ASIA WEEK NEW YORK 2021

RM Chait bowl

It is very good news, indeed, that Asia Week New York is going ahead, despite the difficulties involved in arranging the event this year during the pandemic and Covid 19 restrictions. To overcome the many hurdles, this year is a hybrid event – by appointment only supported by online exhibitions. Some dealers, who have galleries in New York City, are choosing to open their spaces whilst complying with Covid 19 state safety laws, as well as an online presence on Asia Week New York’s website. Other participants, obviously including the overseas dealers, are having online contributions only this year.

This is the 12th annual week and, as usual, it coincides with the Spring sales at the auction houses – with physical and online sales. We have been able to include museum exhibitions in the guide, some are currently open, but please check with each institution on their safety policies and opening times. Asia Week New York’s online hosting for the event goes live on their website on 11 March and continues until 20 March. Visit http://www.asiaweekny.com

CHINESE ART

Chinese Porcelains and Works of Art

Ralph M Chait, 11 to 20 March, by appointment only and online
A highlight of the show is an Imperial Chinese green porcelain bowl with the Imperial mark from the Kangxi period. A rare type that is usually dated towards the beginning of the Kangxi reign. The decorative motif of eight sacred horses leaping over waves strewn with precious things originates from the early Ming dynasty. https://www.rmchait.com

 

Chinese Scholar’s Objects

Nicholas Grindley, 11 to 20 March, online only
A pair of early 18th-century, hongmu, square stools, from the Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, is among the offerings at Nicholas Grindley’s online show. What is particularly interesting about these stools, especially when they survive in pairs, is their scale. They are rarely 22 inches square, making them not only particularly useful as end tables in a domestic setting, but also strong enough to stand on their own in a museum installation. https://www.nicholasgrindley.com

 

Earthly Agendas

Kaikodo, 11 to 20 March, online only
Among European admirers of Asian art was the Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966). While conversant with Chinese painting, Giacometti might not have known that his signature cast-bronze sculptures with surfaces appearing rough, crusty, and eroded, the human and animal forms attenuated, their limbs stretched thin and spindly, had predecessors in the ancient art of China. From the standpoint of Asian art specialists, the oxen featured in Earthly Agendas at Kaikodo – are clear examples of a Han-dynasty regional artistic norm. They also serve as appropriate symbols of this lunar year, advancing under the spell of the metal ox. https://www.kaikodo.com

 

Ceramics and Works of Art from China, Japan, and Korea

Zetterquist Galleries, 11 to 20 March, by appointment only and online
In a departure from previous exhibitions, which have focused mainly on ceramics, this year includes ceramics, bronze, stone, painting and calligraphy, mostly sourced from American and Japanese collections. Highlights include two mini-collections of ancient Chinese and Southeast Asian objects ranging from the Shang to Ming dynasties. The first is housed in a custom fitted huanghuali scholar’s object box and includes a Yuan-dynasty ‘Revolving Stem-cup’, one of four known pieces in the world. The other group is displayed in an interconnecting grid of shadow boxes, which includes ancient gilt-bronze and stone objects. Other highlights include two Ming-dynasty bronzes, one sourced in Japan and the other in the US, from the same rare group, and reunited after centuries, to be offered as one lot. They appear to have originally been part of a large tableau depicting Pure-Land Buddhist imagery. https://www.zetterquist.com

CHINESE IMAGES

RM Chait bowl

Chinese Imperial green ground porcelain bowl, Kangxi mark and period, circa: late 17th century, decorated inside and out with Eight Sacred Horses leaping over waves, strewn with Precious Things, diam. 15.8 cm, Ralph M Chait Galleries

Zetterquist-Eric

Figure seated on a lotus, Buddhist bronze, Ming dynasty (1368-1644), height 13 cm. Bronze Sculptural Group of the Birth of Sakyamuni, Ming Dynasty, height of Bronze without base: 18.2 cm, Zetterquist Galleries

Grindley-Nicholas-HONGMU_Stools

Pair of hongmu square stools, Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, early 18th century, 47 cm x 55.6 cm x 55.6 cm, Nicholas Grindley

