What's Happening in Asian Art...: In the Press

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.

Tradition Redefined: Rosanjin and His Rivals at Joan B Mirviss LTD

March 6, 2021

An online discussion on Zoom with Japanese art experts
to open Asia Week New York 2021
Wednesday March 10 at 5pm EST

Kitaōji Rosanjin (1883-1959) has long been hailed as one of the greatest ceramists of the twentieth century. While he forged a remarkable career, it was not without first crossing paths, and even colliding, with many of his contemporaries who were themselves renowned ceramic masters: Arakawa Toyozō, Fujiwara Kei, Kaneshige Tōyō, Katō Tokurō, Kawakita Handeishi, and Koyama Fujio.

Our panel of experts will re-examine the legend of Rosanjin as TRADITION REDEFINED places his oeuvre in dialogue with works by these other mid-century titans. They will discuss how some were indispensable to the advancement of Rosanjin’s outsized reputation, and how most remain relatively unknown in the West today.

PANELISTS:

LOUISE CORT, curator emerita of ceramics, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

JOAN CUMMINS, Lisa and Bernard Selz Curator of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York

MEGHEN JONES, Associate Professor of Art History, School or Art and Design, Alfred University

KURODA KUSAOMI of Shibuya Kurodatoen Co., LTD, the foremost modern ceramics gallery in Japan

Discussion moderated by JOAN MIRVISS

Contact Director@mirviss.com to RSVP. Space is limited. 

On a Newly Designed Digital Platform, Asia Week New York Opens with a Virtual Preview of Major Highlights from Galleries and Auction Houses March 11 at 5:00 p.m. (EST)

March 5, 2021

UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE, Toto ryogoku yusen no zu (View of pleasure boats at Ryogoku, the Eastern capital), triptych, polychrome woodcut, Japan, c.1830 (Courtesy: Hara Shobo)

New York: Asia Week New York is delighted to present a Virtual Preview of ancient and contemporary treasures from the Far East on Thursday, March 11 at 5:00 p.m. (EST); 2:00 p.m. (PST). To reserve, click here:  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oA86NxqZSB273qYA5C2gxw

To celebrate this exciting occasion, a panel of distinguished guest speakers will provide a preview of Asian art in their respective fields. They include: Maxwell K. Hearn, Douglas Dillon Chairman of the Department of Asian Art, Olivia Hamilton, Specialist, Head of Department, in the Chinese Works of Art department at Christie’s New York, Katherine Martin, Chairperson, Asia Week New York and Managing Director, Scholten Japanese Art, and Eric Zetterquist, principal, Zetterquist Galleries, New York.

“On behalf of everyone involved with Asia Week New York, I extend my thanks and appreciation for keeping the ball rolling during the past year,” says Katherine Martin. “We are grateful for the devoted group of galleries, auction houses, museums, curators, collectors, scholars, and the public-at-large who have stood behind us and kept us going and are optimistic that Asia Week New York will return in full force next year.”

According to Martin, Asia Week New York has created a highly sophisticated and streamlined digital platform for dealers and auction houses to present a selection of their respective highlights which can be accessed on www.asiaweekny.com, starting March 11th.

About the Panel

Maxwell K.,(Mike) Hearn Douglas Dillon Chairman, Department of Asian Art, began working at the Metropolitan Museum in 1971, helping oversee the expansion of the Met’s collection of Chinese art as well as major additions to its exhibition spaces, including the Astor Chinese Garden Court, the Douglas Dillon Galleries, and the renovated and expanded galleries for Chinese painting and calligraphy. He has worked on over 50 exhibitions and authored or contributed to numerous catalogues including The Great Bronze Age of China (1980), Splendors of Imperial China: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei (1996), Along the Riverbank: Chinese Paintings from the C. C. Wang Family Collection (1999), How to Read Chinese Paintings (2008) and Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China (2013). Mike, who received his undergraduate degree in art history from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Princeton, has taught graduate and undergraduate seminars on Chinese painting at Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. In 2014 he was elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Olivia Hamilton joined Christie’s in 2016 and has been in the industry for ten years. She has been instrumental in bringing to auction internationally important sales of Chinese art across a range of materials, including masterpiece Song ceramics, rare jade carvings, and the finest Ming and Qing porcelain.

