What's Happening in Asian Art...

JASA | Avant-Garde Calligraphy and Zen between Postwar Japan, Europe, and the United States

February 6, 2022

Avant-Garde Calligraphy and Zen between Postwar Japan, Europe, and the United States, Japanese Art Society of America
Free online program, Wednesday, February 9 at 5pm

JASA's February virtual event is the Zoom webinar Avant-Garde Calligraphy and Zen between Postwar Japan, Europe, and the United States. Dr. Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer will present on postwar Japanese calligraphy based on her recent book Bokujinkai: Japanese Calligraphy and the Postwar Avant-Garde.

This talk will introduce the Kyoto-based avant-garde calligraphy group named Bokujinkai, and explore their international trajectories. Bokujinkai—or “People of the Ink”—was a group formed in 1952 by five calligraphers: Morita Shiryū, Inoue Yūichi, Eguchi Sōgen, Nakamura Bokushi and Sekiya Yoshimichi. In the early postwar years, avant-garde calligraphers from Japan radically transformed their art with the aim of bringing calligraphy to the same level of recognition as abstract painting. In order to reach this goal, they launched creative collaborations with European Art Informel artists and American Abstract Expressionists, and soon started sharing exhibition spaces with them at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Documenta in Kassel, São Paulo Biennale and Carnegie International.

During this talk, Dr. Bogdanova-Kummer will examine the role that the postwar global Zen movement played in shaping the success of Japanese calligraphy abroad and will present their collaborations as one of the most fascinating examples of the early postwar global art exchanges.

Advance registration is required for this event. Click here to register

Recordings of earlier online lectures, such as The Japanese Buddhist World Map: Religious Vision and the Cartographic Imagination, held on January 11, 2022, and Hokusai: A Curatorial Perspective, held on December 1, 2021, are available on JASA's website, click here

Trapp Virtual Lecture: Senju’s Waterfall for Chicago

February 5, 2022

Senju, Waterfall, 2019

Trapp Virtual Lecture: Senju’s Waterfall for Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago
Tuesday, February 8th at 5pm CST/6pm EST, free online lecture

Join Senju—a contemporary proponent of Nihonga, traditional Japanese painting—as he discusses his signature Waterfall works.

Senju created the enchanting painted panels on view at the Art Institute specifically for the museum’s Gallery 109, the space designed by architect Andō Tadao. Thinking of the exhibition as a collaboration between himself and the architect across time, Senju tailored the scale and lighting to best suit this distinctive space. Variable lighting in this installation reveals this painting’s two dramatically different “faces,” as Senju calls them. Under regular incandescent lighting, the work expresses the force and motion of falling water. Under black light, the painted waterfalls glow a bright, ethereal blue that activates the entire gallery.

Read more and to register, click here

National Museum of Asian Art | Qianlong: Imperial Collector and Connoisseur

February 4, 2022

"Treasure viewed by the Qianlong emperor," imperial seal impressed on the handscroll The Shu River, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Sneak Peek: New Research from the National Museum of Asian Art
Qianlong: Imperial Collector and Connoisseur

National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution

Online presentation, Tuesday, February 8, 12-1pm

The Qianlong emperor (1711–1799; reigned 1735–1796) ruled the world’s largest and most prosperous empire in the eighteenth century. He was also a passionate collector of art. In this talk, Keith Wilson, Jan Stuart, and Stephen Allee, curators of Chinese art at the National Museum of Asian Art, highlight select antiquities, ceramics, and paintings in the museum that were part of his imperial collection. The three curators briefly discuss aspects of the formation of Qianlong’s collection; its meticulous documentation, which is reflected in imperial catalogues; and its strategic use. The talk sheds light on his habits of inscribing collected art objects and how intrusive his ownership marks can seem to modern audiences.

This talk is part of the monthly lunchtime series Sneak Peek: New Research from the National Museum of Asian Art, where staff members present brief, personal perspectives and ongoing research, followed by discussion. In 2022, the series will focus on collecting practices and the collections of the National Museum of Asian Art.