Kaikoko_Oxen

Four bronze long-horned bulls and a horse, Western Han dynasty, 3rd-1st century BC, lengths:17.8 to 24.8 cm, Kaikodo

 

JAPANESE AND KOREAN ART

Japanese Prints

The Art of Japan, 11 to 20 March, online only
In the Foothills of the Mountains, Atagoyama 1932, Fall and Summer, are part of the selection of woodblock prints offered by The Art of Japan. The prints depict views of Mt Fuji – and by altering pigments and an additional block to create the effect of rain, the publisher and artist worked together to create two completely different moods using essentially the same blocks and the same subject. https://www.theartofjapan.com

 

The Passage of Time

Dai Ichi Arts, 11 to 20 March, , by appointment and online
In this exhibition, an example of the young emerging Japanese ceramicist, Shingu Sayaka (b 1979), is a highlight of the show – Erosion, a ceramic sculpture from 2021. The artist is recognised for her ceramic flowers series, in which she expresses a feeling of transience, fleetingness, and immortality. https://www.daiichiarts.com

 

Chiura Obata: WOODBLOCK PRINTS AND PAINTINGS

Egenolf Gallery, 11 to 20 March, online only
One of the highlights in this single-artist exhibition by Chiura Obata (1885-1975) is Evening Glow at Mono Lake, from Mono Mills (1930), one of the best prints from the World Landscape Series: America. Obata collaborated with the Japanese publisher Takamizawa, who employed more than 32 carvers and 40 printers for 18 months, for this project. Although a professor at Berkeley, in 1942 Obata and his family were incarcerated at the Topaz internment camp, where he opened an art school for fellow internees. His colleagues at Berkeley were able to preserve much of his artwork and he returned to teaching there in 1945. https://egenolfgallery.com

 

Utagawa Kunisada: HIS WORLD REVISTED

Sebastian Izzard, 15 to 26 March, by appointment only and online
On show is a selection paintings, woodblock prints, and illustrated books by the 19th century ukiyo-e master Utagawa Kunisada. The contents of this exhibition cover most aspects of Kunisada’s long career; many of them rare examples of his finest works. Included are five of the seven prints that make up Greatest Hit Plays, a series from 1815 featuring images of leading Kabuki actors in celebrated past performances. The set is notable for the reintroduction of mica backgrounds, a stencilled surface little used since the mid-1790s.

At the end of his career, between 1860 and 1864, Kunisada embarked on a large series of prints featuring close-up portraits of actors in their most famous roles. The set, Untitled Series of Okubi-e Actors Past and Present, was planned as a monument to his career, with no expense spared in the production of the prints and used the most expensive paper and elaborate printing techniques including burnishing and gaufrage, crushed mother-of-pearl, and on occasion even gold wash.

Also featured in the exhibition are prints from the series The Thirty-two Contemporary Types, long regarded as Kunisada’s masterpiece in the field of beauty prints, and Fashionable Makeup Mirrors, in which women from various walks of life are shown intimately engaged in preparing themselves for the day, their visages framed within the borders of a black hand mirror case. Several illustrated books will round out the exhibition. Catalogue available. https://www.izzardasianart.com

 

Tradition Redefined: ROSANJIN AND HIS RIVALS

Joan B Mirviss, 11 to 20 March, by appointment only and online
Rosanjin has long been hailed as a one of the greatest ceramists of the 10th century. His bold, eclectic ceramics emerged from the highly creative atmosphere of postwar Japan. Rosanjin forged a remarkable career, but it was not without first crossing paths, and even colliding, with many of his contemporaries who were themselves renowned ceramic masters and connoisseurs. In his own words, Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959) came to ceramics as a gourmand; dissatisfied with the tableware options for presenting elegant cuisine, Rosanjin set about creating them himself for his exclusive eating club in Tokyo. Not wanting to imitate past traditional forms and glazes, he instead ‘remixed’ the elements in surprising ways that were defiantly unconventional and characteristically ‘Rosanjin’. https://www.mirviss.com

 

