What's Happening in Asian Art...

Object in focus

August 20, 2021

Women at the Well, Attributed to Mihr Chand, Mughal, Faizabad, Awadh, ca. 1765-70, Ink and opaque watercolor with gold on paper, 8 1⁄2 x 3 1/8 in. (20.5 x 13 cm.), courtesy of Kapoor Galleries

Provenance:
George Halla, Czech Republic consul to New South Wales, 1948.
Thence by descent.
Private collection, Sydney.

This masterful painting is an intriguing variant of a scene drawn from Indian literature and popularized in numerous 17th- and 18th-century Mughal paintings, that is, the chance encounter between a noble out hunting blackbuck and a comely village maiden at a well. Sparks of attraction fly as the man locks eyes with the woman pouring water to slake his thirst. The hunter, who is normally mounted and armed with a bow and arrow, pointedly relinquishes the physical advantage of his higher social station by having to reach up to the woman on the wellhead. In this iteration, however, that nobleman stands directly on the ground, holding only a long spear, and is accompanied by two unlikely fellow travelers: a mulla tendering a small covered bowl in his raised hand, and a tribal man with a shaved head, bare chest, and a grass lower garment. Surprisingly, it is the latter figure who reaches around the nobleman to extend a gourd-shaped cup to accept the gift of water, in effect displacing the customary romantic charge of village hospitality.

As usual, the woman pouring out refreshment is juxtaposed with two others hauling up water. Inventively, he assigns prominent positions in the composition to two other figures who bookend the panoply of village life: a naked, European-inspired toddler plunked down beside a basket and amusedly feeding a pair of ducks, and an old woman seated on a low stool passing time in spinning while she minds the infant. The exceptionally sensitive rendering of the dowager’s aged face and body is matched by the remarkably well-observed account of the utilitarian objects she holds – a spindle wound with cotton thread in her right hand and a wooden niddy-noddy supporting two skeins of thread in her left.

The only 18th-century artist skilled enough to begin to approximate the subtle sense of light and shadow, soft contours, muted palette, and stippled surface of the present painting is Mihr Chand (active ca. 1759-86), who worked for Nawab Shuja‘ al-Dawla and the Swiss adventurer Antoine Polier at Faizabad, the one-time capital of Awadh. Mihr Chand’s diverse artistic interests and high level of technical accomplishment allowed him to paint in a number of different manners, many of which feature hard-edged forms, pronounced shadows, and deep landscapes with low horizons. Others are conspicuously softer in style, as seen here in the faces of the nobleman and tribal figure.
By Dr. John Seyller

For more information, click here.

The recording of our webinar, The Color that Changed the World: The Impact of Blue in Asian Art is online

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797−1858), Kinkizan on Enoshima Island in Sagami Province (Sōshū Enoshima Kinkizan), Color woodblock print: aiban yoko-e uchiwa-e, 8⅞ x 11½ in. (22.5 x 29.2 cm), courtesy of Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art

The recording of our July 29th Zoom webinar, The Color that Changed the World: The Impact of Blue in Asian Art, a fascinating discussion by five expert panelists about this topic, is available to view on our website.

Click here to watch the webinar

TAI Modern Virtual Artist Talk: Isohi Setsuko on Wednesday, August 18

August 16, 2021

Isohi Setsuko, Blooming Garden, 2019, madake bamboo, rattan, 5.75 x 12.50 x 6.50 in., courtesy of TAI Modern

TAI Modern Virtual Artist Talk: Isohi Setsuko
Wednesday, August 18
4:00pm PST / 5:00pm MST / 6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join Japanese bamboo artist Isohi Setsuko in her studio in Otawara-Shi for a discussion of works in her solo exhibition on view through August 28th. Viewers will have the opportunity to hear Isohi talk about her process and inspiration. Discussion and Q&A will follow.

To register now, https://events.eventzilla.net/e/isohi-setsuko-artist-talk-2138802655

Thomas Murray is participating in the Santa Fe Virtual Show from August 11-15 (Booth 31).

