Asia Week New York concluded its nine-day run on March 24 and was met with great enthusiasm from the multitude of international collectors, curators, scholars and Asian art aficionados who descended upon New York to see an extraordinary array of treasures from every corner of Asia.
The 33 Asian art specialists from around the world reported strong sales to known and new buyers, from here and abroad, with many works on reserve by museums. To date, the combined sales realized by these galleries together with the highly successful auctions—many with record-breaking prices at Bonhams, Christie's, Doyle New York, iGavel and Sotheby's— total over $ 170 million.
"Asia Week New York 2012 wrapped up its robust season over the weekend after an extraordinary week of openings, events, gallery exhibitions, lectures and auctions," said Henry Howard-Sneyd, Chairman of Asia Week New York 2012 and Sotheby's Vice Chairman of Asian art, Americas. "Almost every significant art form and country in Asia was represented, often in depth, across the city. The dealer participants reported consistent visitor traffic throughout, with many saying that they had sold better than last year. The auctions reported record high prices in many categories with New York maintaining its ranking among the top-selling centers of the world. " According to Howard-Sneyd, classical Chinese paintings have returned as a leading element of the Asian art market after more than 10-year absence.
"This was the busiest New York Asia Week we've seen in many years," reported James Lally, of J.J. Lally & Co. "Our exhibition was a great success, with approximately 75 percent of the items in our catalogue now sold, including a few items to museums, but private collectors were dominant, as usual." According to Lally, he received confirmation from the Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, of the museum's acquisition of a rare Sogdian Parcel-Gilt Silver Fluted Cup, dating to circa 700 A.D. "Chinese art is currently enjoying a 'boom', with many new collectors and dealers coming from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China. Chinese art of every kind and every period is more popular around the world now than ever before in history. We sold items to American, Japanese, European and Chinese buyers, with American buyers making the most purchases by a wide margin."
"The overall exuberance and acquisitive atmosphere were reminiscent of Asia Weeks of the late 1990s," said Joan Mirviss, who reported that the response from collectors and enthusiasts to her exhibition "Approaching the Horizon: Important Japanese Prints from the Collection of Brewster Hanson" was exhilarating. "By the close of Asia Week's openhouse weekend, we had sold nearly 60% of the exhibition (which included sixty-eight prints). In terms of attendance and participation, this year's Asia Week was tremendous and far exceeded those in recent memory."
"Our 'Portraits & Pantheons' exhibition of 20 Korean paintings garnered an energetic and positive response," said Jiyoung Koo of KooNewYork. "A number of these rare works are now officially 'on reserve' for museums but I also have a wait list of other curators for pieces.What surprised me the most was the great interest in two particular scroll portraits of scholars-one dated 1924 and the other from the Annexation Period (1910-1945) -even more than the paintings dated earlier. This may reflect the long-sighted vision of various curators re-looking at the tumultuous period of the turn of the 19th/20th century with a fresh eye now that we're in the 21st century. Additionally, these paintings help to shed historical light on the birth of Modern and Contemporary Korean Art that is in the spotlight these days."
"We are overjoyed by the positive response to our Asia Week exhibition," said Carlton Rochell, who specializes in Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art. "It has been one of the most successful shows for us to date, with over 30 top-quality works of art selling to at least four American and international museums, as well as to private collectors from around the world. We have seen unprecedented numbers of people here at the gallery, many of whom we have met for the first time. Asia Week New York continues to be the premier destination for museums, collectors, and dealers worldwide and we were thrilled to be a part of it."
According to Edith Dicconson, the director of the Chinese Porcelain Company, the Sackler Museum of the Harvard University of Art Museums acquired Summer Mountain After Rain, an ink on silk painting by Tai Xiangzhou (b. 1968). "We are pleased to report that Tai Xiangzhou ink paintings are now in six important private U.S. collections, and one in Hong Kong," said Dicconson.
"This has been my best-attended exhibition in years and has had amazing sales from day one with great interest from museums and private collectors," said Michael C. Hughes who exhibited Chinese and Indian art. "I am very pleased."
"Kapoor Galleries is thrilled at and thankful for the support of our distinguished clientele, one of whom flew in his personal jet to view the exhibition, prior to its official opening," said Suneet Kapoor. "We have had tremendous interest and kind praise from collectors, curators and colleagues for the high quality works on display." According to Kapoor, the highly important earliest known signed and dated Nepalese paubha of a Vasudhara Mandala sold for over two million dollars.
Asia Week New York 2013 will take place from March 15-24.