What's Happening in Asian Art...

Songtsam Inaugurates a New Tibetan Art Museum

August 26, 2022

Songtsam Hotels, Resorts and Tours, an award-winning boutique luxury hotel chain in the Tibet and Yunnan provinces of China and sponsor of Asia Week New York, recently announced the official opening of The Songtsam Tibetan Art Museum within the Songtsam Linka Retreat Shangri-La.

Mr. Baima Duoji, Founder and Chairman of Songtsam and former Tibetan documentary filmmaker, is strongly committed to sharing the essence of Tibetan culture with the world, especially with guests who stay at the Songtsam properties. Baima has dedicated his life to educating others about the inspirational and life changing practices of Tibetan philosophy through experiencing the local culture firsthand. Baima, who is passionate about works of art and the stories they tell and is a collector himself, decided to establish The Songtsam Tibetan Art Museum, which will include his personal collection of antiquities. The unique museum will be open to the public as well as Songtsam guests.

Mr. Baima explained the vision for the museum: "The vision of Songtsam Group is to hope that guests from afar could learn more about this land through Songtsam. Songtsam Museum is also one of the ways for people to understand this land. Only when people are in close contact with this land can people truly appreciate the power they nurture with their lives when they think about and pursue beauty."

The Songtsam Tibetan Art Museum, located in Songtsam Linka Retreat Shangri-La, is divided into two sections. The first floor houses Baima’s private collections, which all share a common theme of "craftsmanship and wisdom". The second floor houses the thangka painting center, which displays a collection of religious scroll paintings with cultural significance to the Tibetan people. The beautiful colors of thangkas have evolved for more than 1,800 years and embody the history and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Guests will learn how the thangkas are revered as an encyclopedia of Tibetan culture and play an important role in meditation and worship. This exhibit also displays statues, Tibetan furniture, Buddhist decorations, and miscellaneous smaller pieces, totaling about 380 special objects. The most important parts of the collection include exceptionally rare artifacts, such as the thangka of the Panchen Lama Incarnation Lineage, Go Lotsawa of the 18th century and a 16th century statue of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Bonhams LA Offers The Zen Garden Online Sale

August 25, 2022

The Zen Garden, Bonhams Los Angeles
Online sale, now available through August 30, 2022

This online auction offers a variety of Scholar's Rocks and Mineral Decor for the Home and Garden. With more than 200 lots overall, The Zen Garden sale features a significant private single-owner collection of self-collected mineral works, primarily from California's Death Valley and Palm Desert, as well as a number of scholar rocks dating back as far as the Qing Dynasty. Many lots in the sale are offered without reserve.

Widely celebrated in East Asia, Scholar’s Rocks are an ancient art form that invoke meditation and peace. These porous or dark stones depict a landscape or object and are highly regarded for their simplicity and closeness to nature, inspiring philosophical thought. For a detailed look at the history of Scholar's Rocks, especially the renowned Taihu Rocks, and highlights of the sale, click here.

Orange Calcite Monolith, 80 x 26 x 13 in. and weighing approximately 1300 lbs, Lot 1000w,
Estimate: $10,000-15,000, without reserve

Another highlight in this sale, which is presented by Bonhams Natural History Department, is this large, free-form orange calcite monolith contemplation stone on a Chinese carved custom-fitted wooden base. Nearly seven feet tall and approximately 1,300 lbs., the colossal monolith is contour polished in order to dramatically contrast the orange hue with its black veining. A second related online sale, Gemstones and Exotic Gemstone Jewelry, is concurrently available for bidding now until August 29th.

Akar Prakar Opens Two New Exhibitions

August 24, 2022

C. Douglas, Man with Goat, 1994, mixed media on paper, 11.75 x 7.75 in.

Rose Red Rose Invisible, Visible in My Blood,
Akar Prakar New Delhi

August 23-October 7, 2022

The exhibition Rose Red Rose Invisible, Visible in My Blood, curated by Siddhi Shailendra, takes the viewer on a poetic journey into the creations of artist C. Douglas, while simultaneously asking them to look beyond the narrative of the subject. In Douglas’s works, the real does not always inform his visuals, but his visuals perhaps can be imagined as a reality with the unknown and the fragmented.

The influence of books and literature in Douglas's practice take shape in the form of words and texts as part of his compositions. But paradoxically, the words may never lead to the understanding of the subject matter. As Douglas says "The words are not there to describe the narrative, but to function as image itself. The written words dissolve into calligraphic representations, just as visible lines or geometry". The Rose Red series and the Blind Poet and Butterflies series are hence inspired by the poetry of William Blake, T. S. Eliot, and Fernando Pessoa. One sees motifs like the Blind Poet and Butterflies and the Man with the Mirror repeatedly present as subjects in more than two decades of his practice.

