What's Happening in Asian Art...
May 6, 2022
Ali Banisadr, We Haven't Landed on Earth Yet, 2012, oil on linen. H. 82 x W. 120 in. (208.3 x 304.8 cm). Mohammed Afkhami Foundation. Photograph courtesy of Mohammed Afkhami Foundation
Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians—
The Mohammed Afkhami Collection
Closing day May 8
Asia Society Museum's Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians—The Mohammed Afkhami Collection is an exhibition of works by more than 20 Iranian-born artists and one German-born artist, reflecting a dynamic and thriving contemporary arts scene. The exhibition, illuminating the multifaceted experiences and identities of artists spanning three generations who are working inside and outside of Iran, probes subjects such as gender identity, war and peace, politics and religion, and spirituality.
Closing day May 8
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s practice addresses the dichotomies of life and death, the search for autonomy within cultural constraints, and notions of identity and difference examined through class class hierarchies and regional idiosyncrasies.
Rahraw Omarzad’s video depicts a woman sequestered in a windowless space. Her struggle with the restricting barriers of a black cloth and her chadri (or burqa) reflects the crippling effects a dictatorial regime has on the psyche.
Read more, click here
May 5, 2022
Biren De (1926-2011), February '88, 1988, oil on canvas, 52 x 32 in. (132.1 x 81.3 cm.)
Tantra On the Edge: Inspirations and Experiments in Twentieth Century Indian Art DAG
The Claridges, New Delhi
Now on view through June 27
DAG presents this pioneering effort to exhibit works by Indian modern artists. The exhibition showcases the inspirations and experiments of these trailblazing artists and their relationship with tantra philosophy, its vivid abstract sacred symbols and its spiritual illuminations.
The word tantra derives from the Sanskrit root tan, and holds that it is a revelatory science of expanding human consciousness based on the intrinsic belief in the divinity of the self that has the potentiality to attain alternate states of super consciousness. Curated by Madhu Khanna, each artist on display shows how elements of tantra philosophy or its pictorial language are woven into their individualistic creations. The selected artworks are a product of the encounter and a resurgence of a personal quest for artists to find their severed cultural roots, a triumph free from the servitude of Eurocentric models of expression and self-rule of the creative spirit in the truest sense of the word.
Read more and see the exhibition artworks online, click here
May 5, 2022
Arnold Chang & Michael Cherney, Salt Lattice 盐图晶格, 2018, photography and ink on xuan paper mounted on paper, 24 x 57 in. (61 x 145 cm.)
Ink Affinities 墨缘: The Collaborative Works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney
Fu Qiumeng Fine Art
Last day May 7
Since 2009 the artists Arnold Chang (张洪 b. 1954) and Michael Cherney (秋麦 b. 1969) have created a series of collaborative works that combine classical ink painting with photography in ways that subtly blur the distinction between the two media. The photographs of Cherney, an American residing in Beijing, and the ink landscapes of Chang, a Chinese American living in New Jersey, are both rooted in the centuries-old tradition of Chinese painting. The collaborative works begin with Cherney’s meticulously selected excerpts of photographs taken in China and printed on xuan paper, and combine them with Chang’s elegant brushwork, resulting in a dialogue between the two media, as well as a conversation between the two artists. These works challenge the definition of shuimo 水墨 (“ink painting”) while simultaneously embracing and reaffirming the classical aesthetics of Chinese landscape art.
Read more, click here
May 4, 2022
Portrait of a Gentleman, Iran, Isfahan, Safavid period, ca. 1650–1675, oil on canvas,
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha
(In Person) Art Outside: Celebrate Eid
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution
Saturday, May 7, 2-4:30pm
Free in person, outdoor program
The National Museum of Asian Art hosts a festive afternoon of music, food, and art to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan. Watch master calligraphers—Davut Bektas, Keniz Oktem Bektas, and Mariam Lodin—at work, make your own calligraphy-inspired art, enjoy henna designs and music by Syrian Music Preservation Initiative and the Zaynab Ensemble, and view art in the galleries, including the exhibition Engaging the Senses and Fashioning an Empire: Safavid Textiles from the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, which closes on May 15th. Food from local favorite Fava Pot will be available for purchase. This event is offered in collaboration with the Qatar America Institute for Culture and the Reed Society for the Sacred Arts. In case of rain, this event will take place inside the museum.
