Asia Week New York 2023 Unveils an Abundance of Asian Art Treasures Each With a Fascinating Story to Tell

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NEW YORK–When twenty-six international galleries and six auction houses–Bonhams, Christies, Doyle, Heritage, iGavel, and Sotheby’s– open their doors for the 2023 edition of Asia Week New York, from March 16th  through 24th , an abundance of eye-alluring treasures are certain to entice the wide swath of collectors, curators, and connoisseurs who, over the past fourteen years, mark this exciting occasion as a must-attend event on their collective calendars.

Says Dessa Goddard, chairman of Asia Week New York, “We are delighted to present the 2023 edition of Asia Week New York, which always provides such a rich cultural experience for Asian art enthusiasts of all stripes and are extremely proud that we continue to pay tribute to the many facets of Asian art in all its glorious forms.”

Asia Week New York has attracted discerning collectors and connoisseurs drawn to the fascinating exhibitions—always free and open to the public—featuring the rarest and finest examples of Asian porcelain, jewelry, textiles, paintings, ceramics, sculpture, bronzes, and prints, from across the Asian world, dating from the second millennium BCE to the present. Organized by category, here are some of the not-to-be-missed highlights to be discovered at the participating galleries in March:

Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc.
Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc.

Ancient and/or Contemporary Chinese Art 

In their Spring Exhibition of Chinese Porcelain and Works of Art Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc. shines a spotlight on this extremely rare Tibetan-style rose verte porcelain ewer, which is unique in form, size, made in the Youngzheng period (1723-1735).  Decorated with scenes of Daoist Immortals, it is superbly painted in bright enamels, heralding the beginning of famille rose and exemplifying the highest quality from this formative period.  16 East 52nd Street, Suite 1002.

In their single-artist exhibition, Fung Ming Chip: Traces of Time, Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, features the Chinese artist Fung Ming Chip, a reformer of calligraphy, who has morphed a millennia-old tradition into a practice that reflects contemporary life. He has created more than one hundred calligraphic scripts throughout his career and practices calligraphy as a spatial-temporal continuum demarcated by the beginning of the first stroke of the first word and the last stroke of the last word. The temporal-spatial construct of calligraphy finds its visual expression in the written characters as well as in the space between the lines.  65 East 80th Street, Ground Floor

In their exhibition, Many Splendored Spring, INKstudio presents new landscape and flower paintings by the Taiwanese artist Peng Kanglong and figure paintings and portraiture by Li Jin from Tianjin.  Kanglong debuts his masterwork Splendid Flowers Valley, 2022 from his new series of monumental landscape and flower paintings based on a Northern Song landscape composition rendered with seventeenth century and Modern era brushwork inspired by Shitao, Kuncan and Huang Binhong.  Li Jin will debut The Heart Sutra documenting his response—both heart-felt and sardonic—to self-isolation during China’s first COVID lockdowns alongside anonymous urban portraits of New Yorkers and Los Angelenos created during his pre-COVID excursions to the United States. Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 East 79th Street

Safety in Numbers, the exhibition at Kaikodo LLC, showcases this dynamic and robust late fifteenth century Ming dynasty porcelain jar, which is decorated with the Eight Immortals of Daoist belief, forming a footloose procession around the massive body of the piece.  The term fahua, literally “ruled design,” is the moniker for ceramics produced by way of an extraordinary technique in which raised strings of slip serve as outlines for motifs brought to life through strikingly colored enamels.  This storage jar, which could have served as a decorative accoutrement as well, brings attention to a subject and an aesthetic that would have captivated and dazzled its Ming dynasty audience as they do today. Online only

The Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection of Chinese Ceramics is front and center at Zetterquist Galleries. Quietly and judiciously assembled over the last fifty years, the fifty-six pieces on offer span one thousand years, from the fourth through fourteenth centuries. They include concentrations in white and sancai Sui-Tang Dynasty earthenwares, as well as Yue, Yaozhou, Ding, Qingbai, Jun, and Cizhou kiln type wares, with black and brown kilns from Northern and Southern China also represented. Among the standout examples are a Tang Dynasty white-ware vase, a large and intact Yueyao storage jar, a Junyao brushwasher, a rare carved Yaozhou yuhuchunping, a large carved Qingbai lidded meiping, and a lioness-and-cubs shaped Cizhou pillow. 3 East 66th Street, Suite 2B

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

A jubilant party scene with musicians, dancers, and acrobats entertaining a pair of lovers seated at the center, is depicted in A Celebration, an ink and opaque watercolor with gold and silver on paper now on view in The Fabled Lands: Persian & Indian Paintings, at Art Passages. As is typical of the Qajar period in Iran (1810-1820), a Western perspective for the interior is adopted with carefully applied shadows and shading to indicate recession of space absent any light source. Online and by appointment, or phone 415-690-9077

With its original seal and elaborate detailed facial features, this sixteenth-century bronze figure of Milarepais is just one of the many sculptures in Buddhist Images of One Millenium: New Acquisitions of the Last Corona Years, at Buddhist Art, Arader Galleries, 29 East 72nd Street

One of the many outstanding folios in their exhibition Court Paintings of India, at Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch Ltd. is Vasant Raging, which is part of the Illustration to a Ragamala series, circa 1755. Surrounded by ten young courtly ladies in a garden landscape where colored water is thrown with abandon, this exquisitely painted romantic depiction of the Nawab, the young ruler of Bengal in eastern India, celebrates the Hindu spring festival of Holi. 67 East 80th Street, Suite 2

Standing front and center in Divine Gestures: Channels of Enlightenment at Kapoor Galleries is the imposing eleventh-century sandstone sculpture of Shiva as Nataraja, said to be the keeper of energy of the cosmos who protects the seekers of liberation and grace. 34 East 67th Street

Among the important textiles in Recent Acquisitions offered by Thomas Murray, is Palampore, a beautiful textile decorated with mythical lions, large hamsa geese, charming purple and red elephants and Mughal-style flowers.  Inspired in part by seventeenth-century Dutch botanicals, no other examples illustrating this very special iconography are known today. Online and in New York by appointment (415-378-0716)

Akar Prakar presents recent works from Ganesh Haloi’s latest solo exhibition ‘A space left behind’. A Kolkata-based artist, Haloi’s work straddles the line between modern and contemporary Indian art, and places formal experimentation and abstraction at the center of his artistic practice. The trauma of displacement left its mark on his work as it did on some other painters of his generation. Since then, his art has exhibited an innate lyricism coupled with a sense of nostalgia for a lost world. Online only

A monumental and unique 18th century Rajput leather dhal (shield) from Mewar India, will be among the arms and armor in Discoveries: Arms, armor and works of art from all over Asia, presented at Runjeet Singh.  The shield’s impressive size is equally matched by its striking depiction in black-and-gold paint of a complex and eye-catching procession which trails busily around the shield’s decorative center. The piece is even more striking because a large proportion of the procession is made up of Royal and courtly women. Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue

Ancient and/or Contemporary Japanese Art

One of the main highlights in the exhibition, Fine Japanese Prints: 300 Years of Japanese Prints, Ukiyo-e – Modern at The Art of Japan is Water Wheel at Onden, part of the 36 Views Series of woodblock prints by Hokusai. During the Edo period, the place shown here, Onden, was a quiet farm village near the Shibuya River, which can be seen here beyond the mill. Today, the area is known as Harajuku, the bustling hotspot for fashion-forward young people. The Mark Hotel, 25 East 77th Street, Suite 215 (March16-19)

Dai Ichi Arts presents a group exhibition of the exceptional works of Japan’s ceramic Living National Treasures. Intangible Heritage: The Art of Japan’s Living National Treasures includes the masters of a range of ceramic techniques from porcelain to stoneware– from celadon to iron glazes. Among the featured artists– all pioneers and leaders of their respective craft– is Shimaoka Tatsuzo, who is known for his unique and personalized blend of Mingei and modern influences which is reflected in this elegant stoneware platter. 18 East 64th Street