Taking its name from the inscription in a series of artwork, the exhibition Rose Red Rose Invisible, Visible in My Blood highlights Douglas's practice from 1990 to 2022. The exhibition is a survey of more than three decades of the artist’s practice and his use of poetics as a visual language.

Read more, click here.

100 Years of Somnath Hore, Akar Prakar Kolkata
August 27-October 15, 2022
Reception, August 26, 2022, 6-8pm

A printmaker, painter and sculptor, Somnath Hore’s works are a reflection of his sensitivity and empathy towards his subjects. Beginning his practice during some of the hardest social and political time in the country, such as the Bengal famine and the pre-Independence struggle, Hore’s sketches were the visual representation of his first hand experience. In his life, his association with the Communist Party and his personal political beliefs deeply influenced his imagery.

Experimenting with forms and techniques, specially in his printmaking, he was able to invent his own technique known as the white on white pulp prints and popularly referred to as the Wounds series. In his practice, the swift strokes of his ink & brush work, the minimalist representations of his woodcuts, the hollow core of his bronze sculptures or the striking textures of the wounds series became the signature styles of his artistic language.

Read more, click here.

Final Days for Honma Hideaki's Solo Exhibition at TAI Modern

August 24, 2022

Honma Hideaki, Enso, 2020, madake, menyadake & nemagari bamboo, rattan, 20.5 x 37 x 13.75 in.

Honma Hideaki, TAI Modern
Concludes August 27, 2022

This solo exhibition of work by Honma Hideaki, his generation's leading bamboo master, celebrates his 35th working as an artist.

Honma Hideaki’s uncle, the pioneering bamboo artist Honma Kazuaki, had no children, so he adopted Hideaki (who loved to draw and work with his hands) as his son, student, and heir to the family’s bamboo business. The family business was booming at the time, so Honma did not go through a traditional apprenticeship but was immediately put to work harvesting bamboo and preparing material for older employees. Honma now considers himself fortunate not to have undergone formal training before he started creating works of his own because it freed him from the traditional thinking process around how bamboo art is “supposed” to be made.

Born in 1959 in Hatano-cho, Sado-gun, Niigata prefecture, Hideaki draws inspiration for his creations from nature on Sado Island, where he lives, and uses men’yadake, a local variety of bamboo that is soft and flexible. Honma’s process involves (1) sketching out ideas; (2) testing out his ideas using maquettes; (3) making an armature out of wood; (4) constructing the basic structure of the sculpture out of bent bamboo; and (5) filling in this frame with woven bamboo to complete the piece. This process may seem logical to the Western audience, but it is rather unique among bamboo artists in Japan.

Read more about the exhibition, click here.

Listening to Clay at Joan B Mirviss LTD Closing Soon

August 23, 2022

Listening to Clay: Works by Artists Featured in the Latest Book by Alice and Halsey North and Louise Cort, Joan B Mirviss LTD
Concludes August 26, 2022

All sixteen artists showcased in Listening to Clay: Conversations with Contemporary Japanese Ceramic Artists (Monacelli Press/release date: June 14, 2022) are participating in this exhibition in honor of the book’s publication, which was authored by Alice and Halsey North, pioneering collectors and museum patrons, together with Louise Allison Cort, Curator Emerita of Ceramics, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution. Works that best embody the inspirations, challenges, and achievements of their distinguished careers have been selected for this special exhibition. Most of the artists have been long represented by Joan B Mirviss LTD, who has witnessed their impressive artistic development over the decades. Accompanied by the rich personal stories found within the book, the clay works on offer in the exhibition Listening to Clay represent these artists’ innovative brilliance and encapsulate the diversity of ceramics in Japan today.

The gallery exhibition features works by all sixteen artists in the book, Listening to Clay (listed in chronological order):
Hayashi Yasuo (b. 1928)
Mishima Kimiyo (b. 1932)
Morino Hiroaki Taimei (b. 1934)
Kohyama Yasuhisa (b. 1936)
Miyashita Zenji (1939-2012)
Miwa Ryūkishō (Kyūsetsu XII/ Ryōsaku) (b. 1940)
Koike Shōko (b. 1943)
Ogawa Machiko (b. 1946)
Fukami Sueharu (b. 1947)
Kakurezaki Ryūichi (b. 1950)
Miwa Kyūsetsu XIII (Kazuhiko) (b. 1951)
Akiyama Yō (b. 1953)
Kaneta Masanao (b. 1953)
Yagi Akira (b. 1955)
Kitamura Junko (b. 1956)
and Kondō Takahiro (b. 1958)

Read more, click here.

To watch a recording of the online panel discussion Listening to Clay: The Artists, Curators, and Collectors who Listen, held on July 26th, click here.

Last Days for On the Axis at Ippodo Gallery

August 22, 2022

L-R: Kota Arinaga (born 1978), Netz - Indigo, 2021, glass, H. 12 3/4 x W. 10 1/8 x D. 10 1/8 in. and
Kiyoko Morioka (born 1974), Flower Vase, ceramic, H. 10 7/8 x W. 6 7/8 x D. 6 7/8 in.