The Eternal Beauty of Metal

Onishi Gallery, 11 to 20 March, , by appointment only and online
One of the most recent works that Osumi Yukie has produced, Araiso, or ‘Rough Shore’, references the artist’s signature motif: the ceaseless movement of nature. Osumi employs a centuries-old technique known as nunomezogan, or ‘textile imprint inlay’ in which the surface of the object is incised with a fine chisel, then inlaid with gold and lead. https://www.onishigallery.com

 

On the Vanguard: MEIJI PERIOD WOODBLOCK PRINTS

Scholten Japanese Art, 11 to 20 March, by appointment only and online
This show focuses on the creative expression seen in Meiji-era prints and the acceptance of new cultural ideas in the Japanese populace at large during this dynamic period in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Meiji period (1868-1912), defined by the reign of Emperor Meiji (1852-1912), was an era of rapid modernization as Japan transformed from a feudal society based on samurai culture into a modern nation. The prints in this show explore how artists recorded and responded to the introduction of foreign elements, at times resisting the march toward modernity by embracing nostalgia. Ultimately, the artists who prevailed were those that were on the vanguard – leading the way – by balancing society’s intermittent longing for ‘Old Japan’ while adapting, and even embracing, a changing world.

One artist who successfully navigated that dichotomy was Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). The exhibition features an impression of the iconic work popularly known as The Flute Player Triptych, published in 1883. Providing fascinating context, the show includes prints illustrating the ‘Flute Player’ by his follower Yoshu Chikanobu (1838-1912) from the same year; his teacher, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861) from 1845; as well as a later printing of Yoshitoshi’s first attempt at the subject which he designed in 1868.

Another section of the show looks at the military vanguard – literally on the front lines – with a group of prints related to the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05). Drawn primarily from a private collection, the avant-garde artist Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915) is well-represented in the exhibition with examples of his innovative Western-influenced landscapes as well as several of his most evocative war prints, including the triptych from 1894, Our Field Artillery Attacks the Enemy Camp at Jiuliancheng. https://www.scholten-japanese-art.com

 

Japanese Prints

Hara Shobo, 11 to 20 March, online only
View of Pleasure Boats at Ryogoku, the Eastern Capital (toto ryogoku yusen no zu), is a polychrome triptych woodcut by Utagawa Hiroshige, and a highlight of the online show at Hara Shobo in Tokyo. It is a traditional scene depicting pleasure boats on the Sumida River with people gathering to celebrate beginning of summer and view fireworks from the Ryogoku Bridge, on the riverbank of the Sumida River. https://www.harashobo.com/english/

 

Yoshio Okada

Thomsen Gallery, 11 to 20 March, by appointment only and online
The lacquer artist Yoshio Okada creates dramatic lacquer work that reflects the skills of the great masters of the Edo period. Reaching back to an era of Japan’s great cultural assimilation from the Asian continent during the 6th to 8th centuries, Okada frequently adopts the ancient, all-but-forgotten kanshitsu (dry lacquer) method, originally used to create Buddhist statuary. Combining layers of hemp cloth with the dark, sticky sap of the lacquer tree (Rhus verniciflua), he bends (so to speak) kanshitsu to his creative ends, kneading the fabric before the lacquer hardens and moulding it to form the special shapes required for his extraordinary Tensho, (Celestial Phenomena) series. Alongside the Tensho series, the gallery is offering seven boxes with jellyfish designs, including a special set of five finished last year, each of them brilliantly exploiting the painstaking, progressive nature of lacquer decoration to create the illusion of creatures swimming at different depths in clear ocean waters. https://thomsengallery.com

 

Selections of Japanese Art

Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art, 11 to 20 March, online only
A highlight this year from the online show is a 12th-century figure of Gozu-Tenno, a menacing Shinto deity depicted with hair rising up like flames and two bull horns emerging from its head. Gozu-Tenno, known as Ox-Headed Heavenly King, is deity of disease and healing, who was thought to quell epidemics and has been worshipped since the Heian period. The sculpture is unusual as it lacks the bull’s head that is commonly perched atop the deity’s human head. https://www.h-yanagi.com

 

Kokon Biannual SPRING 2021

Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts,11 to 20 March, by appointment only and online
A highlight of the Kokon Biannual this year is an ink-on-paper hanging scroll by Kano Motonobu (1476-1559) depicting a landscape and dating from the Muromachi-Momoyama period, 15th-16th century. Motonobu succeeded his father in the Kano school and developed a versatile style which was rooted in ink painting in the Chinese manner, but more suited to the of brighter colours. Its influence lasted for centuries and became the dominant style in Japanese painting.

