What's Happening in Asian Art...: Participant News

Met Museum's Japan: A History of Style, Rotation 3

December 3, 2021

Anonymous, Quail, Sparrows, and Millet, early 16th century, hanging scroll, ink and color on silk,
32 5/16×13 5/8 in., The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Japan: A History of Style, 3rd Rotation, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Closing this weekend, last day Sunday, December 5, 2021

This exhibition celebrates how gifts and acquisitions of the last decade have transformed The Met’s ability to narrate the story of Japanese art by both expanding and deepening the range of remarkable artworks that can meaningfully elucidate the past. Each of the ten rooms that make up the Arts of Japan Galleries features a distinct genre, school, or style, representing an array of works in nearly every medium, from ancient times to the present. Highlights include the debut of a spectacular group of contemporary metalwork by Living National Treasures and emerging artists.

Read more, click here

While at the Met, be sure to see as part of this rotation and before it closes, too, the works from artist and collector Paul Binnie's completed series, A Hundred Shades of Ink of Edo. The prints, which the Met acquired from Scholten Japanese Art in 2017, are brilliantly displayed side-by-side with stunning examples of ukiyo-e masterpieces that inspired Binnie's compositions—in a way that very few museums would have the ability to do.

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"The Hare with Amber Eyes"

December 2, 2021

Masatoshi (sign.), Recumbent Hare with Raised Forepaw, c. 1880, ivory and buffalo horn, de Waal Family Collection

The Hare with Amber Eyes Exhibition at the Jewish Museum
November 19, 2021-May 15, 2022

The Hare with Amber Eyes tells the story of the Ephrussi family—celebrated in the 2010 memoir and The New York Times bestseller of the same name by Edmund de Waal—and showcases the breadth and depth of their illustrious collection. The exhibition explores the family’s rise to prominence and splendor in the first half of the nineteenth century, followed by a focus on the prolific collector and historian of art, Charles Ephrussi, to the inter-war years, and finally World War II, when the family lost its fortune and collection to Nazi looting.

The exhibition’s centerpiece is the extraordinary collection of Japanese netsuke, miniature carved sculptures of the Edo Period (17th-19th centuries), hidden by a maid from German officials in her mattress during World War II, and later returned to the family after the war. Also on display are items from the Ephrussi’s collections, including artworks by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Gustave Moreau, and Auguste Renoir, among others; decorative objects; and family photos and ephemera from their lives across four continents. The most recent member of the family to inherit the netsuke collection, author and ceramicist Edmund de Waal, drew from them the inspiration for his memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes, continuing the family’s storied legacy of artistic and cultural pursuits.

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JASA Live Zoom Webinar-Hokusai: A Curatorial Perspective

November 30, 2021

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Dragon head Kannon (The Great Picture Book of Everything), 1820s-40s, ink on paper. Purchase funded by the Theresia Gerda Buch Bequest, in memory of her parents, Rudolf and Julie Buch, with support from Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation). © The Trustees of the British Museum

Hokusai: A Curatorial Perspective
Zoom Webinar, Wednesday, December 1, 5pm EST

JASA (Japanese Art Society of America) welcomes you to join their exciting and informative series of presentations about this year's several superb exhibitions focusing on the master artist Hokusai. A wonderful show at the National Museum of Asian Art focuses on the collection of Hokusai drawings, paintings and screens collected by its founder, Charles Lang Freer. Across the Atlantic, the British Museum features a much-anticipated exhibition of drawings by Hokusai. Other museum curators have turned their attention to new publications. This webinar offers an opportunity to hear four expert curators and specialists speak about their perspective on connoisseurship of Hokusai drawings, prints and paintings.

The presentations are:
Frank Feltens, Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art, National Gallery of Asian Art, Visualizing Thunder: Hokusai’s Thunder God
Alfred Haft, JTI Project Curator for Japanese Collection, British Museum, Hokusai’s Illustrations for The Great Picture Book of Everything
Andreas Marks, Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, To Wave or not to Wave: Variations in Hokusai's Fuji Prints
Sarah Thompson, Curator of Japanese Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Drawings by Hokusai and His Pupils at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

To register for this program, click here

Read more, click here

Thomsen Gallery Exhibition at Design Miami

November 30, 2021

Iizuka Rokansai (1890-1958), Flower Basket Named "Bundle", 1930s, bamboo, 10x10x11 1/4in.