August 13, 2021

Sora langi woman’s tube skirt (opened), Toraja, Sulawesi, Second half 19th Century, 72 x 56 in / 183 x 145 cm, courtesy of Thomas Murray.

Thomas Murray is taking part in Santa Fe Virtual Show from August 11-15 (Booth 31).

One of the piece in the show is this Sora langi. This is the name of a rectangular cloth that could be stitched up on the vertical seam and worn as a tube skirt, however many were kept as flat textiles and used ceremonially. These are relatively rare and comparatively early, with this most likely dating to the mid 19th Century. It is thought that they were woven in Galumpang to the taste of the ethnic groups living to the north in the Bada, Napu and other valleys. The colors are deep and the fine line progressions offer a very fine aesthetic.

Click here to view show website

New exhibition at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

August 12, 2021

Utagawa Hiroshige. Ferry Boats on the Fuji River in Suruga Province. Japanese. ca. 1832. Color woodblock print. 9 1/4 x 14 5/8 inches (23.495 x 37.1475 cm). Courtesy of Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Origins: Collecting to Create the Nelson-Atkins
August 14 - March 6, 2022

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City opened its doors in 1933, but the collection was beginning to be built at a frantic pace three years prior. The new exhibition, Origins: Collecting to Create the Nelson-Atkins, explores the very beginnings of the collection as well as the people who made choices about what types of art to collect, the challenges and opportunities of acquiring art during the Great Depression, and the vast diversity of the museum’s first objects. There are more than 50 artworks in the exhibition, most of them acquired in the museum’s first 10 years.

The Nelson-Atkins is the legacy of two Kansas Citians: newspaper publisher William Rockhill Nelson and retired teacher Mary Atkins. Both left funds upon their deaths to create an art museum in Kansas City: Atkins’ money for a building, and Nelson’s to acquire art. The group who managed Nelson’s estate were responsible for assembling the future museum’s art collection.

“Laurence Sickman was one of the museum’s first advisors on Asian art,” said MacKenzie Mallon, Provenance Specialist at the Nelson-Atkins. “He acquired much of the museum’s foundational Chinese art collection, including some of its most important works, and became our first Curator of Asian Art in 1935.”

For more details, https://nelson-atkins.org/exhibitions/origins/

There's only one week left to view the Asia Week New York Summer Exhibition

August 9, 2021

A Safavid cobalt-backed blue-and-white pottery dish, Persia, probably Kirman, mid-seventeenth century, 41.5 cm., 16 1/8 in. diameter; 8 cm., 3 1/8 in. height, courtesy of Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch Ltd.

This dish is one of the works of Asian art featured in the exhibition, illustrating the beauty and range of material where the color blue is used as the primary decorative motif. Others include Chinese blue and white porcelain, contemporary Japanese ceramics and glass, Japanese prints and more.

The recording of our July 29th Zoom webinar, The Color that Changed the World: The Impact of Blue in Asian Art, a fascinating discussion by five expert panelists about this topic, will be available to view on our website very soon.

Object in Focus

Oribe Mukouzuke-Chaire, Momoyama - Early Edo Period, Early 17th century, Japan, 10cm High x 8.2cm Wide, courtesy of Zetterquist Galleries

This delightful little object illustrates the playful, innovative side of Oribe ceramics in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Originally produced as a small basket-form food bowl in the early 17th century, it was later repurposed as a tea caddy, with the addition of the lacquered ebony lids. A combination of the russet glaze of the handle and the green glazed stripes on the body have melded during the firing and created ruby red drips at the bottom, a fortuitous gift from the kiln gods!

It is an early Narumi-type Oribe basket-shaped bowl of double lozenge form, with high-arched rust colored handle that spans the center. The underside is flat, and has a recessed circular underfoot with turned pin lines typical of Oribe pieces of this early period. The underside is unglazed, revealing a light brown clay body. The interior is buff and white, with soft transitions from flat bottom to vertical walls. The exterior sides are buff colored and decorated with stripes, hanging fruit and a single plum blossom outlined in black and highlighted in white and celadon green glaze. The celadons mix with the iron oxide to pool in rare ruby-red droplets near the foot. A flat wooden lid is custom fitted to the top, and splits in two at the handle, to allow use as a tea caddy for the Japanese tea ceremony. In a fitted lacquer box with silver inlay inscription, “Oribe”.