Ms. Hamilton holds a Postgraduate diploma in Asian Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Classics at the University of Oxford, following which she studied Mandarin in Beijing. She also spent over three years in the Hong Kong office of an English law firm, qualifying as a lawyer in 2008.

Katherine Martin has been the Managing Director of Scholten Japanese Art in New York since 1999 where she has organized over fifty gallery exhibitions. Prior to consulting privately, Ms. Martin was a specialist in the Japanese Department at Sotheby's New York (1993-1999). While at Sotheby's, Ms. Martin was the primary contact for the sale of the Donna and the Late Arthur Levis Collection of Yoshitoshi Woodblock Prints (Sept. 1997, Mar. 1998), and the New York representative for the London auction of Highly Important Japanese Prints from the Henri Vever Collection in October 1997. Ms. Martin was also the specialist in charge during the series of auctions of inro, netsuke, and works of art from the Collection of the Late Charles A. Greenfield (Sept. 1997, March 1998, Sept. 1998). From 2012 she has served on the Planning Committee of the Asia Week New York Association, Inc. (AWNY), on its Board as Treasurer (2012-2017, and 2019-present), and as Chairperson of AWNY as of March 2019.

Ms. Martin has written several catalogues published by Scholten Japanese Art, including the ongoing series focused on woodblock prints, Highlights of Japanese Printmaking, for which the most recent volume, Part Six – The Baron J. Bachofen von Echt Collection of Golden Age Ukiyo-e, was released in March 2020.

Eric Zetterquist is an artist and Asian antiquities dealer. He opened his eponymous gallery in 1992 after training for ten years with dealer and photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto. While presenting early ceramics from all of Asia, he has specialized in those from Tang through Yuan Dynasties in China, as well as 11th to 16th centuries in South East Asia and Japan.

Since the inception of his gallery, Zetterquist has mounted over 50 exhibitions and authored 14 exhibition catalogs. He has hosted numerous “handling sessions” for University undergraduate and graduate students, in the belief that ceramics should be handled to be fully understood. In 2015, Zetterquist presented "Ly Dynasty White and Brown-and-White Wares; A Visual Declaration of Independence” at the Cornell University symposium, “Vietnamese Ceramics: Objects at the Crossroads.”

As he embarks on his fourth decade as a gallerist, Eric Zetterquist looks forward to presenting the best of Asian ceramics in New York, while contributing to their understanding and appreciation in the rich tapestry of world art history.

About Asia Week New York

The collaboration of top-tier international Asian art galleries, the five major auction houses, Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, iGavel, and Sotheby’s, and numerous museums and Asian cultural institutions, Asia Week New York is a week-long celebration filled with a non-stop schedule of simultaneous gallery open houses, Asian art auctions as well as numerous museum exhibitions, lectures, and special events. Participants from Great Britain, India, Italy, Japan, and the United States unveil an extraordinary array of museum-quality treasures from China, India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Japan, and Korea.

Asia Week New York Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade membership organization registered with the state of New York. For more information visit www.AsiaWeekNewYork.com @asiaweekny #asiaweekny

About Songtsam, Presenting Sponsor

Founded by Baima Duoji, in 2000, the Songtsam Hotels, Resorts, & Tour is the only collection of luxury Tibetan-style retreats found across the Tibetan Plateau that offers guests sophisticated elegance, refined design, modern amenities, and unobtrusive service in places of natural beauty and cultural interest. With his long-standing and strong interest in Chinese, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian art, Mr. Baima started collecting art long before he established his first hotel, Songtsam Lodge Shangri-La, which is located next to the famous Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La. Many of the properties across the Tibetan plateau are decorated with Mr. Baima’s personal collection, with each hotel acting as a private art museum. Songtsam aims to share the beauty of humanity’s imagination and creativity with people from all over the world and has been exploring and preserving the essence of Tibetan culture, all the while maintaining a commitment to supporting economic development, local communities, environmental conservation, and sustainability within Tibet and Yunnan. For more information, visit www.songtsam.com/en