 

The Scholar’s Study SARANGBANG

HK Art & Antiques, 11 to 20 March, by appointment only and online
On show in the gallery is a late 19th-century inkstone case, or yeonsang, and a good example of the wood furniture used in a Sarangbang, a scholar’s study. In the Joseon dynasty, the study was a multifunctional room in the men’s quarters of an elite home. Made of persimmon wood, this inkstone case was used to store important scholar’s objects: inkstone, ink stick, brush, and paper, known collectively as the ‘Four Friends’. http://www.heakyumart.com

JAPANESE AND KOREAN IMAGES

-Izzard-Sebastian-kunisada

Utagawa Kunisada (1786‒1865), Sawamura Sojuro III as Ume no Yoshibei, also Known as Tosshi by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) colour woodblock print: oban tate-e, 39.4 x 26.4 cm); 7/1863, eries: Untitled Series of Okubi-e Actors Past and Present, Sebastian Izzard

Art_of_Japan_summerautumn

In the foothills of the Mountains, Atagoyama 1932; Fall and Summer by Takahashi Hiroaki (1871-1945), colour woodblock print, ed. 200, The Art of Japan

Yanagi-Koichi-Kano-Motonobu

Landscape by Kano Motonobu (1476-1559), Muromachi-Momoyama period, 15th-16th century, hanging scroll, ink on paper, seal: Motonobu, 35 x 52.4 cm, Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts

Onishi-Gallery-OsumiYukie_Araiso

Silver Vase, Araiso (Rough Shore), 2020 by Osumi Yukie (b 1945), Living National Treasure, hammered silver with nunome zogan (textile imprint inlay) decoration in lead and gold, 27.1 x 25.3 x 25.3 cm, Onishi Gallery

Thomsen gallery box

Maki-e gold lacquer box by Yoshio Okada (b 1977), 2020, from Tensho (Celestial Phenomenon) series, Thomsen Gallery

Mirviss-Joan-KitaojiR_11910

Glazed bowl decorated with the artist’s signature patterning of red and white camellia with bright green leaves, by Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959), circa 1940, glazed stoneware, 4 3/8 x 8 7/8 in, Joan Mirviss

Yanagi-Horiuchi-Gozu

Gozu Tenno, 19th century, wood, polychrome, height: 54 cm, Hiroshi Yanagi

Scholten-Japanese-Art-War-Print

Our Field Artillery Attacks the Enemy Camp at Jiuliancheng (1894), by Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915), woodblock print triptych 14 3/4 by 28 7/8 in, Scholten Japanese Art

 

INDIAN, ISLAMIC AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART

Islamic Works of Art

Art Passages, 11 to 20 March, online only
A Safavid period tile, circa 17th century, at Art Passages’ online exhibition is illustrated with a scene featuring a multi-coloured bird in flight approaching a blossoming branch and a cypress tree. Originally part of a larger composition inspired by the natural world, the tile scene was used to decorate the walls of palaces and houses of the nobles in Isfahan, a city known for its Perso–Islamic architecture, with its grand boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, tiled mosques, and minarets. http://artpassages.com

 

The Abundance of Nature

Prahlad Bubbar, 11 to 20 March, online only
Prahlad Bubbar is presenting a series of outstanding works from the Persian, Indian, and Himalayan worlds, all connected to nature. The exhibition, The Abundance of Nature, reflects the innate generosity and regenerative power of nature, seen as a quiet observer in all these works. Within the various tableaux we observe contrasting narratives informed by various movements and art schools. Present in all these works is the enveloping power of nature as it makes it restorative force felt and remains the ultimate arbiter of time and destiny. http://www.prahladbubbar.com

 