A double-lozenge form bowl with handle was excavated in the Nakano-cho site in Kyoto City, and is published in “Momoyama Tea Utensils: A New View”, Nezu Museum Tokyo 2018. pg. 60. Another larger example is published in “Turning Point; Oribe and the Arts of the 16th Century Japan”, Yale University Press 2003. pl. 64. See Nippon Touji Zenshu, Chuo Publishing 1976 pl. 16 for similar countersunk foot with pin lines on a similarly dated mukouzuke.

Provenance: Niiseki Kinya Collection, Yokohama Japan.

For more information, click here.

New Arrivals at Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd.

August 9, 2021

Shimaoka Tatsuzō, (1919-2007), Living National Treasure, H9" x Dia 8.5" x Lip 5" (H22.8 x Dia 21.5 x Lip Dia 12.7cm), Glazed stoneware with signed wood box, Ash Glazed Jar With Carved Design, Courtesy of Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd.

Shown above is one of the new arrivals at Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. An original early creation of Shimaoka Tatsizo, LNT (1919-2007), this wheel thrown jar showcases a rich green ash glaze. The three waved pattern carved underneath the glaze adds to the dynamic character of the jar. A student of Hamada Shoji, Shimaoka Tatsuzo is nominated as Living National Treasure as well for his contribution to the Mingei movement in Mashiko ceramics.

For more information, click here.

Secret Korean Art Collection From Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art

July 28, 2021

Blue and white ceramic jar with phoenix design, 29.5 x 41cm , Yi Dynasty, 18th century, Published; “Blue and White Ceramics from Late Choson Dynasty” (Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka), Courtesy of Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art

July 17-August 17

Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art will launch a new online exhibition from 17th July in conjunction with Asia Week New York Summer 2021 Exhibition: Shades of Blue. The gallery usually introduce Japanese art at Asia Week New York in March, but they also handle Korean art. This is Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art's first exhibition of Korean works. Shown above is another blue and white piece in addition to their Dragon jar in Asia Week New York Summer 2021 Exhibition.

For more detail, https://www.h-yanagi.com/korea/

The History of Ōhi Ware with Ōhi Chōzaemon XI at Onishi Gallery

July 26, 2021

BLUE AND WHITE OHI CEREMONIAL VESSEL “SONSU 01", 2021, stoneware, h. 8 1/2 x w. 13 1/2 x d. 6 1/4 in., (21.6 x 34.4 x 15.8 cm)

From 3 July to 31 August, Onishi Gallery is pleased to present, The History of Ohi Ware: Ohi Chozaemon XI, featuring works from the 11th generation head of the iconic pottery ware family based in Kanazawa. Steeped in rich history and tradition, Chozaemon XI uses the generational knowledge passed on by his ancestors to elevate Ohi ware to a contemporary realm.

In 1666, Lord Maeda Tsunanori of the Maeda clan requested Senso Soshitsu, the fourth-generation Urasenke tea master to teach him the art of tea ceremony in the Kaga Domain. Ohi Chozaemon accompanied Senso on this assignment and started producing tea bowls with clay sourced from Ohi, an area outside of Kanazawa.

Ohi Chozaemon I was a direct descendant of the master potter Raku Chojiuro. Combining his learned Raku techniques with the tutelage of Senso Soshitsu, Ohi established a unique kiln of Raku tradition that was unprecedented in Kanawawa at the time.

Click here to explore the viewing room

Object in focus

July 24, 2021

Manish Pushkale, River, Acrylic on canvas, 2021, 122 x 297 cms, courtesy of Akar Prakar

Manish Pushkale (b. 1973 in Bhopal, India) lives and works in New Delhi. As an artist, Pushkale has made significant contributions to contemporary art practices through his unique approach. He has developed a language of abstraction that carries an imprint of his own, rooted in the Indian aesthetics.