Sotheby’s New York Presents: March Asia Week Sale Series, Spanning 4,000 Years of History

March 4, 2021

An Exceptional and Rare Blue and White 'Floral' Bowl, Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period

Sotheby’s is delighted to present highlights of its upcoming Asia Week sales in New York, featuring a diverse array of Asian art spanning 4,000 years of history. Among the highlights are an exceptional selection of Imperial jades and cloisonné enamels from the Brooklyn Museum, sold to support museum collections; Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s Untitled – which will appear at auction for the first time this March after remaining in the collection of renowned American physicist, Robert Marshak and his wife Ruth for nearly sixty years, and more. All works on offer are open for viewing by appointment in Sotheby’s New York galleries beginning 11 March, with auctions taking place from 12 – 24 March.

MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIAN ART,  Auction 16 March @ 10:00AM

There is an exceptional offering of works from the storied collections of Ruth and Robert Marshak and design impresario Patwant Singh, as well as masterpieces, such as Akbar Padamsee’s 1956 Landscape, which traveled for a representation at the La Biennale di Venezia, 1956, and a 1961 French landscape by Sayed Haider Raza.  This year’s sale features works by more than 65 artists, with an effort towards expanding the discourse around the diverse corpus of South Asian Art created in the 20th century.

The sale is led by two rare paintings on public view for the first time in decades, including Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s Untitled, which will appear at auction for the very first time since it was acquired in the 1960s; and Jehangir Sabavala’s Lone Vigil from 1989, which entered a private international collection thirty-two years ago and has not been seen since. The sale features works from other significant private collections, including the Patwant Singh and Romen & Rasil Basu Family Collection, and works from the collection of renowned art critic George Butcher; a selection of sculptures led by an archetypal bronze masterpiece by Meera Mukherjee; as well as a diverse selection of works from the Bengal School of Art by many of the leading artists that defined this iconic genre including Gaganendranath Tagore, Benode Behari Mukherjee, Sunayani Devi and Sailoz Mookherjea.

Acquired directly from the artist in Bombay in the 1960s, Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s incandescent red canvas Untitled, 1962 will appear at auction for the first time this March, after remaining in the collection of renowned American physicist, Robert Marshak and his wife Ruth for nearly sixty years (estimate $800,000/1,200,000). The early 1960s were a critical moment in both Gaitonde’s career and the development of Color Field painting. The present work represents the artist’s unique experimentation with color, surface, texture, proportion and suspension, a defiant and remarkable intent which became the hallmark of Gaitonde’s celebrated œuvre.

IMPERIAL CLOISONNE & JADE: CHINESE ART FROM THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM, Auction 17 March @ 9:00 AM

Leading Sotheby’s Asia Week sale series this March is a remarkable selection of Imperial jades and cloisonné enamels produced during the Ming and Qing dynasties from the Brooklyn Museum, sold to support museum collections. Two of the most significant gifts made to the Brooklyn Museum during the early years of the twentieth century are the cloisonné enamels collected by Samuel P. Avery, Jr. (1847- 1920), and jades and hardstones acquired by Colonel Robert B. Woodward (1840-1915). The 45 works on offer from the Brooklyn Museum represents the generosity of these two patrons, among others, who together were to shape the understanding of these two materials.