Also at 2 and 4pm, join associate curator Simon Rettig for a gallery talk, Arts of the Islamic World: Qur'anic Inscriptions and Calligraphy, which will focus on the artistic expressions of the written word in the Arts of the Islamic World gallery. Learn about the art of Qur'anic calligraphy by exploring works from North Africa to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Read more and register, click here
May 3, 2022
Sako Ryuhei (b. 1976), Mokume-gane Vase 03, 2020, silver, copper, shakudo (alloy-copper, gold) and shibuichi (alloy-copper, silver), H. 9 5/8 x Dia. 6 in. (24.5 x 15 cm.)
The Eternal Beauty of Metal, Onishi Gallery
Concludes Friday, May 6
This week Onishi Gallery draws to a close their current exhibition of the best of contemporary Japanese metal art, which features works by many leading figures in the field, including nine artists designated “Living National Treasures.” The exhibition’s title, The Eternal Beauty of Metal, reflects the philosophy of Ōsumi Yukie—Japan’s first female Living National Treasure in metal art—who has written that there is “ … something particularly meaningful about the way that metals can substitute the permanent for the fleeting and transitory, conferring eternity on phenomena that would otherwise have a limited lifespan.”
Be sure to see this exhibition before it closes. Read more, click here
May 2, 2022
S. N. Surti, Air-India, New York, 1967
When Air-India launched “the Maharaja” as their mascot in 1946, he soon became a larger than life figure, and not only adorned innumerable posters but also became an important part of cultural life, often even rankling the preferences of notable dignitaries. Conceived by Bobby Kooka and illustrated by Umresh Rao, the Maharaja sported a large moustache, turban, and prominent belly. He was usually portrayed with a strong sense of humor and winking satire. . . as he models hospitality and refinement in New York in the poster above, he is dressed up as a Playboy Bunny and serves drinks to a (very) young Hugh Hefner.
Attracted to the history associated with these posters and their whimsy, when Sanjay Kapoor, owner and 4th-generation dealer of Kapoor Galleries, came across a collection of Air-India posters at auction, he purchased the entire group. On one hand, these fit in well with Kapoor Galleries’ existing collection of 20th century travel posters, which “enticed and mesmerized all who viewed them with the possibilities of exploring a new world” (for more on Kapoor Galleries' travel posters, click here). However, seeing an alternative path for these pictures, Kapoor then coordinated with Poster House in Chelsea to present these posters in an exhibition this fall where the context in which they were created and viewed could be explored and a large audience could enjoy them.
L-R: V.V. Shetye, Air-India/Sydney, 1963 and K.K. Save, Air-India/London, 1962
The exhibition, Air-India’s Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue will be on view from September 9th through February 12th at Poster House. Illustrated with numerous posters that show the Maharaja in his many guises, the show’s accompanying commentary surveys the history and cultural importance of the Maharaja both in India and globally. Along with Sanjay Kapoor, the show is curated by Carly Johnson and Sophia Williamson, Co-Directors of Kapoor Galleries.
Team Maharaja: (L-R) Sanjay Kapoor, Carly Johnson, and Sophia Williamson
Any Maharaja would be pleased to have these three professionals on his staff. After completing degrees in computer processors and neuroscience at Stony Brook and Indian art at SOAS, Sanjay Kapoor augments his leadership at the gallery with senior roles at the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) and the Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA). Carly Johnson recently completed her degree in Mathematics from Fordham University and has experience as a radio audio engineer. Sophia Williamson similarly studied Chemistry, along with Art History at Fordham and spent a semester bringing computer skills to archaeology work in Rome.
For more details about the exhibition at Poster House, click here. While you are waiting for the show to open in September, enjoy the stunning virtual exhibitions available now on Kapoor Galleries’ website, click here.
May 1, 2022
Unidentified artist, Playing the Zither for a Crane (detail), mid-16th century, hanging scroll, ink and color on paper, Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, 1972 (1972.278.3)
Art History Study Group—Companions in Solitude: Reclusion and Communion
in Chinese Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang Associate Curator of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy
Online program, Thursday, May 5, 4–5:30pm
This program, led by the Met's curator of Chinese paintings, Joseph Scheier-Dolberg offers an in-depth exploration of the exhibition Companions in Solitude: Reclusion and Communion in Chinese Art. This interactive online study session considers how the choice to be alone or be together is central to the lives of thinkers and artists and explores Chinese artworks that abound with figures who pursued both paths.
