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Asia Week New York steps into the new decade with eye-alluring curated exhibitions
This large and brilliantly designed page from an illustrated Kedara Kalpa manuscript, depicts the tale of the five sages, who on pilgrimage have had great difficulties but also “the most wondrous of sights’ including ‘golden cities and maidens hanging from trees like fruit”. The text is concerned with the glory of the Hindu god Shiva and praises the great merits of pilgrimage to those regions in the Himalayas that are associated with him. Here they have returned, much emaciated after the rigors of their journey, to be feted by women before being received by a king, amidst scenes of rejoycing. The artist of the series of illustrations is Purkhu, whose patron was Maharaja Sansar Chand (1775-1823), of Kangra. The lavish style, minute detail and, not least, the quality of the painting, all bear the hallmarks of his style. Courtesy Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch, Ltd.)

NEW YORK, NY.- For the past 10 years, Asia Week New York has presented an abundance of magnificent treasures from every part of the Far East for the pleasure and enjoyment of Asian art aficionados. These exceptional works of art are to be found at 34 gallery exhibitions curated by prominent Asian art experts that are open to the public on March 12 to 19 (*and in some instances, until March 21). Joining in the excitement are six top-tier auction houses–Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, Heritage Auctions, Sotheby’s and iGavel–plus numerous world-class museums and cultural institutions.

Says Asia Week New York chairwoman Katherine Martin: “As Asia Week New York enters a new decade, we look forward to increasing the public’s awareness and knowledge of the joys of collecting Asian art–hence we are excited to present a comprehensive series of gallery talks by our esteemed experts.”

As always, Asia Week New York exhibitions–free and open to the public—promise the rarest and finest examples of Asian textiles, ceramics, furniture, sculpture, bronzes, paintings and jewelry from every area and period of Asia. Organized by category, here are some of the important highlights to be discovered at Asia Week New York’s participating galleries:

Chinese Works of Art: Ancient Through Contemporary
In their Spring Exhibition of Chinese Porcelain and Works of Art, Ralph M. Chait Galleries, Inc. features a finely painted mid-17th century Ming blue-and-white porcelain vase and cover. The 12-inch tall vase is decorated with military figures in a mountainous outdoor setting while the dome is painted with a land and seascape scene, including a 10-story pagoda. 16 East 52ndStreet, 10th floor

First-time Asia Week New York participant Carlton Hobbs LLC presents Asian Influence on European Decorative Art, 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries, featuring an exceptional 19th century black lacquer polychrome and two-color gilt cabinet on the original stand. This spectacular piece exemplifies the English revival in chinoiserie taste at the turn of the 18th to the 19th century and renewed the interest in lacquered furniture from China, particularly black lacquer enhanced with shimmering gold powder and gold leaf decoration. 60 East 93rd Street

An exquisite Ryukyuan mother-of-pearl inlaid lacquer stand takes center stage at Privileged, the exhibition at Kaikodo LLC. The Ryukyuan chain of islands extending from Kyushu to Taiwan, also known as Okinawa, supported a rich tradition of lacquer making since the late 14th century when ties were established with the newly established Ming dynasty in China. This beautiful stand could have been made to display a vase of flowers, or like many utilitarian objects for the elite, presented as a work of art. 74 East 79th Street

Chinese and Japanese Costumes, Textiles and Paintings at Alan Kennedy will spotlight an album of forty paintings, commissioned by James Ware, a British sea captain who arrived in China in 1881. Ware recruited local artists to make the imaginative paintings, adding typescript captions at the bottom of each page. Giant Confusion is one such painting that is part of the collection. James Goodman Gallery, 41 East 57th Street, 8th floor

At J.J. Lally & Co., a very early and rare Ming dynasty (14th-15th century) bronze goose-form incense burner will be among the exquisite works of art on view at ELEGANTLY MADE: Art for the Chinese Literati. This brilliantly cast censer is the largest of its kind yet recorded and the only example known which is complete with its original matching base. 41 East 57th Street, 14th Floor

A standout piece in Chinese and Japanese Ceramics at Zetterquist Galleries, is a large Japanese 17th century porcelain Kakiemon lidded bowl, with a masterfully enameled chrysanthemum pattern, an early example of the Kakiemon style and a technical tour de force for its time. 3 East 66th Street, Suite 2B