Japanese Bamboo Baskets and Contemporary Art
Design Miami, Booth G/17
December 1-5, 2021
Wednesday, December 1, 1–8pm
Thursday, December 2, 11am–8pm
Friday, December 3, 12–8pm
Saturday, December 4, 12–8pm
Sunday, December 5, 12–6pm

Thomsen Gallery is participating in the current Design Miami exhibition and will present newly-acquired masterpieces of Japanese bamboo art by the greatest bamboo artists of the 20th century. The baskets will be complemented by Japanese gold lacquer boxes, porcelain vessels by the Japanese porcelain sculptor Sueharu Fukami, and folding screens by the paper artist Kyoko Ibe.

The exhibition takes place in the Design Miami Pavilion at Convention Center Drive/19th Street, across from Art Basel Miami.

For more information, click here

Ippodo Gallery-Synthesis II Exhibition

November 30, 2021

Kenji Wakasugi, Sanctuary (detail), 2021, photograph of washi mounted screen, 23 5/8 x 33 1/2 in.

Synthesis II Exhibition: "Adore" Madonna and Fusuma
Photography by Kenji Wakasugi
December 3, 2021-January 11, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday, December 3, 5-8pm
Book Signing: Saturday, December 4, 3-5pm
Ippodo Gallery, 32 E. 67th St., 3rd Floor, New York
Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday, 11am-5:30pm

A sequel to Synthesis, Wakasugi’s inaugural exhibition at Ippodo Gallery in 2016, Synthesis II highlights the artist’s exploration of photography inspired by traditional ink-painting. The show will also feature individual prints and a limited second edition publication of the photo book ADORE from his 1985 photoshoot with Madonna, published by Nick Groarke, NJG Studio in London.

Juxtaposed to works emphasizing traditional styles and architecture are Wakasugi’s images of Madonna, demonstrating a vivid sense of modernity and nostalgia for the late 20th century. Taken during a 45-minute photoshoot, Wakasugi captures the then 27-year old Madonna promoting her album Like A Virgin wearing clothes by Jean Paul Gaultier, as well as numerous crucifixes and rosaries. Transcending typical fashion photography, Wakasugi’s portraiture focuses on Madonna’s facial expressions and gestures to reveal the superstar’s stunning sincerity.

Wakasugi uses an array of modern and traditional techniques, such as digital manipulation and the application of gold leaf and his ink-wash painting or calligraphy, to further alter his photography. Emphasizing his range of styles and influences, Wakasugi mounts his paintings using Western-style framing and hanging scrolls or fusuma sliding doors.

For more information, click here

Kenji Wakasugi, Madonna_14, 2021, Photography, Small (Edition 15), 22 x 17 in.

Songtsam Meili Lodge-A Sacred and Breathtaking Tibetan Mountain Retreat (sponsor post)

November 29, 2021

Songtsam is Asia Week New York's 2021 Presenting Sponsor. Learn more about another one of their stunning properties below!

Every year Tibetans and travelers from all over the world make their journey to worship at Mount Kawagebo, the major peak of the Meili Snow Mountain range and one of the holiest mountains in the larger Tibetan region. Songtsam Lodge Meili was built in this spectacular area. A highlight is waking up and experiencing the morning sunrise. First golden sunlight shines over Mount Kawagebo and then spreads quickly over the 13 peaks. Against the backdrop of the dark-blue sky, the sunrise is considered very holy and only lasts for a few minutes. Rooms are furnished with large comfortable beds, sofas, and timber flooring, providing a warm atmosphere that combines rustic charm with modern comforts. Most rooms also feature a cozy fireplace.

The Meili Snow Mountain range is a sub range of the Hengduan Mountains, which run north to south, marking the boundary between Tibet and Yunnan province. It is remarkable for its impressive chain of glaciated peaks, rising more than 6,000 meters high, and during sunrise and sunset, the soft sunlight illuminates all thirteen peaks. As of today, none of the major peaks have been summited. Standing at 6,740 meters, the main peak, Kawagebo, is the first of the six most sacred mountains and over ten thousand pilgrims make the 240 kilometer trek circumnavigating the mountain each year.

