Over the weekend, New York City got its first taste of Asia Week—a weeklong celebration (March 14 – 22) of Asian art and culture—which will kick into high gear tonight with the annual invitation-only opening party at a private venue.
Throughout the rest of the week, designers, collectors and art enthusiasts will be able to browse offerings from an illustrious roster of 47 international Asian art specialists—the largest number to date—along with five major auction houses, world-renowned museums and Asian cultural institutions.
Takeyama at FW Gallery
All of the show participants work together towards a singular purpose: weaving Asian art into the cultural fabric of New York. New exhibitors this year include Gisèle Croës s.a., the Chinese specialist from Brussels; GalleryFW, the contemporary Japanese art gallery in Chicago; Michael Goedhuis, the contemporary Chinese art specialist from London; Moke Mokotoff from New York, who specializes in Himalayan art and Chinese textiles; Onishi Gallery, a New York-based gallery devoted to contemporary Japanese ceramics; and Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art, who is coming from Italy with works of art, arms and armor.
"The continued growth of Asia Week New York confirms that New York City is firmly established as the not-to-be-missed destination for Asian art collectors and enthusiasts," said Carol Conover, chairman. Conover also shared that with some of the new exhibitor additions, the number of galleries showing contemporary art has increased to 25%.
But the focus this year? Attracting a new generation of young collectors, and getting them interested in Asian art and culture.
“For new collectors there is still room to buy both ancient and contemporary art from Japan, India, Southeast Asia, Korean and yes, even China,” said Conover. “The Asia Week New York dealers are always happy to see new collectors coming through the door, and for many of the foreign dealers, the young collector is one of the reasons they participate.”
Conover cited the work of Mansheng Wang’s Deep Autumn, 2013, priced at $1,500. “With his recent show at the China Institute and excellent reviews, the very accessibly priced works of this acclaimed artist probably won’t last past this season.”
J.J. Lally & Co's Painted Gray Torso of a Horse
James Lally, of the New York-based gallery J.J. Lally & Co., sells at the top end of the market, but offers two suggestions for new collectors including a painted gray pottery torso of a horse from the Han Dynasty, 206 B.C.-A.D. 220, for $2,000 and a Sichuan burnished dark gray pottery Amphora, 3rd/2nd century B.C., priced at $3,000.
“It is still possible to acquire a good antique Chinese work of art today without spending more than $5,000,” said Lally. “The best opportunities are in areas such as Neolithic pottery or Han dynasty burial items which are currently out of fashion with most Chinese mainland collectors. A diligent and persistent collector who takes time to understand an esoteric subject such as ancient bronze seals or Neolithic pottery will find good examples still can be acquired at very reasonable prices.”
Giuseppe Piva's Golden Buddah Statue
Throughout various galleries across midtown and the Upper East Side, exhibitions will include ceramics, textiles, paintings, sculpture, prints and photographs in categories ranging from Chinese Contemporary Art to Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art.
Other highlights of the show include the following:
From Los Angeles, Asian Art Studio will show an enchanting enamel-on-glass snuff bottle by Ye Bengqi, circa 1938, as part of the exhibition Noble Treasures on the Seventh Floor of the Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street. The bottle boasts provenance from the Chepsted Collection and, before that, from the Mack Collection. It has been published in books about both of those collections, most recently in 2013's “The Chepsted Notebook: A Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles.”
M. Sutherland Fine Arts Ltd's Hasi Fu Mountain Landscape Painting
Chinese Contemporary Painting: New Works by Hai Tao is the name of the show that M. Sutherland Fine Arts Ltd. is hanging on the gallery walls on the Second Floor of 55 East 80th Street. Of special note is Tao's Maelstrom, an ink-on-rice-paper work from 2010.
Brussels-based Carlo Cristi, is presenting a selection of Latest Acquisitions and Central Asian Textiles at 1016 Madison Avenue. Among the rich cache is a soulful 13th-century Tibetan painting showing an unidentified Bonpo master, seated on the folds of his cloak and seeming to rise off the ground—a particularly rare painting.
KooNewYork's Korean Tall Lotus Deco Wood Cofucian Altar Chair
KooNewYork’s Korean Traditions: Arts of the Interior presents exceedingly rare Korean antique furniture that is difficult to find in the States at the Mark Murray Gallery on the fifth floor of 39 East 72nd Street. A not-to-be-missed item among the Florida-based gallerist's offerings is an 18th-century Confucian wood altar chair, which is finely reticulated with lotus motifs.
Chelsea's Onishi Gallery heads uptown to present Heritage: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics and Other Interior Objects at Hollis Taggart Galleries, 958 Madison Avenue. Called out for particular appreciation is a work by one of the world’s most famous Kutani Potters, Tokuda Yasokichi III (1933–2009), who was designated a Living National Treasure in 1997 for his mastery of the saiyu glaze technique.
To help visitors easily navigate Asia Week New York, a comprehensive guide with maps will be available at all participating galleries and auction houses, along with select museums and cultural institutions, and online.