What's Happening in Asian Art...

Ralph M. Chait Galleries in the Nantucket Summer Antiques Show

July 21, 2021

RARE CHINESE TURQUOISE GLAZED PORCELAIN FIGURE OF A YOUTH RIDING UPON A LEAPING CARP, Ca: early 19th century, Height: 7 inches (18 cm.), Courtesy of Ralph M. Chait Galleries.

The Show runs from August 6 - 9 with a Preview Party on the evening of August 5 at the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club, located at 61 Sparks Avenue.

Ralph M. Chait Galleries will be displaying a fine variety of antique Chinese porcelain, pottery, export silver, scholar's rocks, and works of art. They look forward to exhibiting in-person once again, and seeing many of you there!

Click here to view show website

Saitō Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening at John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art

July 16, 2021

Saitō Kiyoshi, 1907–1997, Shinadera Nagasaki, Designed in 1955, printed 1956, Woodblock print; ink and color on paper, 60 × 84 cm, John & Mable Museum of Art, Gift of Charles and Robyn Citrin, 2014, SN11412.83

Saitō Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening
John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art
March 14-August 15, 2021

Saitō Kiyoshi’s (1907–1997) keen sense of design, superb technique, and engagement with a variety of appealing themes made him one of the best-known and most popular Japanese print artists of the twentieth century.

In the wake of the Second World War, Saitō emerged as a seminal figure of the modernist creative print movement, in which artists claimed complete authorship of their work by carving and printing their own designs. He flourished as the movement attracted patrons among members of the occupying forces and, later, Western travelers for business and pleasure. Honors at the 1951 São Paulo Biennial launched him and the creative print movement to prominence at home and abroad. When new diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Japan provided opportunities for Japanese artists to exhibit, teach, and live abroad, Saitō was among the first to do so, thus further broadening his audience.

Presenting recent donations of artworks by Saitō from Charles and Robyn Citrin to The Ringling and other collections, Saitō Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening is the first comprehensive exhibition of this artist's work in the United States. The exhibition focuses on prints Saitō created in the 1940s and 50s, arguably the most vibrant period of his career, and includes several rare, early designs.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 200-page illustrated catalogue edited by Rhiannon Paget and with essays by Paul Binnie, Noriko Kuwahara, Rhiannon Paget, and Judith A. Stubbs, and published by Scala.

For more detail

Exhibition catalogue

Asia Week New York Summer 2021 Exhibition: Shades of Blue goes live today at 4pm EDT!

July 15, 2021

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

Asia Week New York is excited to present our Summer 2021 Exhibition: Shades of Blue, which explores the many ways the color blue, especially in combination with white, transformed Asian Art. First produced by the Egyptians 6,000 years ago, the discovery of blue pigment, in the form of cobalt blue and indigo dyes, led to the creation of many now classic styles of decoration in Asian art. For example, blue and white porcelain became a major style of decoration from Safavid Persia to the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties of China and later throughout Asia, including Vietnam, Japan and Korea. Much admired throughout the world, it was also imitated in Europe.

In the early 19th century with the introduction of Prussian blue, a genre of Japanese prints, known as aizuri-e, exclusively used blue, while indigo dyes were extensively used in many Asian textiles, notably in the rustic textiles of rural Japan and the tribal textiles of Southeast Asia and China.

The online exhibition, which features one work of art from each of the 29 galleries and 6 auction houses–Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage, iGavel and Sotheby’s, goes live today at 4pm and runs until August 15.

Click here to view the exhibition

The National Gallery of Asian Art is re-opening on July 16

July 13, 2021

Qing dynasty, ca. 1700-1750, China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen, Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear glaze, H x Diam: 6 × 35.7 cm (2 3/8 × 14 1/16 in), Gift of Harriett C. Mathews in honor of Adriana Johanna Chutter-Kasteleijn, Image courtesy of Freer Gallery of Art

The Freer Gallery of Art will reopen to the public on Friday, July 16. As we begin a gradual, phased reopening of the museum, we’re putting safety first with enhanced measures in place to ensure the well-being of visitors, volunteers, and staff. Visitors must follow the safety requirements listed on this page. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will remain closed until November for exhibition construction.

Free. Timed-entry passes will not be required.

