraying complex narratives, he could illustrate a scene at both the moment of poignant reflection, as well as at the explosive moment of dramatic intensity. Egenolf Gallery is pleased to offer a number of his most famous triptychs, including the Flute Player Triptych (Fujiwara Yasumasa Plays the Flute by Moonlight), widely considered his masterpiece.

View the exhibition, click here

The Ancients Among Us: Chinese and Japanese Paintings and Works of Art
Kaikodo LLC

March 15-25
The Ancients Among Us includes works focusing on characters drawn from antiquity, whether historically real, legendary, or figments of an imagination. A human figure mysteriously appears seated dead-center in the forehead of an otherwise typical gilt-bronze taotie mask. A dignified slender-bodied military official represents his class in a sculptural style and garb typical of the early 6th century while an aristocratic couple in kaleidoscopic color lounge on the lid of a kogo incense container, fashioned by the inimitable Nonomura Ninsei in 17th century Kyoto. Actual historical figures are immortalized in such painted images as that of the illustrious Zen monk Tōran Sōtaku, a contemporary of Ninsei and another of a Manchu noblewoman majestically sitting for her portrait in opulent formal attire. Writhing dragons on a late Zhou dynasty garment hook and a tiger captured in ink and color on silk, by a painter working centuries later, have lorded over the East and the West from time immemorial, their claim to antiquity without peer. And, finally, artists and craftsmen who have slipped into eternity are among us today through their enduring creations in all manner of media, a number of them represented in the exhibition.

View the exhibition, click here

Important Indian, Indonesian and Other Textiles and Masks: Inspiration and Interpretation
Thomas Murray

March 16-25
This Asia Week, Thomas Murray, who is based in California, hosts a display of important textiles and masks on his gallery website. For collectors with particular interest, he also has available a choice selection for examination by appointment in New York.

A number of the textiles are drawn from his new publication, Textiles of Indonesia, which presents an array of traditional weavings from the Indonesian archipelago and provides a unique window into the region's cultures, rites, and history. The objects comprise ritual clothing and ceremonial cloths that tell us much about the traditions of pre-Islamic Indonesian cultures, as well as about the influences of regional trade with China, India, the Arab world, and Europe.

Thomas Murray is currently also offering an exceptional exhibition of masks from numerous tribal groups, ranging from the Himalayas to Indonesia, even a Swiss mask from a remote Alpen valley. These striking images are crafted of a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and papier mache.

View the exhibitions, click here

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