One of the highlights in Prints and Drawings by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861), Master of Graphic Storytelling on view at Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints is the color woodblock diptych called Yoshitsune and Benkei on Gojo Bridge, circa 1839-1840. Kuniyoshi was a master of graphic storytelling, and this warrior scene, one of the best-known stories in Japanese folklore, was one favorites. Online and Conrad New York Midtown (Private Suite), 151 West 54th Street (March 18-19) by appointment (818) 621 6246

Ippodo Gallery illuminates a modern lacquer technique that disrupts preconceived notions of the raden (mother-of -pearl inlay) tradition. Terumasa Ikeda: Iridescent Lacquer focuses on Terumasa Ikeda’s revolutionary laser-incised raden technique, a method the artist spent eight years developing. Ikeda was born and resides in Kanazawa, known as the country’s preeminent hub for lacquerware production. Arabic numerals, computer screens, and digital signals—all assembled from abalone shell—adorn the twenty object boxes, tea caddies, and incense containers. 32 East 67th Street, 3rd Floor

Among the works in the exhibition Japanese Paintings and Prints: 1800-1860 at Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art is South Wind, Clear Dawn the iconic woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai. The mountain was venerated as a female deity, and members were encouraged to ascend its slopes and enter its caves to engage in religious austerities, so that when they exited, they would be spiritually reborn and purified. 17 East 76th Street, 3rd Floor

Joan B Mirviss LTD presents Painted Clay: Wada Morihiro and Modern Ceramics of Japan, an exhibition of this master’s oeuvre alongside the many Japanese artists who paint on clay, employing a variety of techniques. These works from Wada’s predecessors and successors will stand in conversation with those of Wada Morihiro. One of the many highlights is Kakugenki; Brilliance and Mystery Vessel made of slip-glazed stoneware. Juxtaposed against the ceramics is The Colors of Postwar Japanese Art– an exhibition of colorful abstract paintings by Yamaguchi Takeo and Domoto Insho–mounted by first-time participant Shibunkaku, the Tokyo-based gallery. 39 East 78th Street, 4th floor

In the exhibition, Heated Colors, Hammered Forms: Female Metal Artists of Japan at Onishi Gallery, is Sako Ryuhei’s modern interpretation of mokumegane, a centuries-old metalworking technique steeped in rich history and tradition. To create the intricate pattern, Sako forges twenty to thirty layers of metal under incredibly high temperatures. Once the metals have amalgamated into a single, thick billet, she then incises the billet, revealing the stratum of metals below. Afterwards, she flattens the incised billet into a thin, circular sheet, allowing the layered metal to form organic patterns.  Finally, using a metalworking hammer, the sheet is hammered into the artist’s desired shape. 521 West 26th Street

Of the many intriguing woodblock prints and paintings that stand out in Multiple Masters: Modern Prints & Paintings and Ukiyo-Woodblock Prints from the Shin Collection at Scholten Japanese Art is Dancing at the New Carlton Cafe in Shanghai, by Yamamura Koka. In 1924, he published this print which was part of an untitled set of ten prints which included landscapes, beautiful women, and bird and flower subjects. The dynamic composition of this interior view holds a unique place among all of Koka’s prints and is believed to be the first moga (modern girl) woodblock print that depicts taxi dancers at a trendy Shanghai hotel café.

Simultaneously, Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints from the Shin Collection, an exhibition of ‘golden age’ figure prints of the late 18th century and magnificent 19th century landscapes, is also on view.