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW
Friday–Tuesday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Learn More

Zoom Panel Discussion at Joan B Mirviss LTD

July 12, 2021

Ajiki Hiro (b. 1948),Teabowl, 2010, Glazed stoneware with gold lacquer, 4 x 4 1/2 in.

Golden Renewal: Understanding Kintsugi Repair
    Thursday, July 22nd at 5pm EDT

Alluring and intriguing, kintsugi has lately caught on in Western popular culture and has shown up in various conversations well beyond art. For centuries, this Japanese form of lacquer repair with gold has been used to restore functional ceramics. Meaning ‘gold joining,’ kintsugi is interconnected with the long history of tea culture and the craft tradition in Japan. More recently, kintsugi has found resonance with those who seek a deeper meaning in the golden veins running along the cracks of a once-broken plate or cup. Our diverse panelists will illuminate the many aspects of kintsugi that will allow us to better understand its origins, technique, and application for collectors and connoisseurs of Japanese art. 

    Mina Brenneman, collector of ceramics
    Meghen M. Jones, Professor of art history at Alfred University
    Bonnie Kemske, author of Kintsugi: The Poetic Mend
    Gen Saratani, lacquer artist and kintsugi specialist

Click here to register for the event

A confirmation email with the invitation link will be automatically sent to you once you register.

Japanese Prints from the Read-Simms Collection at the Gibbes Museum of Art

July 12, 2021

KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849) South Wind, Clear Dawn (Red Fuji) from the series Thirty-six Views of Fuji, ca. 1831-33, Color woodblock print, 10x15 inches, Image courtesy of Gibbes Museum of Art

Exhibition Dates:
April 30, 2021 - October 3, 2021

The Gibbes Museum of Art is home to one of the most significant collections of Japanese woodblock prints in the Southeast. This exhibition will present 60 exceptional and rare prints amassed by Charleston collector, Motte Alston Read, and his sister, Mary Read Hume Simms of New Orleans, during the first decades of the 20th century. The Read-Simms Collection reflects the full range of popular print subjects by master Ukiyo-e artists of the Edo period, from famous Kabuki theater actors portrayed by Suzuki Harunobu and Tōshūsai Sharaku in the 18th century, to vibrant landscapes by Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai in the 19th century.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring entries by Japanese fine art specialist, Sebastian Izzard Ph.D., and an in-depth essay on the collectors.

This exhibition made possible by generous sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and Artizom.

For more information, click here

Asia Week New York Presents Their Summer 2021 Exhibition: Shades of Blue

July 9, 2021

An Unusually Large Kraak Bowl, Late Ming dynasty, Late 16th-early 17th century, Diameter: 36.5 cm. (14 3/8 in.), Height: 17.0 cm. (6 3/4 in.), Courtesy of Kaikodo LLC

Asia Week New York is pleased to announce that Shades of Blue, a Summer 2021 online exhibition which includes one work of art from each of the two-dozen plus galleries and 6 auction houses–Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage, iGavel and Sotheby’s. The online show opens on July 15th and will run through August 15th.

“We are delighted to present our summer exhibition, Shades of Blue, which explores the many ways blue has transformed Asian art,” says Dessa Goddard, Chairman of Asia Week New York.

First produced by the Egyptians 6,000 years ago, the discovery of blue pigment, in the form of cobalt blue and indigo dyes, led to the creation of many now classic styles of decoration in Asian art. For example, blue and white porcelain became a major style of decoration from Safavid Persia to the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties of China and later throughout Asia, including Vietnam, Japan and Korea. Much admired throughout the world, it was also imitated in Europe.

In the early 19th century with the introduction of Prussian blue, a genre of Japanese prints, known as aizuri-e exclusively used blue, while indigo dyes were extensively used in many Asian textiles, notably in the rustic textiles of rural Japan and the tribal textiles of Southeast Asia and China.