This distinguished group of works is led by a magnificent Qing dynasty, Qianlong period Exceptional White and Russet Jade Brushpot (estimate $1/1.5 million) from the Woodward Collection. Colonel Robert B. Woodward (1840-1915) was a lifelong Brooklyn resident whose generous gift of 218 jade and hardstone carvings was made to the institution in 1914. Produced in increased quantity from the mid-Qianlong period on, jade brushpots were rarer and more valuable than those made from bamboo, wood or porcelain, and tended to be concentrated in the collections of the imperial family and other nobility. Under the Qianlong Emperor’s auspices, the jade brushpot became an important medium for pictorial subjects. Many of these illustrate historical events or stories as memorialized in classical paintings, while others interpret their source material, aiming to capture the spirit of China's rich tradition of landscape painting. The decoration of the present brushpot follows in the tradition of Chinese painting, treating the surface of the material as a horizontal scroll. The motif unfolds in front of the viewer as the brushpot is turned and with each scene a new perspective of the landscape is revealed, making the brushpot an object that can be appreciated from multiple vantage points. Also on offer from the Brooklyn Museum collection is a group of cloisonné enamels from the world-renowned Samuel P. Avery, Jr. Collection, led by an exceptionally rare ‘Bats And Clouds’ cloisonné enamel vase (estimate $300/500,00). The Avery Collection of Chinese Cloisonné Enamels was not only the most important and largest of its type in America, but it remains today one of the most important holdings of Chinese cloisonné worldwide.

IMPORTANT CHINESE ART, Auction 17 March @ 10:00 AM

The day continues with a diverse assemblage of rare and exceptional Chinese works of art from distinguished collections, spanning 4,000 years of Chinese history from the Shang dynasty onwards. The Important Chinese Art auction highlights include two early Ming dynasty blue and white masterworks, led by an exceptional and rare 15th century Chinese Yongle period Blue and White  ‘Floral’ Bowl, which will appear at auction for the first time after it was amazingly discovered at a yard sale near New Haven, Connecticut - where it was purchased for just $35 (estimate $300/500,000). While perusing yard sales in Connecticut last year, the consignor came across the small yet eye-catching bowl. Given his attraction to its striking and intricate design, he purchased the bowl without hesitation for a modest $35 – the asking price. Intrigued by the piece, the buyer brought the bowl to Sotheby’s specialists for evaluation, where it was immediately identified as an exceptionally rare piece. For comparison, only six companion bowls are known, with most held in the most renowned museum collections in the world, including two in the National Palace Museum, Taipei; one in the British Museum; one in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and one in the National Museum of Iran, Tehran. This delicate bowl is a quintessential Yongle product made for the court, showing the striking combination of superb material and painting with a slightly exotic design that characterizes imperial porcelain of this period.

On offer from the collection of Stephen Junkunc III, a superb and important parcel-gilt silver 'Lotus And Pomegranate' bowl further highlights the sale (estimate $1/1.5 million). With its exquisite shape, lavish decoration and rich gilding, the present silver bowl stands firmly in the tradition of the best Tang silverwares, yet it is in many ways unique: it is extremely rare in being fully gilded on the outside, for example, rather than only to high-light the designs, as on the inside. Gold and silver are eternal symbols of wealth and luxury and were coveted in every period, but perhaps never more so than at the court and among the elites of the Tang dynasty (618-907).

THE HUNDRED ANTIQUES: FINE & DECORATIVE ASIAN ART, Auction 12 – 24 MARCH

Open for bidding online from 12 – 24 March, The Hundred Antiques: Fine & Decorative Asian Art comprises over 190 Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Himalayan works of art and paintings. The sale features Ming and Qing dynasty porcelains, classical furniture, jade, and scholar’s objects, among others. Together, they exemplify the range of artistic expressions, materials, and techniques from Asia’s diverse cultures. Highlights include a large Qing dynasty blue and white Tianqiuping (estimate $15/20,000, pictured left); an ornate hardstone-inlaid Nepalese votive plaque (estimate $5/7,000); a selection of Indian miniature paintings, jade and jadeite carvings from the Estate of Allen O. Battle, PhD; Qing dynasty glass from an important American private collection; a group of early Chinese ceramics from a Boston private collection; and numerous Chinese works of art from the collection of Henry H. Arnhold, sold to benefit the Arnhold Foundation.