Read more and register, click here

Dai Ichi Arts Opens Modern Masters: Objects of Affection

February 4, 2022

L-R: Tsuboshima Dohei, Shino Teabowl with Shigaraki Clay, H. 3.6 x Dia. 4.8 in.; Kawakita Handeishi, Teabowl Authenticated by Kato Tokuro, stoneware, H. 3.1 x Dia. 5.6 in.

Modern Masters: Objects of Affection, Dai Ichi Arts Ltd
Now on view-February 28, 2022

This month Dai Ichi Arts presents a group of works by modern masters of Japanese ceramics, organized by the theme Objects of Affection. From small sake cups, tea bowls that rest tenderly in one’s hands, to recent masterpieces by potters, Dai Ichi is glad to present a group of delightful objects this February. The exhibition will feature a group of sake cups by Living National Treasures: Shimaoka Tatsuzo(1919-2007), Arakawa Toyozo (1894-1985), Kamoda Shoji (1933-1983), Miwa Kyusetsu (1910-2012), and more; teabowls by potters who have artful and innovative interpretations of traditional glazes: Ichikawa Toru (b. 1973) and Isezaki Koichiro (b. 1974). The exhibition will be updated throughout the month with new pieces, so stay tuned or get in touch with Dai Ichi Arts to preview the show.

Read more, click here

Asia Week New York celebrates the life of Koichi Yanagi

February 2, 2022

Koichi Yanagi in his gallery at 17 E. 71st Street, New York at an exhibition opening on July 13, 2018.
Photo credit: Julia Meech

Renowned dealer Koichi Yanagi passed away in Kyoto on January 17th at the age of 56. Koichi devoted his life to the appreciation of Japanese art and culture throughout the world and facilitated the acquisition of exquisite art objects by highly regarded public and private collectors.

Born in Kyoto on March 3, 1965, Koichi was the son of pre-eminent dealer Yanagi Takashi and so from an early age was surrounded by fine examples of Japanese art. Koichi moved to New York City in his 20s and in 1991 opened Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts. His third location, at 17 East 71st St., was a refined space that reflected the Japanese preference for natural materials and serene understatement. Their exhibitions were noted for featuring only a few choice items of the highest quality, accompanied by a scholarly catalogue presentation, and displayed with utmost sensitivity and artistry. In addition to being a member of AWNY, the gallery also exhibited with the Japanese Art Dealers Association (JADA).


L-R: Inkstone Box (suzuribako), 17th century, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution;
En-no-Gyōja flanked by Zenki and Koki, Kamakura period, Cleveland Museum of Art; Tsujimura Shirō
(b. 1947), Irabo-type Teabowl, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.

Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts sold Japanese paintings, calligraphy, sculptures, ceramics and lacquerwares—antique and contemporary—and tea ceremony accoutrements to museums throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A few noteworthy examples from the gallery that are now in American museums include the 16th century Portrait of a Warrior in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a 17th-century lacquer inkstone box (suzuribako) and Maple Leaves on a Stream/Mountain Views by Ikeda Koson, both now in the National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution, as well as numerous works by father-and-son potters Tsujimura Shirō and Kai. One of the gallery’s especially interesting sales reunited the Cleveland Museum of Art’s important Kamakura-period sculpture of En no Gyōja with the depictions of Zenki and Koki that originally flanked it.


Ikeda Koson (1801-1866), Maple Leaves on a Stream/Mountain Views (detail), pair of 6-panel screens, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution

These same museums, and numerous others, were also the recipients of the generosity of Koichi and his wife Yuko Hosomi Yanagi, as they donated many paintings and tea ceremony vessels to, among others, the Brooklyn Museum, Princeton Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2010, Koichi arranged for the transport and donation of a tearoom from Kyoto to the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden in North Salem, New York, where it was installed in the Hammond’s library.

His passing is a grave loss, and we will miss the creativity and connoisseurship that Koichi brought to his engagement with Japanese art and shared with like-minded friends. The best summation was written by Holland Cotter in his review in The New York Times of the gallery’s Spring 2002 exhibition Shinto, “It’s possible that there are more beautiful gallery shows in Manhattan right now than this one, but I haven’t seen any.”