The scenic drive from Shangri-La to Meili winds through lush temperate and alpine forests, crossing the Baima Mountain Pass at 3,292 meters. The Yangtze drainage area lies on one side of the pass and the Mekong on the other. On emerging from the pass onto a steep descending road, the Meili peaks soon appear in the distance. Baima Snow Reserve, a UNESCO designated world heritage sight, is one of the truly wild places left in China. Nearly all of the world’s species of rhododendron originate from this area. There are even a few spots where red pandas and snow leopards roam free.

For more information about Songtsam, visit: www.songtsam.com/en/about

Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery - Exhibition Extended

November 26, 2021

Hai Zhang, American, b. 1976, Wuhan, Hubei Province, 2013, Archival pigment print on fiber paper, 28 x 18 in, 71.1 x 45.7 cm

Hai Zhang: Aged Innocence
September 17-December 11, 2021

The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm, by appointment.

Between 2013 and 2017, Hai Zhang frequently returned to his homeland in China for his job assignment as a photographer. By then, the economic prosperity in the big cities was visibly affecting the lives in small towns and remote areas. The unprecedented changes before his eyes as a cultural insider urged him to capture tens of thousands of black-and-white and color images that exemplify the historically and culturally complex locales and their inhabitants. The exhibition features a selection from this massive photo archive in the format of small prints and large collages.

For more information, click here

Lark Mason and Ryan Reynolds on Antiques Roadshow

November 22, 2021

Lark Mason and Ryan Reynolds on Antiques Roadshow, November 15, 2021

Actor Ryan Reynolds visited Antiques Roadshow with a prop, Cleopatra Egg, from the new Netflix movie Red Notice. A true veteran, Lark Mason offered an expert evaluation and jaw-dropping auction estimate in this whimsical sketch that has been enjoyed, so far, by more than 3 million viewers. Responding to Reynolds's contrived history of the object, Lark Mason played along and opined that the egg was "commissioned by Cleopatra at the end of her life" in 30 BC. Two, he said, can be found in "public collections", but one of them "disappeared" during World War II, pilfered by German soldiers and hidden at a secure location, "up until recently".

Red Notice, which is now available for streaming on Netflix and stars Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot, along with Reynolds, is an action-comedy that pairs an FBI profiler and the world's most wanted art thief.

To watch the Antiques Roadshow clip, click here

Golden Treasures: Japanese Gold Lacquer Boxes

November 22, 2021

Gold Lacquer Box with Pine Cones, 1929, Makie-e gold lacquer with shell and pewter inlays on wood, 5 x 11 x 9 in.

Golden Treasures: Japanese Gold Lacquer Boxes at Thomsen Gallery
Gallery Exhibition, November 22-December 17, 2021

Thomsen Gallery at 9 E. 63rd St in New York opened a new exhibition of exceptional Japanese gold-lacquer boxes dating from the 18th century to the present. You are warmly invited to visit and view the unique art works in person

The masterworks in the exhibition are all examples of maki-e, which literally means "sprinkled pictures" and refers to the technique of sprinkling powders of gold and silver onto wet lacquer, a distinctly Japanese tradition that developed in the Heian Period (794 – 1185).

To register to make an appointment to visit and learn more about the gallery's Covid policies, please email info@thomsengallery.com or click here.

Zoom in to our next webinar on collecting contemporary Asian art

November 19, 2021

The Diane and Arthur Abbey Collection of Japanese Bamboo Baskets at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Join us for the webinar Ahead of the Curve: Collecting Contemporary Asian Art on Thursday, December 2 at 5pm EST on Zoom

Continuing their series of lively and thought-provoking webinars, Asia Week New York is pleased to present Ahead of the Curve: Collecting Contemporary Asian Art, a webinar on Thursday, December 2 at 5:00 p.m. EST.


As contemporary Asian artists find more inventive forms, styles and media to express their creativity, there are more opportunities to entice collectors–both novice and seasoned–to start or build upon a new or existing collection. Whether it’s a geometric-shaped Japanese bamboo basket, a complex Chinese ink drawing from a young emerging artist, a dramatic contemporary Japanese photograph or a contemporary Indian painting, there is one thing that unites them: the collector’s discerning eye.