His works have been widely exhibited in India and Internationally over the last 25 years. He represented the country at the Festival of India in France (2016), with an exhibition at Musée de Guéthary, with Akar Prakar and ICCR. He has also exhibited his work along with his guru S.H. Raza on multiple occasions, including the Venice Biennale (2010). He is the recipient of many awards and residencies, such as a fellowship at the Nantes Institute of Advanced Study (2014), and Grand Award, Bharat Bhavan Biennale, Bhopal (2018). He is a trustee of The Raza Foundation and has written books and columns on art.

To view Akar Prakar's current show of his work, click here.

Asia Week New York Presents The Color that Changed the World: The Impact of Blue in Asian Art Webinar Thursday, July 29, 5:00 p.m. EDT

July 24, 2021

Mizusashi (Fresh Water Jar) with Handle, Ko-sometsuke ware, Jingdezhen kilns, Jiangxi province, China, Ming dynasty, 17th century, Porcelain decorated with underglaze cobalt blue, D 20.3 x H 26.4 cm, Courtesy of Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts

First produced by the Egyptians over 6,000 years ago, blue pigment has been a prized component in some of the greatest works of art in world culture and Asia ranks high among them. A distinguished panel of specialists and curators in Asian art will present perspectives on the development and impact of cobalt blue, indigo and dayflower in their specific fields of Chinese and Japanese art.

Says Dessa Goddard, Chairman of Asia Week New York and discussion moderator: “Asia Week New York is delighted to host this lively presentation with some of the world’s top authorities on the history, composition, use and aesthetic appeal of the color blue in Asian art.”

To reserve a spot, for Thursday July 29, at 5:00 p.m. (EST) click here

Monika Bincsik is Diane and Arthur Abbey Associate Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She has organized several exhibitions for the museum, notably Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and The Met (2015), Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection (2017), and Kyoto: Capital of Artistic Imagination (2019). She has published numerous articles on Japanese decorative arts and collecting history and was co-author and co-curator of The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated (2019).

Steven Chait is the President of Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc. in New York City. The gallery, founded by their namesake and Steven’s grandfather, Ralph M. Chait in 1910, is the oldest specialist dealing in fine antique Chinese porcelains and works of art in the United States. Over its remarkable long history, the gallery has worked with and sold to museums and private collectors throughout the world.

Joe V. Earle was Vice-President and Director of Japan Society Gallery in New York from 2007 to 2012 and has held leadership positions in Asian art departments at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Now based in London, he works as Senior Consultant for Bonhams in the U.S. and UK and advises collectors and dealers on three continents. He has also resumed his former career as an author of Japanese art catalogues, with ten titles published over the last six years.

Denise Patry Leidy who received a doctorate from Columbia, is currently the department head, and Ruth and Bruce Dayton Curator of Asian Art, at the Yale University Art Gallery. She has also served as a curator in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Asia Society, as well as in The Metropolitan Museum of Art where she was the Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art (emerita). Leidy, who is an active lecturer, has also curated numerous exhibitions including Ceremonial Dress of Southwest China, Japan’s Global Baroque, Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection, Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom, The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty, Mother-of-Pearl: A Tradition in Asian Lacquer, and Defining Yongle: Imperial Art in Fifteenth Century China. Her publications include How to Read Chinese Ceramics, The Art of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its History and Meaning, Wisdom Embodied: Chinese Buddhist and Daoist Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mandala: The Sacred Architecture of Enlightenment, and the forthcoming Celadon on the Seas.

Veronica Miller has been a specialist in 18th-20th c. Japanese prints since she began training with Herbert Egenolf in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1992, following a brief career in marine biology. She has been the owner of Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints (member of the IFPDA and Ukiyo-e Dealers Association of Japan) since 2002. Museum clients have included the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Portland Art Museum, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, to name a few. A specialist in the art of Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), she has been the main source of René and Carolyn Balcer’s near-complete collection of Hasui, which now resides at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She lives with her husband, David Mota, in California.

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