As of press time, the following galleries are presenting works in Shades of Blue:

An Important Enamelled Pandan, Mughal, Akbar period, possibly from Multan in the Punjab, c.1570-1600, Gilt copper and champlevé enamel, 7 cm high ; 14.5 cm diameter (max), courtesy of Francesca Galloway

Ancient and/or Contemporary Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art

The application of blue pigment, a compound of cobalt oxide, onto ceramics dates to 9th century Islamic Mesopotamia. However, its presence in Chinese ceramics was largely unknown until the arrival of the cobalt blue pigment in China from Persia in the early 14th century. This blue and white Faience plate at Art Passages painted in two shades of underglaze blue on a white background is in imitation of a Chinese Kraak ware that was so popular that the Persian potters were challenged to meet this growing demand for the Chinese blue and white ceramics by the rulers and the elites.

Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch, Ltd. offer a mid-17th century Safavid cobalt-backed blue and white pottery dish, from Persia. This type of bowl with its distinctive incised decoration and brilliant cobalt blue glaze on the reverse, dates to the reign of Shah Abbas II (1642-66), ruler of Iran, when the arts of the Safavid royal court were at their zenith and is possibly amongst the most sophisticated group of Persian ceramics of its time.

An important 16th/17th century Mughal paandaan will be available at Francesca Galloway. This eight-petalled and lobed box and cover is one of the earliest examples of Indian copper enameling to have survived. Displaying the imaginative skill of its artist, it is a beautiful and quite extraordinary early Mughal object.

The 18th century Nepalese opaque watercolors Illustrations from the Ramayana at Kapoor Galleries illustrate a portion of the Ramayana, as the three figures on the right side of the composition resemble the exiled triad at the center of the Indian epic: Krishna’s avatar Rama, his betrothed, Sita, and his brother Lakshmana. The seven sages depicted, however, may very well be the saptarishi or celestial brothers born from Brahma.

An exceptionally rare handspun Proto-Batik with an ancient Kawung pattern, is available at Thomas Murray. This is an important aesthetic and art historical fragment from an old Japanese collection of textiles.

Susan Ollemans presents an enormous 19th century silver, enamel and glass mirror ring from Lahore, Pakistan. When a couple married, it became customary for the bride to wear a mirror ring so that her future husband could glance at his betrothed’s face under her veil for the first time.

Featured at Akar Prakar, is Metaphors of my terrain, by Manish Pushkale, who articulates his fascination with geology, archaeology, and epigraphy in compelling, enigmatic creations. The melding of these varied ideas is evident in this captivating work. He employs the running stitch associated with the kantha tradition of embroidery as his generative motif, playing it out over surfaces animated by a palette of reds, ochres, and umbers. The painted stitch morphs into rivers, ravines, rising terraces as in a survey map. The colors are reminiscent of the textile and embroidery arts of the nomadic communities that traverse what had once been the Dakshinapatha, the great trade route connecting the northern cities of Varanasi and Vidisha with the capitals of the peninsula, Pratishthana, Madurai and Kanchipuram.

Runjeet Singh presents a remarkable 18th-19th century Turkish blue glass handled knife from the Ottoman empire which brilliantly exemplifies the artistry often applied to exceptional pieces of arms and armor.

Ancient and/or Contemporary Chinese Art

Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc. will feature a magnificent early to mid-18th century Chinese blue and white soft paste porcelain jar, decorated with the Sanduo (Three Sacred Fruit), and finely painted in deep underglaze blue.

Ai Weiwei’s ‘Blue and White Porcelain Plate (Crossing of the Sea), 2017 at Chambers Fine Art is from an important series of works in which the decorative motifs typical of classical Chinese porcelain have been replaced with imagery derived from Weiwei’s personal experience with the refugee crisis.

A wool pile rug on a cotton foundation from Ningxia in Western China dating to the first half of the 19th century is offered by Nicholas Grindley LLC.

Ink Studio features an ink drawing by Peng Kanglong, a literati-recluse artist who paints in the traditional landscape and flower genres. His major stylistic influences include the 17th century Monk artists Shitao and Kuncan, as well as the Modern landscape master Huang Binghong. Landscape and flower painting are two distinct genres with their own metaphoric languages, painting techniques, representative masters and developmental histories. Kanglong is perhaps the first ink artist to explore the artistic possibilities of integrating these formerly separate genres.