On the Axis Works by Kota Arinaga and Kiyoko Morioka,
Ippodo Gallery

Last day August 25

Ippodo Gallery's On the Axis is the gallery's first-ever dual exhibition featuring 15 pieces by glass artist Kota Arinaga and 25 by porcelain ceramist Kiyoko Morioka. At first glance, the duality between Arinaga and Morioka is pronounced. Arinaga is a male artist, Morioka female. Arinaga works with the immediacy of glass, while Morioka the patience of kiln firing. And yet, both artists are fascinated by the arcs and axes of time, exploring its dichotomies and the dualities in their work. In the stillness of the exhibition, their explorations complement and challenge one another, so that the viewer can reflect on time’s passages and surprises as it warps or rushes, freezes or evolves. Both glass and clay materials are embedded with the passage of time, requiring expert craftsmanship and patience over an extended period to produce a precious work of art.

To watch a recording of the Artist Talk with Kota Arinaga and Kiyoko Morioka, held by Ippodo Gallery on August 17, click here.

Korea Society's Heeseop Yoon Agglomeration Ends Soon

August 22, 2022

Heeseop Yoon, Still Life with Eiffel Tower, 2022, pen drawing collage on paper, 18 x 24 in., image courtesy of the artist

Heeseop Yoon Agglomeration, Korea Society
Concludes August 25

Although her intricate installations are often so large that they spread over walls onto ceilings and floors, Heeseop Yoon 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 her solo exhibition at The Korea Society, Yoon will show both her large-scaled line drawing installation and intricate black and white drawings.

Watch the recorded Artist's Talk, which Korea Society posted on July 12th, click here.

Visits to Korea Society require advance appointment. To book a date, click here.

Closing Reception for Artists on Site Series 3 at
Asia Society Texas

August 21, 2022

Closing Reception for Artists on Site Series 3,
Asia Society Texas

In-person event, Thursday, August 25th, 6:30-8pm

Join Asia Society Texas's final days of Artists on Site Series 3. Over six weeks, Houston-based artists Luisa Duarte, Ruhee Maknojia, Matt Manalo, and Lanecia Rouse Tinsley have each transformed their respective gallery spaces through artistic exploration. Visit with the artists during this free reception and learn more about their practices while enjoying the results of the artists' time on-site.

L-R: Houston-based artists Luisa Duarte, Ruhee Maknojia, Matt Manalo, and Lanecia Rouse Tinsley, whose works are on view this week at Asia Society Texas.

The Artists on Site project was developed in 2020 as an initiative that transforms the galleries into studio and project spaces for Houston-based artists. The idea was born out of conversations starting in early 2020 with many artists, both in Houston and throughout the country, to develop ways that Asia Society Texas could support them and their practices. Through the gallery presentations and related programs, visitors will have the opportunity to connect with these artists and the critically important insights they contribute.

Read more about the artists, click here

JASA Presents Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection Webinar

August 18, 2022

Summer kimono (hito-e) with swirls, Taishō (1912–26)–Shōwa period (1926–89), 1920s–30s, printed gauze-weave (ro) silk with twisted wefts, 60 13/16 × 45 in. (154.5 × 114.3 cm). Promised Gift of John C. Weber. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by Paul Lachenauer

Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection Webinar,
Japanese Art Society of America

Online program, Wednesday, August 24, 5pm EDT

For those who missed JASA's June 28th in-person tour of the exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, on Wednesday, August 24, 5 p.m. EDT, please join the Zoom Webinar Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection, with Monika Bincsik, Diane and Arthur Abbey Associate Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Dr. Bincsik will share her curatorial perspectives on the transformation of the kimono from the late Edo period (1615–1868) through the early 20th century.

Read more and register, click here

Insider Insights: The Japanese Kimono at the Met

August 17, 2022

Meisen Kimono with Water Droplets, Shōwa period (1926–89), ca. 1930s, plain-weave silk warps and machine-spun silk wefts in double ikat (heiyō-gasuri), 59 × 49 1/4 in. (149.9 × 125.1 cm).
Promised Gift of John C. Weber

Insider Insights: The Japanese Kimono, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Online program, Saturday, August 20, 2022, 10am-10:30am

Monika Bincsik, Diane and Arthur Abbey Associate Curator of Japanese Decorative Arts, The Met
Marco Leona, David H. Koch Scientist in Charge, Scientific Research, The Met
Join Met experts to explore the history and modernization of the Japanese kimono. Learn about Japan’s famed weaving, dying, and embroidery techniques along with discoveries from new scientific research.


Free. Please note: This program is prerecorded and presented in conjunction with the exhibition Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection.
Watch on Facebook or YouTube. Note: No login required. Read more, click here.

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