Koichi Yanagi and other guests, Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden tearoom, 2010

Asia Society's Instagram Live with Artist Afruz Amighi

February 1, 2022

Afruz Amighi in her studio in Brooklyn. (Image courtesy of the artist.)

Instagram Live with Artist Afruz Amighi, Asia Society
Online program, Friday, February 4 at 10:30am

Join an Instagram Live talk featuring artist Afruz Amighi in conversation with Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe, vice president for global artistic programs and director of Asia Society Museum. Afruz Amighi will go live from her studio in Brooklyn to discuss her artistic practice and her work in Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians — The Mohammed Afkhami Collection.

Afruz Amighi is a sculptor and installation artist, whose installations use a subtle play of light and shadow to generate spaces that recall architectural history while simultaneously engaging with more complex themes of politics, violence, and displacement. Her work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and The Morgan Library & Museum, among others. Born in Iran in 1974 and raised in New York, she completed her BA in political science at Barnard College at Columbia University, before going on to complete her MFA at New York University.

Read more, click here

China Institute presents Meet the Artist

February 1, 2022

Meet the Artist: Han Feng in conversation with curator Nancy Berliner
China Institute

Free online program, Thursday, February 3rd at 6:30pm

Is design art? In the hands of Han Feng, it sure is. The Hangzhou-born clothing designer first brought her fashion work into the performing arts with costumes for Anthony Minghella’s Madame Butterfly at the English National Opera and the Met Opera. Her bespoke couture designs meld Chinese motifs and craftmanship with a bold, modern sensibility. Her passion for the connections between design and art has now led her to open a gallery in Shanghai and to support emerging artists through a residency in New York. Join this online program, as Han Feng discusses inspiration, designs and art with her longtime friend, Nancy Berliner, Senior Curator of Chinese art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Read more, click here

Kamoda Shōji: The Art of Change Webinar

January 31, 2022

Kamoda Shōji: The Art of Change, Zoom Panel Discussion at Joan B Mirviss LTD
An event co-hosted by the Minneapolis Institute of Art for their current exhibition
Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 5pm EST

One of Japan’s most celebrated potters, Kamoda Shōji (1933–1983) had a life-long focus on the interplay among material, form, and surface that helped to revolutionize the way Japanese artists approached ceramics, even to this day. The current exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the first outside of Japan, features nearly 50 works from 10 private American collections and spans the breadth of his brilliant but brief career. Key figures in the making of this exhibition and accompanying publication come together to discuss Kamoda’s commitment to experimentation and innovation.

The discussion will be moderated by Minneapolis Institute of Art’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator Matthew Welch.

LOUISE CORT, Curator Emerita of Ceramics, Freer | Sackler, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
SHIRLEY MCNERNEY RENDELL, Passionate collector of Japanese ceramics
AARON RIO, Associate Curator of Japanese Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Moderated by MATTHEW WELCH, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN

Fully illustrated catalogue, available here

Click here to register: click here

Songtsam Laigu Lodge

January 31, 2022

Situated at 4200 meters, Songtsam Laigu Lodge faces the breathtaking Laigu glaciers.

Songtsam Laigu Lodge
Chamdo prefecture, Tibet, China

Facing Laigu glaciers and at the source of the Purlung Tsangpo River, Songtsam Laigu Lodge is located among snowy mountains, glaciers, and lakes beneath an enormous sky--truly a magical place that is out of this world. As Songtsam's highest property and the most challenging construction endeavor, Laigu Lodge was awarded Winner for Best Architectural Design/Heritage Architecture in the Architecture Master Prize of 2019.

The lodge contains 20 rooms: 16 deluxe rooms and 4 superior suites.

With prime consideration given to the preservation of natural and Tibetan cultural heritage, the building was designed to use modular prefabrication and to be embedded under a high cliff hidden from sight. The project maintains a very harmonious relationship with the texture of the original village.