Bonhams announces New York Asia Week sale highlights for March 2021

March 3, 2021

An incredibly rare and museum-quality 11th century brass figure of Vajravarahi from Northeastern India, dating from the Pala Period; an important 10th century lacquered wood sculpture of Amida Buddha; and a wonderful grouping of Ming and Qing lacquer wares from the Collection of Robert W. Moore are among the highlights of Bonhams New York Asia Week sales announced today. This March, Bonhams New York will present a plethora of fine and rare works from a range of art historical periods throughout Asia’s past and present, the sales include: Chinese Works of Art and Paintings on Monday, March 15 at 10AM EST, Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art on Tuesday, March 16 at 6PM EST, and Fine Japanese and Korean Art on Wednesday, March 17 at 10AM EST.

Chinese Works of Art and Paintings
Monday, March 15, 2021
10AM EST

This sale offers treasured works of art from a series of prestigious private collections from America, led by the Ming and Qing lacquer wares from The Collection of Robert W. Moore, famed California collector of Chinese and Korean art. Among the highlights is a superb 15th/16th century Ming mother-of-pearl and black lacquer octagonal tray, exquisitely inlaid with courtly scene of figures at a lakeside pavilion (Estimate: US$25,000-35,000). Other featured collections include:

• Select sculptures from The Estate of Marilynn B. Alsdorf, featuring a rare black stone cross-legged figure of Maitreya dating back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (Estimate: US$70,000-100,000).

• Ceramics from the 9th century through late Qing, led by a cream-glazed ingot-shaped pillow with an Imperial Qianlong inscription from The Rosalind Ching Pastor Collection (Estimate: US$50,000-70,000). Research suggests that it formed part of the renowned Japanese dealer Yamanaka & Co. Inc. property, which came to market in 1943 at the Parke-Bernet Galleries liquidation sale.

• A select group of archaic jade ‘animal’ carvings from the Shang Dynasty through Han Dynasty from The Estate of Robert Youngman, including a russet jade Shang bear (Estimate: US$30,000-50,000).

Highlights of Chinese paintings and calligraphy date from the 16th through 21st century, including:

• An interesting collaborative fan painting (Estimate: US$8,000-10,000) by two leading painters of the 19th century Shanghai School: Xugu (1823-1896) and Wu Changshuo (1844-1927). Created for their fellow artist of the school Ren Yi (1840-1896), this one small fan connects the three giants, and is a testament to the collaborative and social nature at play in Shanghai at the time.

• Qi Baishi (1864-1957) Mice and Candlestick (Estimate: US$70,000-90,000).

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
6PM EST

Leading Bonhams marquee sale week is a museum-quality brass figure of Vajravarahi from Northeastern India, dating from the Pala Period, circa 11th Century (Estimate: US$400,000-600,000). Possibly one of the earliest known bronze sculptures of Vajravarahi in existence, this figure from the eminent Nyingjei Lam Collection has been on loan to the Rubin Museum over the past 15 years, and has never since been published. Vajravarahi has been the most important female meditational deity in Tantric Buddhism since 11th century in Northeastern India, and it was at that very moment this figure was created. It brims with expressive iconography recalling the Indian myth of the Earth Goddess, envisioned as a young girl rising from the depths of cosmic waters. Bronzes remaining in India are believed to have been buried, but the alluring buttery patina on this figure suggests that it had been taken to – and preserved in – Tibet in the 11th or 12th century.

Among the highlights are also sculptures from the Siddharth K. Bhansali Collection and a grouping of South Indian Ganesha sculptures, as well as:

• A gilt copper alloy figure of Lokeshvara Padmapani from Nepal, 12th/13th century (Estimate: US$100,000-150,000). Intimately scaled and sensuously modelled, it is a depiction of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the lord who looks upon the world. It offers a calm, benevolent gaze and its right hand is in the gesture of granting wishes. The lotus in bloom by his left shoulder symbolizes every being’s potential to achieve enlightenment despite their past.

• A gilt copper alloy and repoussé shrine of Manjuvajra, Nepal, 17th/18th century (Estimate: US$130,000-180,000). The distinct shrine invokes Manjuvajra, an esoteric form of Manjushri – the Bodhisattva of Transcendent Wisdom. With three heads and six arms, he crosses his principal hands at the chest, embracing his consort while symbolizing the union of skillful means and wisdom.