Registration is limited and reservations must by made by May 2nd. For more information and to register, click here
April 30, 2022
Courtesy of the artist and Zürcher Gallery, New York/Paris
Kazuko Miyamoto: To perform a line, Japan Society
April 29-July 10, 2022
This solo exhibition will be the first institutional survey of Kazuko Miyamoto (b.1942, Tokyo), a relatively little-known but significant artist, and will provide a long overdue examination of this singular artist’s career. This exhibition reclaims Miyamoto’s contributions to the development of Minimalism, challenging its general understanding as male dominated, and embraces her highly individual artistic pursuit to reveal a sustained interest in the body through evocative conceptual experiments and investigations in performance and textiles.
Kazuko Miyamoto provides an overview of the artist’s work, moving from her contributions to the Minimalism movement through early paintings and drawings from the 1960s, and her increasingly spatial string constructions in the 1970s, to her conceptual experiments in performance, culminating in her kimono series from 1987 through the 1990s. A number of works that will be on view have never been shown publicly, offering a crucial opportunity for the public to encounter Miyamoto’s rich oeuvre for the first time.
Read more, click here
April 29, 2022
Top Lot: Luo Zhongli (China, born 1948), Portrait of a Woman, 1987, oil on canvas,
Estimate: $30,000-50,000, sold: $162,500
Asian, Ancient, and Ethnographic Works of Art Parts I and II, iGavel
Part I: April 7-April 26, 2022
Part II: April 7-April 27, 2022
Sales total: 290 lots sold for a total of $1,076,618, with buyer's premium
Strong interest in this sale preceded the auction itself last month during Asia Week New York with robust attendance to see sale highlights. Moreover, numerous additional consignments required expanding the auction to a second part and an additional day of sales.
The first and third top-selling lots were two portraits of elderly people from China's Southwest in oil by Luo Zhongli. This artist, who was born in 1948 and a native of Sichuan province, is China's most highly regarded realist painter. He is best known for his dramatically detailed and lifelike Father, painted in 1980 and now in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. The sale of these paintings was dramatic, as conveyed by iGavel founder and president Lark Mason, "Both paintings by Luo Zhongli were bid to under $20,000 on the morning of the final day. It was in the final minutes that they rose, doubling and tripling the high estimate. These oil-on-canvas portraits, bought by the consignor’s parents in Beijing in 1987, hung on the wall together for nearly 40 years and now will be going back to Asia together to their new owner."
L-R: Chinese Porcelain Enamel Decorated Fish Bowl, Qing Dynasty, Estimate: $3,000-5,000, sold: $123,139 and Luo Zhongli (China, born 1948), Portrait of a Man, 1987, oil on canvas, Estimate: $30,000-50,000, sold: $106,250
Similarly nail-biting was the sale of the second-most-expensive lot. This Qing-dynasty Chinese Porcelain Enamel Decorated Fish Bowl, as relayed by Mason, "...blew past its estimate range with a frenzy of bidding at the end, with eight bidders placing a total of 57 bids and pushing the lot into extended bidding for 26 minutes". As iGavel's New York exhibition was part of this March's Asia Week, it draws this season's fair to a satisfying close of nearly $100m in total gallery and auction sales.
iGavel's website regularly publishes informative and insightful blogs. Libby Austin described the cultural and historical context that informed these portraits by Luo Zhongli in Luo Zhongli: Social Commentary through Artistic Expression . Lark Mason's essay, The Mystery of the Singular Table: An extraordinary Chinese table, not only rich in decoration, but in provenance as well, on the Chinese Gold and Silver Wire Inlaid Table in the sale, not only provided background of the furniture's production and historical context but also added provenance details and an evaluation of the item that ould only be written by a uniquely experienced veteran in the field.
To see the results of all the lots in the recent sale, click here. For additional fine works of Asian art still available for purchase in iGavel's current Fr3sh sale, click here.
April 29, 2022
Arthur & Bond, Japanese Export Sterling Silver Tea and Coffee Service, Yokohama, early 20th century, lot 95, Estimate: $30,000-50,000
Pacific Trade Featuring Artifacts from the Collector's Cabinet, Doyle
Exhibition: April 30-May 2, 12-5pm
Live auction, May 3, 10am
Doyle will present an auction in the sale category of Pacific Trade Featuring Artifacts from the Collector's Cabinet on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 10am. Doyle's Pacific Trade auction in November 2021 was a success with strong international competition and a sale total that surpassed expectations.
A China Trade Painting of the Whampoa Anchorage, 19th century, oil on canvas, lot 70,
The upcoming auction will showcase a range of property from prominent estates and distinguished collections, including Chinese export porcelain, paintings, furniture and decorative art, Japanese and Southeast Asian art and much more.
Read more, click here