Mammoth, monumental, colossal, enormous are words that go only so far when describing this late-16th/early 17th century Ming dynasty bowl at Kaikodo LLC. Seeing it in real life is the only way to be dazzled by its tremendous size. The massive yet surprisingly light-weight bowl was perfectly potted and fired, painted in underglaze cobalt—a watery brilliant blue in the interior ranging to more subtle tones on the exterior, all beneath a bright, clear glaze, the composition arranged in panels enclosing botanical and geometric motifs combined with Buddhist emblems and the bottom interior roundel with riverine lotus and geese.

At Zetterquist Galleries, a small Ming Dynasty blue and white food bowl with a pendant and Ruyi–Middle Eastern scrolling–is of a type often made for export to Southeast Asia and Middle Eastern markets during the 15th and 16th centuries.

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

Ancient and/or Contemporary Japanese Art

The Art of Japan showcases Hiroshige’s woodblock print, #109 Minami, Shinagawa, Samezu Coast (1857), an excellent example of the artist’s masterful use of the blue dyes/pigments from his most well-known series of prints from the 100 Views of Edo.

Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd. features a stoneware incense burner by Shimizu Uichi, the Living National Treasure. This historical lineage of celadon ware is referenced in this piece, where Shimizu’s transparent glaze takes on an icy, blue-white color. While this textured glaze, which showcases small cracks on a jade-like veneer, references rare Guan pottery, the three-footed silhouette of the object highlights a mountain-scape at its summit.

Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints is presenting Evening Snow, Edo River (Blue Version), a first edition Japanese woodblock print by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957).

Hara Shobo is showing Mother and child looking at Goldfish candies (Kinkato) on a blue and white dish, from the series Fashionable striped fabrics made to order (Atsurae some tosei shima), a Japanese polychrome woodcut print by Utagawa Toyokuni III, circa.1844.

Kinkizan on Enoshima Island in Sagami Province (Sōshū Enoshima Kinkizan), by Utawaga Hiroshige at Sebastian Izzard LLC, emanates from an untitled series of fan prints depicting famous landscapes in and around Sagami Province.

Joan B Mirviss LTD, is showing a bold and inventive vessel by the Living National Treasure, Matsui Kōsei (1927-2003), who was the seminal figure in the revival of neriage (marbleized clay). This signature, blue and white gradated, brush-rubbed, marbleized globular stoneware vessel dates to the artist's middle period, circa 1982. While a priest at Gessō-ji Temple in Kasama, Japan, Matsui studied ancient Chinese ceramics to perfect his neriage technique but his original, abstract works with geometric surface patterns far surpassed these historic precedents.

At her eponymous gallery MIYAKO YOSHINAGA, presents Yojiro Imasaka’s, Blue Bayou 9, a hypnotic interpretation of this mysterious Louisiana landscape, creating an illusion of natural beauty in just two colors, their nuanced tonality reminiscent of solemn blue-and-white porcelain.

Sonsu, the blue and white Ohi ceremonial vessel at Onishi Gallery, by Ohi Toshio Chozaemon XI, exemplifies his personal perspective and understanding of his family’s 300-year-old heritage, and applies a contemporary twist to the signature amber color of Ohi ceramics. By incorporating the color of blue and white, Ohi is developing a new family tradition.

In this impression of Niagara Falls, available at Scholten Japanese Art, Hiroshi Yoshida contrasts layers of light and dark blue swirls of water in the foreground against the soft pink mist drifting upwards towards tufts of pale cotton candy pink and lavender clouds. In 1924, he was involved with a traveling exhibition of paintings and prints in America which was organized to support those artists who were struggling in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo on September 1st in the previous year. Upon his return to Japan in January of 1925, Yoshida established his own printing studio and began production of woodblock prints, starting with a series based on compositions from the United States.

TAI Modern is showing Breaking Composition #14, kiln-foaming cast glass, by Kojiro Yoshiaki, whose works are created by the complex interaction of glass, tiny bubbles, heat, and gravity. The artist concludes that this transformation echoes the life cycle in the natural world where objects are always changing, and his goal is to create forms that express the natural properties of glass.

A beautiful 18th century fan painting with flowers, mounted as a hanging scroll, is available at Thomsen Gallery. With rich mineral colors, ink and gofun on gold paper, it depicts a group of colorful blossoms in bloom. Flowering in the late spring and early summer, the Clematis became a symbol of the summer and a perfect image to place on a fan, so that its owner could start fanning him or herself at the first arrival of hot days.