Indian Works of Art

Francesca Galloway, 11 to 20 March, online only
In all its depth and range, Indian art always has the ability to evoke wonder and curiosity, whether it was made for an Emperor, or for a whole village. On offer are an array of textiles, objects and paintings that convey this inventiveness and diversity. The show incorporates works made for or influenced by foreign markets, for the Rajasthani princely courts, and to entertain and celebrate the traditions of ordinary crafts people. A highlight is a painting from the Impey Album, which is a perfect example of the many layers and influences found in Indian art. It was painted by Shaykh Zayn al-Din, a Muslim artist from Patna, who was commissioned in the 1770s by Lady Impey, to create an album illustrating her much-loved menagerie in Calcutta. In these depictions of flora and fauna we have a record of a kind of cultural cross-pollination, with the dual threads of the English botanical illustration, and Zayn al-Din’s Mughal artistic training and masterful personal style. https://www.francescagalloway.com

 

Indian Works of Art

Kapoor Galleries, 11 to 20 March, by appointment only and online
Uma (Parvati) stands guard at Kapoor Galleries. This striking 11th-12th century Chola bronze deity from Tamil Nadu, is representative of the most important of South Indian Hindu temple images; it is part of a ‘Somaskanda’ image which describes the divine family constituted by Shiva, Parvati, and Skanda. The present figure of Parvati, or ‘Uma’ in the native language of Tamil Nadu, seated in the posture of royal ease, belonged to a group of three portable bronze images essential to worship within each South Indian temple. The bronze figure is also processional, as indicated by the holes fit for poles enabling worshippers to carry the divine figures into the streets for all to experience darshan. Ring to book an appointment and gallery hours. https://www.kapoorgalleries.com

 

Indian Paintings

Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch, 11 to 20 March, online only
Among the notable Indian paintings in this show is Rustam before Kai Kavus Having Knocked down Tus, a folio from a Shahnama, circa 1610, a rare survivor from the court of Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1571-1627), the fifth sultan of Bijapur, who was a great patron of music and painting. Another highlight is a Portrait of a Stallion from Kishangarh, circa 1740. Kishangarh is one of the most intriguing of the desert courts of Rajasthan and is this fine drawing of a stallion, short-headed and powerful of neck, whose court artists were at their zenith in the mid-18th century. https://www.forgelynch.com

 

Asiatica/Ethnographica

Thomas Murray, 11 to 20 March, online only
Thomas Murray is offering a 19th-early 20th-century Nuo mask of a wise leader, from southwest China. Rooted in a shamanic/animistic tradition dating back thousands of years and preserved in remote mountains by the tribal minorities of this region, the dramas feature heroic battles between the forces of good and evil and serve as a means to drive out devils and malevolent ghosts. This mask is thought to capture the character of a wise but strong leader; it comes from an old French collection and is one of the finest known. https://www.tmurrayarts.com

 

Recent Acquisitions of Asian Jewellery

Susan Ollemans, 11 to 20 March, online only
This online show at Susan Ollemans includes a 19th-century gold pectoral from Sumba, Indonesia. Made from a single rod of gold, it was hammered out into two triangular flanges. This piece would have been part of a nobleman’s treasury and exposed to daylight only for ritual purposes and under the guidance of a priest. https://www.ollemans.com

 

Arms and Armour

Runjeet Singh11 to 20 March, online only
Made as a unique commission for a person of importance and taste, a 17th-century Khatamkari dagger from the Ottoman Empire is one of the works of Asian and Islamic arms and armour on view at Runjeet Singh’s online offering. The carved wooden handle and case is inlaid with gold, mother of pearl, ebony and ivory. Khatamkari refers to a technique that originated in Persia, most probably Shiraz and Isfahan, and travelled throughout the Middle East and India. http://www.runjeetsingh.com

 

ISLAMIC, INDIAN AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN IMAGES

ArtPassages_Safavid_tile

A Bird and Blossoms, polychrome stonepaste tile with polychrome glaze in cuerda seca technique, Safavid, Isfahan, Iran, circa 17th century, 9 3/8 x 9 3/8 inches, Art Passages

Bubbar-Pralad-Shahnameh-RostamkillsWhiteDemon

One of 10 leaves from the Shahnameh: Rostam kills the White Demon, Shiraz, Iran, circa 1570, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, 44 x 29 cm each leaf, Prahlad Bubbar