Making their Asia Week New York debut, Shibunkaku, here from Japan, collaborates with Joan B Mirviss LTD to present The Colors of the Postwar Japanese Abstract Arts, a series of colorful artworks created by Japanese artists from the postwar period. The exhibition features abstract paintings by two important artists Yamaguchi Takeo and Domoto Insho, the masters of the Yōga and Nihonga respectively. They will also showcase the avant-garde calligraphy by two other great masters, Morita Shiryu and Inoue Yuichi and will include a valuable classic piece by a Mid-Edo period Zen priest Hakuin Ekaku, who has inspired many artists with his Zen ideology and aesthetics, including Morita Shiryu. 39 East 78th Street, 4th floor

The exhibition, TAI Modern at Asia Week New York 2023, at TAI Modern features Isohi Setsuko’s susutake tray called Home Place, which conjures up images of returning to a familial home surrounded by the square rice fields of rural Japan: a shape which is echoed in the tray itself and in her use of the deceptively simple technique of square plaiting.  The piece is woven from susutake, a centuries-old smoked bamboo taken from roofs of traditional Japanese homes and underscores the strength and beauty of this rare material. Underneath, inventive but hidden feet raise the tray to create a floating appearance and an unexpected play of light and shadow. 23 East 67th Street

Fine Art from the Taisho/Showa Eras, at Thomsen Gallery, will feature folding screens and hanging scrolls from the Taisho era (1912-26) and early Showa era (1926-1989), a time of great change for Japan and its arts. Superb works were created for the domestic market, in contrast to the export-oriented output during the preceding Meiji era (1868-1912). Though most painters of the Taisho and early Showa eras typically remained focused on traditional themes, they often experimented with new materials and perspectives. They shifted from stylized depictions of nature to naturalistic botanical studies and through their travels abroad, many painters started to incorporate foreign elements into their work. Alongside the screens and scrolls are bamboo baskets and intricate gold lacquer boxes from the Taisho and Showa eras, which highlight the technical perfection in works of art that were executed in traditional formats and materials but explored new worlds of expression and design. 9 East 63rd St, 2nd Floor 

In their exhibition, Selection of Japanese Art: New Acquisitions, Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art offers an eighteenth-century Edo-period silk hanging scroll entitled “Phoenix and Jurojin (god of longevity)” by Yanagisawa Kien. The long-headed old man carrying a scroll and mounted on a deer is undoubtedly a depiction of Jurojin, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune.  Nicholas Hall, 17 East 76th Street, 4F

At MIYAKO YOSHINAGA Manika Nagare: Spectrum of Vivid Moments showcases the work of Manika Nagare, a Tokyo-based painter, who strives to extract colors from the infinite spectrum of light omnipresent in her surroundings. Nagare applies multiple layers of unmixed colors onto the canvas, conveying shifting differences in light and perspective. In the painting That Direction the artist shows her interest in life’s trajectory, including one’s encounter with death. She shares the Japanese belief that death is regarded not as the end but potentially as the beginning of another life.  24 East 64th Street, Third Floor

Ancient and/or Contemporary Korean Art

The Korean specialist HK Art and Antiques presents Figures and Flowers, an exhibition which consists of paintings from the important modern and contemporary Korean artists such as Kim Sou, Kim Hyungguen, Su Kwak, Kyung-ja and Cho Yong-lk. Additionally, the gallery features a group of Goryeo celadons from a private collection in the United States, including various celadon oil bottles and bowls. This elegantly incised celadon oil bottle is just one of the many beautiful pieces on view which demonstrates the heights of celadon’s perfection in terms of form, decoration, and technology in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.  49 East 78th Street, Suite 4B

About Asia Week New York 

The collaboration of top-tier international Asian art galleries, the six 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 @asiaweekny #asiaweekny 

About Songtsam, Presenting Sponsor

Continuing as Presenting Sponsor for Asia Week New York is the Songtsam Group, the award-winning luxury boutique hotel collection, and Destination Management Company with fifteen properties located in the Chinese provinces of Tibet and Yunnan. Founded by Baima Duoji, in 2000, the hotel group is the only collection of luxury Tibetan-style retreats found across the Tibetan Plateau that strives to preserve and share the cultures and spirituality of its locale, all the while offering guests sophisticated elegance, refined design, modern amenities, and unobtrusive service in places of natural beauty and cultural interest.

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