L-R: Stewed yak ribs with yak soup and potatoes, butter ginseng jam with potatoes, walnut pie

Unforgettable mountain hiking and horseback trips are available, led by local guides, and filled with incredible views of the icy blue glaciers, snow-capped peaks, villages, and forests. When you reach the mountain's peak, savor the scene with a hot coffee and cake!

Available in the lobby bar and restaurant are exceptionally well prepared and healthy meals made of locally sourced food, such as yak meat from the alpine pastures, Tibetan pork raised by villagers, vegetables from Bomi, walnuts from Tacheng, and wine from Shangri La. All enjoyed while gazing out through the large picture windows at the surrounding mountain vistas.

Happy Lunar New Year!

January 28, 2022

Kishi Chikudō (1826-1897), Sitting Tiger, ink and color on paper, Minneapolis Institute of Art

On February 1st, we welcome the new lunar Year of the Water Tiger. Throughout East Asia, this festive occasion is celebrated with a variety of things and actions to encourage good health and prosperity in the coming year. While there are regional variations, the primary activities are cleaning one’s home, hanging red decorations for good luck, offering respect to one’s ancestors, visiting family, lighting firecrackers to ward off demons, gifting money in red packets to children and subordinates, and eating lots of food. Edibles that are thought to bring good fortune are fish, which is synonymous in Chinese with “surplus”; dumplings in the shape of silver ingots to ensure prosperity; and niangao, which symbolizes advancement in the New Year. Conversely, anything that might risk losing the holiday’s good luck, such as washing one’s hair or sweeping the floor, is avoided. This two-week celebration ends with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the New Year.

People born in the year of the tiger are considered brave, strong, confident, and well-liked, although they can be impetuous and irritable. These traits are well expressed in artistic depictions of these powerful creatures. To celebrate the Year of the Tiger, beginning on February 1st, AWNY will post a different art work of a tiger, drawn from our members’ collections, on our Instagram and Red (小红书) social media accounts. Follow us as we get the year off to a roaring start!

Chinese Carved Soapstone Figure of the Lohan Pindola Bharadvaja, ca. 1700, H. 3 1/2 x L. 4 in.,
Ralph M. Chait Galleries

Join AWNY Members for Lunar New Year Events

The Nelson-Atkins Museum, Lunar New Year at the Nelson-Atkins
January 20-February 7
Selection of online videos and family activities, as well as live tours and programs
Read more, click here

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Insider Insights-Celebrating the Year of the Tiger
Saturday, January 29
English: 10-10:10am
Mandarin: 10:30-10:40am
Free online presentations by Curator Jason Sun
Read more, click here

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Virtual Lunar New Year Festival
Saturday, January 29, 10am-5pm
Free online program of performances, interactive activities, and artist-led workshops for all ages
Read more, click here

China Institute, Chinese New Year Online Family Festival
Saturday, January 29, 10am-12pm
Free interactive online family festival with cartooning, art workshops, and story time activities
Read more, click here

Asia Society, Celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Tiger
Saturday, January 29, 1-3:30pm
An online family program of stories, music, dance, and puppets
Read more, click here

National Museum of Asian Art, Lunar New Year’s Eve Reunion Dinner: Holiday-Inspired Cooking Demos
Monday, January 31, 6-7pm
Free online program
Read more, click here

San Antonio Museum of Art, Online Art to Lunch: Year of the Tiger
Thursday, February 3, 12:30-1:30pm CST/1:30-2:30pm EST
Online exploration of the collection as related to the lunar new year
Read more, click here

Charles B. Wang Center, Celebrating the Lunar New Year with
Special Rice Cake Soup

Wednesday, February 16, 1-3pm
Stony Brook University, Skylight Gallery Lobby
Live presentation by Kim’C Market
Read more, click here

China Institute, Chinese New Year Online Variety Show 2022
Tuesday, February 8, 7:30-8:30pm
Online event with music, drums, and a Year of the Tiger Talk
Read more, click here

Charles B. Wang Center, Celebrating Lunar New Year: The Year of Tiger Performances
Friday, March 4, 6-7pm
Stony Brook University, Theatre
Live presentation by the New York Chinese Culture Center
Read more, click here

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