Fine Japanese and Korean Art
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
10AM EST

The Fine Japanese and Korean Art sale is comprised of more than 180 Japanese and Korean lots, led by an important 10th century lacquered wood sculpture of Amida Buddha (Estimate: US$100,000-150,000). This Amida Buddha was created during the Heian period (764-1158), considered the first golden age of Buddhist sculpture in Japan. The distinctly Heian features – the soft lines, the voluminous body and limbs, and almost childlike appearance with gentle serene expressions – are considered as a native Japanese style.

Equally appealing is an important model of a celestial musician from the Horyuji temple (Estimate: US$35,000-50,000). This figure is believed to have been attached to the rim of an elaborate jeweled canopy of one of the three important statues in the Golden Hall of Horyuji Temple, Nara – Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. The canopy has been erected since the hall’s reconstruction after a fire in 670.

The sale’s Korean section features:

• An outstanding selection of ceramics from a private Japanese collection formed in the early 20th century, including an intricately carved white porcelain brush pot (Estimate: US$40,000-50,000) carved with symbols of longevity: deer, cranes, bamboo and pine.

• A large-scale painting of Yeongsan (Vulture Peak) Assembly (Estimate: US$7,000-9,000), which features the historical Buddha preaching the Lotus Sutra to his disciples. This impressive work, likely displayed at an alter behind the principal deity in a temple, was purchased in the 1960s by an American officer stationed in Korea.

Heritage Auctions celebrates return to Asia Week New York

March 2, 2021

An Indian Miniature Painting Depicting Krishna with Gopis

DALLAS, TX.- An extraordinary selection of artwork from Chinese artist Qi Baishi and an impressive array of Indian and Himalayan art are among the top draws in Heritage Auctions' Fine & Decorative Asian Art auction March 16, an event in which Heritage will expand its footprint in Asia Week New York.

"Heritage Auction's Consignment Directors Moyun Niu and Clementine Chen shared their excitement to celebrate New York Asia Week with over 300 fine and decorative Asian Art pieces, comprised of Chinese, Japanese and Korean ceramics, calligraphy, painting, sculpture, furniture and more," Heritage Auctions Asian Art Consignment Director Moyun Niu said. "Among the many fine treasures, they highlight, are a group of fine snuff bottles from a private California collection, a large white jade ruyi scepter from a major Dallas collection, a pair of large painted grey pottery guardian figures, Tang Dynasty from a New York collection, a Chinese scroll painting after Lu Zhi, three Qi Baishi fan paintings, and so many more."

"As a painter famed for his portrayal of small animals, Qi Baishi mastered the art of painting chicks fairly late in life," Heritage Auctions Asian Art Consignment Director Clementine Chen said. "Not until his early 60s did he fully grasp the technique to use various tones of black ink to illustrate the flocculent feathers of a young chick. His paintings of chicks, like Qi Baishi (Chinese, 1864-1957) Chicks (estimate: $40,000-60,000), became one his most sought-after works.

"He also produced a series of beautiful fans, from a single collection in upstate New York, two of which – DragonflyandOrchids – are offered in the sale, each with an estimate of $15,000-25,000 and a Landscape fan with an estimate of $20,000-30,000. As a pioneer in the modern Chinese watercolor movement, the artist focused his works heavily on secular subjects, namely farmscapes and farm animals, rather than traditional literati landscape paintings, which makes the current landscape fan exceedingly rare."

"The sale includes an assortment of exquisite Chinese ceramics. One example is a Large Chinese Yellow-Ground and Iron-Red Decorated Enamel Dragon Fishbowl (estimate: $30,000-50,000) that is enameled in iron-red on a yellow ground with five-clawed dragons racing around in pursuit of flaming pearls amid auspicious clouds," Niu said. "A Chinese Wucai 'Eight Immortals' Dish (estimate: $20,000-30,000), from a private New York collection, bears a scene depicting the Eight Daoist Immortals, holding their attributes, accompanied by Shoulao, the Star God of Longevity, seated and flanked by his crane, deer and an attendant, all in a garden setting under pine trees."