An 18th century Korean blue and white porcelain Dragon jar, with an underglaze cobalt-blue design from the Yi Dynasty is the selection at Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art.

Bohnchang Koo (B. 1953), OSK 39, 2005, Archival pigment print, 19.6 x 15.7in. (50 x 40cm.), courtesy of HK Art & Antiques LLC

Ancient and Contemporary Korean Art

OSK 39, an archival pigment print, by Bohnchang Koo is presented by HK Art & Antiques LLC.

Object in focus

July 8, 2021

A Gold and Turquoise Belt Chinese Tang Dynasty 7th Century Length: 63cm Width: 5cm, courtesy of Susan Ollemans

A rare gold belt inset with turquoise.

Belt ornaments appeared in bronze or gold from around the 9th Century B. The majority of belt ornaments come from male tombs although a few have been found in female tombs re-enforcing the warrior-like nature of the nomadic women. With increased exposure to the northern nomads the Chinese began to develop their own design of the belt and belt hook. By the Tang Dynasty lavish belt decorations were given as marks of respect with Imperial edicts decreeing and regulating the number of plaques that could be worn according to rank and status. Jade was worn by the Emperor and down to third –ranked officers. Gold, silver, bronze and iron inset with hard stones were regulated to the lower ranks. By the Ming Dynasty many of these belts had lost a functional use and had become only a symbol of rank.

For more information, go to: https://www.ollemans.com/

Thomsen Gallery is participating in NOMAD St. Moritz

July 2, 2021

Maeda Chikubosai I (1872-1950)
Flower Basket with Natural Bamboo Handle, in the Form of a Cluster Fig, 1942, Japan
Bamboo and rattan, height 21 inches (54 cm)

Thomsen Gallery is participating in NOMAD St. Moritz, the international art fair for collectible design and contemporary art, this July 8-11.

Their exhibition will take place in the historic mansion Chesa Planta, St. Moritz, Switzerland and will offer a select group of Japanese bamboo ikebana baskets by the great masters from the first half of the 20th century, regarded as the Golden Age of Japanese basketry.

The baskets will be complemented by a selection of works by contemporary makers, including Japanese modern bronze vessels and contemporary gold-lacquer boxes.

Please register here or contact Thomsen Gallery at www.thomsengallery.com for admission.

Songtsam Hotels Resorts Tours, launches sustainability initiatives

June 30, 2021

Songtsam Meili Lodge

Songtsam Hotels Resorts Tours, a boutique luxury group in Tibet, has been firmly committed to sustainability and to supporting local communities since its founding 20 years ago by Baima Duoji. At the newly opened Songtsam Lodge Namcha Barwa, the goal is to help improve the Dalin Village’s living standards and support local development.

Another initiative has been to preserve the 2000 year old tradition of making Nixi Black Pottery in Shangri-La City, Diqing Prefecture.  Songtsam's guests are taken to visit the traditional Tibetan villages of Nixi to experience pottery-making firsthand. They often purchase these vessels, thereby contributing income to the Nixi craftsmen and to the local village.  

Songtsam pays special attention to environmental sustainability in all aspects of the design and construction process of their hotels and lodges.  Songtsam Lodge Ranwu, with an altitude of approx. 13,779 feet, stands at the highest altitude of all Songtsam hotels so far. In order to preserve the natural environment, the building was designed as modular prefabrication, embedded under a high cliff, hidden from sight, despite the difficult construction challenges.  Most of Songtsam’s lodges are brick-wood structures and are made of wood recycled from abandoned buildings or from trees that have naturally fallen, due to Tibet’s logging ban. The buildings are of a similar size and architectural style to those in Tibet’s villages and fit into the local environment.


As part of their involvement with the preservation of the natural ecosystem, Songtsam organizes tours for their guests to enjoy the magnificent natural scenery and learn about the complex plants within the Hengduan Mountains in the area of the Three Parallel Rivers.

Cooperating with Baima Snow Mountain National Nature Reserve, Songtsam launched the Tibetan Eared Pheasant Charity Program to restore the population of the rapidly disappearing protected species. The first group of Tibetan-eared pheasants farmed and nurtured by the Songtsam staff have been successfully released back to nature.

For more information about Songtsam visit www.songtsam.com/en/about

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