Ollemans-Sue

Gold pectoral, Marangga, Sumba Indonesia, 19th century, 28 x 18 cm, Susan Ollemans

Singh-Runjeet

Khatamkari dagger, Turkey, Ottoman Empire, 17th century, overall 11 inches, wood, steel, gold, mother of pearl, ebony, ivory, Runjeet Singh

FORGE lynch Kishangarh-stallion

Portrait of a stallion, Kishangarh, circa 1740, brush drawing with colour and gold on paper, 16.6 x 22.6 cm, Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch

Galloway-Francesca-Impey-Album

Study of a bird, probably an Asian koel, by Shaykh Zayn al-Din, from the collection of Lady Impey Calcutta, 1777, opaque watercolour on paper, folio 48.5 x 60.5 cm, Francesca Galloway

19 Inkstone case (Yeonsang), Joseon dynasty, late 19th century, persimmon wood, 15 1/2 x 10 x 14 3/4in, HK Art & Antiques

 

CONTEMPORARY ART

Jayashree Chakravarty

Akar Prakar,11 to 20 March, online only
Route Map of Experience (2003) by Jayashree Chakravarty is a monumental work in two parts, one measuring 10.5 ½ x 41 feet and the other 10.5 x 14.5 feet. Chakravarty creates immersive painted installations, comprising great, supple, and shape-shifting walls of rice paper, tissues, fabric and brown paper. In them, she arrests fleeting moments from the flux of experience. This is space where she can hold conversations with her inner self. As the eyes get used to this monumental twilight landscape, the details begin to reveal themselves. It is as if some natural formations were playing with your vision in the semi-darkness and creating fantastic images in your mind’s eye. https://akarprakar.com

 

Ten Thousand Flowers

Tai Modern, 11 to 20 March, online only
This exhibition pairs works of Japanese bamboo art with flowers in a nod to the long-standing relationship between the two. Early masters created baskets with the understanding that they would most often be displayed with flowers. A familiarity with the principles of flower arranging was essential to the bamboo artist working 150 years ago. Today, when a bamboo artist creates a flower basket, they do not necessarily expect that it will be used to hold flowers. However, the importance of functionality and relevance of ikebana is a matter of active debate, and each individual artist has a slightly different stance. https://taimodern.com

 

In Between: MANIKA NAGARE

Miyako Yoshinaga,11 to 20 March, by appointment only and online
First-time participant, Miyako Yoshinaga, presents a solo exhibition by Tokyo-based Manika Nagare (b 1979). In these works, Nagare strives to release her complex emotions much like nature flows in an irreversible order. Her dramatic use of unmixed colours such as orange, pink, green, and blue brightens and darkens each space like fire and ice. Her biomorphic lines flow with smooth but unpredictable rhythm like water. Her brushstrokes on canvas are as light as a feather caressing skin. In Nagare’s painting, all these evocative elements coexist organically as in nature itself. Furthermore, she conceives her painting as a two-way mirror to invite the viewer to become immersed in the painted image. This effort has been evidenced especially in the public art projects she has produced for over a decade. From flat to spatial, from visual to corporeal, from intellectual to visceral, Nagare’s exuberant work expresses open-ended vistas, this time, literally in an ‘In Between’ realm. for gallery hours. http://www.miyakoyoshinaga.com

 

CONTEMPORARY IMAGES

Yoshinaga-Miyako-Gallery-in_between1

In a Deep Sleep (2020) by Manika Nagare, oil on canvas, 89.4 x 81 cm © Manika Nagare. Courtesy Miyako Yoshinaga, New York

-Prakar-Akar-Route-map

Unfoldings: The Route Map of Experience (2003) by Jayashree Chakravarty, textile, Nepali paper, tissue, brown paper, pigment, acrylic paint, glue, tea and coffee stain. Installation in Kiran Nadar museum of Art, New Delhi. Courtesy: Jayashree Chakravarty, Akar Prakar Venue

Tai-Modern

Meditation (2014) by Higashi Kiyokazu, madake bamboo, rattan, 10.25 x 15 x 7 in, Tai Modern