After Lu Zhi (Chinese, 1496-1575) Chrysanthemums and Calligraphy(estimate: $30,000-50,000), with 15 red seals, comes from a private collection California. Lu Zhi (159-192) was an ancient Chinese general, government official and scholar during the Eastern Han dynasty.

A Pair of Large Painted Grey Pottery Guardian Figures, Tang Dynasty (estimate: $25,000-35,000) was created under the imperial dynasty that ruled from 618-907. Pottery created during the Tang Dynasty was known for low-temperature glaze that is among the most popular of ancient Chinese ceramic firing techniques. The offered figures stand 16 inches tall.

The event features an assortment of Japanese cloisonné-enamel vases, created in the ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects with colored material held in place or separated by metal strips or wire, normally of gold or silver. Top Japanese cloisonné-enamel lots include, but are not limited to:

• An Important Japanese Cloisonné-Enamel Vase, Namikawa Yasuyuki, Meiji Period (estimate: $6,000-8,000)

• An Exceptionally Fine Moriage Enamel Bottle Vase, Ando Jubei (1876-1953), circa 1920 (estimate: $5,000-7,000)

• A Fine Japanese Cloisonné-Enamel Pedestal Vase, Ando Jubei (1876-1953), Meiji Period (estimate: $3,000-5,000)

The event features a dozen lots of Indian art, highlights of which include:

• An Indian Miniature Painting Depicting Krishna with Gopis (estimate: $15,000-20,000)

• An Indian Carved Wood Ganesha Relief from the Dallas Estate of Stuart Cutshall (estimate: $10,000-20,000)

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

• Wang Rong (Chinese, 1896-1972) Landscape(estimate: $15,000-25,000)

• A Chinese Jade and Hardstone-Inlaid Wood Six-Panel Screen, Qing Dynasty, 19th century (estimate: $15,000-20,000)

Christie's announces New York Asian Art Week March 2021

March 1, 2021

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announces Asian Art Week, a series of auctions, viewings, and events, from March 4-19. This season presents seven auctions featuring over 750 objects from 5,000 years of art spanning all epochs and categories of Asian art from Chinese archaic bronzes through Japanese and Korean art to modern and contemporary Indian painting.

Highlights include Shang: Early Chinese Ritual Bronzes from the Daniel Shapiro Collection led by The Luboshez Gong, an exceptional and highly important bronze ritual wine vessel and cover from the late Shang dynasty, 13th-12th century BC ($4,000,000-6,000,000). Also featured in the week of sales are important Gandharan sculptures from a private Japanese collection, including a magnificent 3rd to 4th-century gray schist figure of Buddha Shakyamuni ($1,500,000-2,500,000); a significant painting by the pioneer of Indian modernism Tyeb Mehta, titled Confidant and painted in 1962 ($600,000-800,000); an important and highly exhibited work by Katsushika Hokusai titled Mitate Asazuma bune (The Parody of Boat Asazuma) from the collection of the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum ($400,000-500,000); an exceptionally rare huanghuali incense stand from the Yunwai Lou collection ($800,000-1,200,000) and Chinese works of art from the celebrated Junkunc collection. From rare huanghuali furniture to a collection of works by respected artist and teacher Benodebehari Mukherjee, treasures from every category of Asian art wait to be discovered.

Following the success of the September 2020 season, Chinese works of art sales on March 18-19 will be presented in New York and simultaneously in Hong Kong for increased phone bidding and streamed live on WeChat. Christie’s continues to leverage digital tools to extend access to key bidding areas and provide global audiences with opportunities to view auctions.

All works will be presented in an exhibition by appointment from March 12-18 at Christie’s New York.

NY1 Interviews Dealers and Collectors

March 13, 2016

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

On Sunday, March 13, 2016, NY1 News paid a visit to several of our participating dealers for a TV segment on Asia Week New York 2016. "This week, you don't need a passport to be transported to the Far East. You just need a MetroCard," comments news anchor Tara Lynn Wagner.