Indian, Himalayan, & Southeast Asian Art:
Ancient Through Contemporary

In New Acquisitions, Walter Arader Himalayan Art points to a fine Company School pen and ink watercolor of an Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, from Calcutta, circa 1810, on European laid paper with the watermark of the Strasburg Lily, which indicates that the painting was completed on the more expensive and higher quality European laid paper and reserved in India for high commissions. Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue

From Art Passages comes the exhibition Of Love, Epic, and Kingship. Highlighted is a painting titled Vasant Ragaputra of Hindola raga, from Kshemakarna Ragamala. Ragamala, or Garland of Music Melodies, which were divided into groups and subgroups. These melodies were often translated into visual depictions as in this painting. Here, Vasant means Springtime and the blue-skinned son of Hindola raga prepares to dance to the tune of female musicians surrounding him. This painting is from the earliest set illustrating poet Kshemakarna's 1570 poems describing the Ragamala. 1018 Madison Avenue, 5th floor

A spectacular late 16th-early 17th century Tibetan tangka, Yama as Dharmaraja, is one of the highlights in Fine Sculptures and Tangkas at Carlo Cristi Asian Arts Company. Two deities, Yama and Chamunda, traditionally represented in cosmic union, stand separated in a powerful stance, a unique composition of great dynamic expression. The tangka shows a refined combination of the Tibetan and Chinese pictorial vocabulary. Leslie Feely Gallery, 1044 Madison Avenue, 4th floor

In their exhibition Court Paintings from India and Iran, Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch, Ltd. shine a spotlight on Krishna courting Radha with his skillful fluting, an opaque watercolor with gold on paper, circa 1780. The painting illustrates a scene from the Bhagavata Purana, an ancient Hindu epic, comprised of 18,000 verses and 12,000 cantos, which narrates scenes from the lives of Vishnu and Krishna. It was executed for a royal patron at the Court of Kangra in the lower Himalayan range south of Kashmir and would have been part of a large series of paintings. 67 East 80th Street,
Suite 2

Paintings for the Pahari Rajas, on view at Francesca Galloway, features paintings from several important private collections including remarkable court portraits, and dynamic and innovative illustrations of the great Hindu epics Ramayana, Bhagavata Purana and Gita Govinda. Among the exhibition’s highlights is Krishna and his friends playing hide-and-seek by night, circa 1765, depicting an intimate and whimsical scene of youths playing a game of hide and seek. This painting, masterfully rendered, shows Krishna with his friends whose bodies glimmer under the starlight against the dark hillside 1018 Madison Avenue, 1st floor

Not to be missed in God/Goddess, at Kapoor Galleries, is the important Chinnamasta, which literally translates to “severed head,” one of ten mahavidyas or goddesses worshipped in the Hindu tradition, all incarnations of the great goddess Devi. This rare treasure is signed by master artist Nainsukh of Guler, an important innovator of a strong and widely admired tradition of Indian painting. 34 East 67th Street, 3rd floor

Himalayan and Indian Art: Aesthetic Meta-Moments at Navin Kumar Gallery, explores the question of what it means for our lives to be consistent with our own insight about everyday life. One of the gallery’s featured paintings depicts the Buddhist deity Manjushri, who is associated with the insight into the nature of reality. Only a handful of the greatest of scholars, monks, and kings were considered to have been living emanations of Manjushri, and amongst the earliest of them, is the monk Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltsen. In the 18th century painting, Manjushri with scenes from the life of Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyeltsen, the monk’s life is traced, from birth, to his educational activities, to his stay at the court of Godan Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. 900 Park Avenue, Suite 4E

Thomas Murray makes his Asia Week New York debut with Rarities: The Himalayas to Hawaii, featuring a fabulous sculptural betel cutter, which is a portrait of a Javanese sultan in wayang “shadow puppet” style, in a 17th century costume and holding a royal keris dagger. It was made from iron, which is difficult to cast, and inlaid with gold. As such, it could only have been made in a court atelier. The ritual chewing of betel permeated all of the sub-cultures and social strata of Indonesia, from headhunters to the highest courts of Java. It was offered to guests as a welcome and ritually exchanged at births, marriages, and funerals. Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue

This stunning 19th century South Indian three-string, seed pearl and ruby necklace with the clasps made from flat cut diamonds is one of the many treasures in the Jewels of Asia exhibition at Susan Ollemans Oriental Art. Gallery Vallois, 27 East 67th Street, Ground Floor

With galleries in New Delhi and Kolkata, Akar Prakar makes its Asia Week New York debut with Form & Play–Recent Work by Ganesh Haloi with Roobina Karode, chief curator of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, as their curatorial advisor, preceding his retrospective at CSMVS, museum Mumbai, in October 2020. Untitled, a gouache on Nepali handmade paper, has a specific association with the nature of water. The near-abstract shapes, patterns and textures refer to the submerged and floating aquatic plants, their gentle movements and incessant and silent lifecycle. Glowing layers of colors on the deep, intense color-ground using natural and organic pigments, a technique he resurrected from the Asian traditional practice illustrate Haloi’s extraordinary skill. 41 East 57th Street, Suite 704

Rosenberg & Co. mounts a solo-artist exhibition called Blue Night, Red Earth: The Work of Nguyen Cam. Nguyen Cam is a contemporary visual artist working primarily in paint, collage, and mixed media. His chosen materials include used rice sacks, corrugated cardboard, and gingko leaves, each relating to his deep, complex relationship with his native country, Vietnam. Untitled #20's color palette and composition exemplify his material exploration of his unique journey. 19 East 66th Street

Japanese Works of Art: Ancient To Contemporary
In 250 Years of Japanese Prints, The Art of Japan showcases, among many Japanese woodblock prints, In the Mirror of the House of Blue Dishes, an arresting image by Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900). This unusual vertical triptych tells the story of the samurai Aoyama Tessan, who possesses ten treasured blue-and-white ceramic plates. The central image in the triptych stands alone as a strong and haunting figure, but the entire triptych is necessary to illustrate the dramatic episode. The Mark Hotel, 25 East 77th Street, Suite 215

Dai Ichi Arts features a beautiful stoneware Oribe-glazed vase by the contemporary ceramicist Yamaguchi Makoto. He was inspired by the "ouroboros,” an ancient symbol of death and rebirth, expressing this with the form and flow of the glaze, which originated in the 16th century Momoyama Period. 18 East 64th Street, Suite 1F

In SHINTO REDUX: Kami || Shin-magatama by Hiroyuki Asano, Carole Davenport spotlights a mesmerizing and rare Shinto deity, from the Heian period, 10th -11th century. Based on nature and the spirit dwelling within mountains, trees, waterfalls, geographical sites and creatures, as well as venerated deceased human beings, Shinto was the first native religion of Japan. Leigh Morse FA, 22 East 80th Street, 5th floor

Egenolf Gallery Japanese Prints presents Fine Japanese Prints Including Samurai/Spirits: A Collection of Kuniyoshi, featuring Snow at Zojo Temple by Kawase Hasui, dated 1922. Hasui’s spare design of a man in western dress walking towards the majestic vermilion main gate of the Zojo Temple is also his first depiction of this Tokyo landmark, a subject he returned to in several famous designs in the following decades. This pre-earthquake work was produced in a limited edition of 100 prints that was by subscription only. The Mark Hotel, 25 East 77th Street

Among Fine Japanese Prints, at Hara Shobo, is Hiraizumi Konjikido (Golden Hall), a delicate snowy winter scene by Kawase Hasui, dated 1957. The Mark Hotel, 25 East 77th Street

At Ippodo Gallery New York, Koichiro Isezaki’s contemporary spin on traditional Bizen ware in his yō series is the focal point of The Breath of Clay – The Life of Koichiro Isezaki’s Contemporary Bizen. Appearing to sink into itself, this beautiful collapse- form ceramic vase, graced by delicate flashing, is reminiscent of the flame traveling upwards, leaving soft hues of orange and brown. 32 East 67th Street

In the exhibition, Japanese Art, Mika Gallery/Shouun Oriental Art features Welcoming Descent of Amida and Twenty-five Bodhisattvas, a 13th century Pure Land sect Buddhist painting from the Kamakura period (1185–1333) in gold, color and ink on silk. or phone 646-339-7046

Joan B Mirviss LTD juxtaposes contemporary ceramics with traditional woodblock prints in two simultaneous exhibitions: Restraint and Flamboyance, Masterworks of Mino and Ukiyo-e from the Collection of George Crawford. Katsushika Hokusai is arguably Japan’s most celebrated artist and many of his woodblock prints have become iconic images of Japan. While many designs from the artist’s “Thirty-six Views of Fuji” series, circa 1830, are better known, this dramatic and far rarer scene of Amida Waterfall stands as one of the artist’s most compelling compositions, effectively conveying the power of nature. 39 East 78th Street, Suite 401

This metal vessel called Ritsu (Rhythm) by Iede Takahiro, one of Japan’s most celebrated contemporary metal artists, stands out in The Four Elements in Japanese Arts: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, the exhibition at Onishi Gallery. The artist, inspired by traditional Japanese bamboo basketry, painstakingly weaves strips of rigid metal of different colors, heating and hammering each strip. 521 West 26th Street

The showstopper at Giuseppe Piva’s exhibition Japanese Art and Antiques is Tsutsumi Do Tosei Gusoku, a 17th -18th century ceremonial suit of Samurai armor bearing the kamon of the Mōri family, from the Edo period. The details of the armor, the kawari kabuto, the use of luxurious materials and the cuirass covered in brocade are all characteristics of the flamboyant style of the Mōri clan.

Seven Women: Applying Makeup Before a Mirror, by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), circa 1792-93, is from The Baron J. Bachofen von Echt Collection of Golden Age Ukiyo-e exhibition at Scholten Japanese Art. A lavish production for its time, this tour de force is an example of the best type of ukiyo-e (art of the floating world), created by one of the period’s most important artists, and published by a highly influential publisher. It was produced during the Golden Age (circa 1780-1800), considered the highpoint in ukiyo-e print production.

Swirling Ring is one of the works featured in TAI Modern’s Abe Motoshi solo exhibition, the Japanese bamboo artist’s first in the United States. Abe is known for his numerous original plaiting techniques and devotion to the art form. He started this flower basket back in 1984 but only completed it in 2014, after he was inspired to flip the basket upside down and cut out the bottom, creating a more satisfying form. Abe’s work is shown in conjunction with the exhibition Selected Works of Japanese Bamboo Art, a survey of contemporary and historic pieces. 38 East 78th Street

Shiryū Morita’s ink-on-paper folding screen takes center stage in Japanese Modern and Post-War Art, the exhibition at Thomsen Gallery. 9 East 63rd Street

Among the New Acquisitions at Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art is Buddha of Compassion, an elegant six-armed wooden statue made in the 14th century, between the end of the Kamakura period and the beginning of the Muromachi period. Using gold powder paint and gold leaf, this rare piece was created in the same manner as an Amida Nyorai, one of Asia’s most popular deities. Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue

Korean Works of Art: Ancient To Contemporary
Boccara Art, a newcomer to Asia Week New York presents two separate exhibitions: one in New York called Lavinia Yu: In Search of Lost Ocean, and the other in Brooklyn titled Kim Jeong Yeon & Hyun Ae Kang: Living in a Restful House. Recognized for her installations, which combine the natural energy of her motherland with explosive expressionistic calligraphy, Living in a Restful House, explores the concepts of family and home in modern society, as well as the existential angst of human beings in the physical space and time. Lavinia Yu: In Search of Lost Ocean, at 130 West 56th Street; Kim Jeong Yeon & Hyun Ae Kang: Living in a Restful House, at 198 24th Street in Brooklyn

Dreams of Blue and White Porcelain and Photography at HK Art & Antiques LLC features the work of Bohnchang Koo, whose photographs of blue and white ceramics from the Korean collections of well-known museums in the world, capture the simplistic beauty of the delicately painted porcelain– created with a rare and highly prized blue pigment. 49 East 78th Street, Suite 4B

Symbolizing the majesty of the royal family, this late 18th century blue and white dragon jar—used as storage vessels or vases for monumental floral displays at banquets in the royal court for feasts and rituals– is the focal point in Kang Collection Korean Art’s exhibition A Fantastic Dragon Jar and Recent Acquisitions. The decoration on this jar reveals the dynamic yet painstaking skill of the painters of the royal court. Arader Galleries, 1016 Madison Avenue.

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