In partnership with Joan B Mirviss LTD, the panel discussion will spotlight four areas of contemporary Asian art: Chinese ink painting, bamboo art, South Asian art, and Asian photography. With expert insights from gallery owners, auction house experts and curators, alongside their passionate collecting clients, Ahead of the Curve will examine how this flourishing of contemporary Asian art has opened up exciting avenues of interest for savvy collectors. The panelists will discuss the challenges of being at the forefront of their fields: in introducing and promoting an unfamiliar medium, changing public perceptions, establishing new relationships with artists, and illuminating their quality and artistic merits to institutions and the general public. This essential discussion will be moderated by Joan Mirviss, who herself has pioneered the collecting of contemporary Japanese ceramics.

The distinguished panel includes:

Diane and Arthur Abbey have been collecting Japanese bamboo baskets for over 25 years. The culmination of their collecting resulted in a 2017-2018 groundbreaking eight-month exhibition of 90 of their pieces in the Japanese galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, attended by more than 400,000 visitors. Their outstanding collection, which has been gifted to The Met, helped fill a museum gap in the Met’s Japanese Collection. The couple worked closely with the entire Met’s Asian Department–particularly with Monika Bincsik, who served as curator of the exhibition and presently occupies The Diane and Arthur Abbey Curatorship for Japanese Decorative Arts, the first endowed position in the field in the Museum’s history. The Abbey Collection was based upon both emotional and visual appeal more than who the artist was. Some of the pieces are by artists who have been designated as Living National Treasures and some are by artists who are relatively unknown.

Anne Havinga is the Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Chair of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has been a staff member at the MFA since 1989 and has led the Museum’s Photography section since 2001. Now that Photography has become its own separate department at the MFA, she is its first Chair. Havinga has strengthened the MFA’s photography collection in a number of ways, including the building up of its nineteenth century holdings, and the development of a concerted plan—with Anne Nishimura Morse, the MFA’s William and Helen Pounds Senior Curator of Japanese Art—to collect Japanese photography. Havinga has organized a variety of exhibitions, ranging from early photography to contemporary.

John and Denise Knight collect contemporary ink art and Chinese ceramics. Their collection also includes some examples of recent Western art by artists such as Brice Marden and Joan Mitchell. The Knights are engaged intellectually and aesthetically in the fields they collect and are particularly interested in art that embodies an East/West Asian cultural dialogue. The Knights have spent half of their adult lives in Asia and the Middle East and the remainder in New York, where they currently reside.

Bharti Malkani is a New York-based art collector and philanthropist. She believes in the transformative power of education and has been championing systemic education reform in her native India for many years. Malkani earned her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and began her career in Investor Relations representing small-cap, publicly traded technology companies to the investing community. After several years she left the corporate world for entrepreneurial pursuits and now devotes her time to several non-profit entities including as a member of the Director's Council at the Penn Museum, Philadelphia. Her art collecting journey started in the late 1990's, and her primary focus is on Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art.

Manjari Sihare Sutin heads sales for the Modern and Contemporary South Asian Department at Sotheby’s for the Americas. She joined the auction house in 2015 and brings a breadth and depth of knowledge to her role acquired over eighteen years of experience in the field. Manjari has worked extensively with a range of cultural institutions and private collections in India and the United States. She holds two graduate degrees in Art History and Visual Arts Administration: from the National Museum Institute, New Delhi, and New York University, respectively.

Nasreen Mohamedi, Untitled
Nasreen Mohamedi, Untitled, Oil on canvas board, circa 1964, 47 x 35 in. (119.3 x 88.9 cm.) (Courtesy of Sotheby’s)

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Stanford in 2006, Margo Thoma moved to Santa Fe, where she co-founded the gallery Eight Modern in 2007. In 2014, Thoma purchased the Santa-Fe based TAI Gallery, merging it with her American contemporary art gallery, Eight Modern, and the result is TAI Modern. She and bamboo expert, Koichiro Okada, have continued gallery founder Rob Coffland’s mission of encouraging and advocating for Japanese bamboo art world-wide.  Works by TAI Modern artists have been placed in some of the country’s most prestigious institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.

Craig L. Yee is a co-founding director of INK Studio, a Beijing and New York-based gallery and experimental art space devoted to researching, documenting and exhibiting ink as a medium, language and discourse for the creation of contemporary art. Mr. Yee has played a central organizational and editorial role in a number of major university and museum research projects on classical Chinese painting including New Songs on Ancient Tunes (2007) at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Selected Masterworks of Modern Chinese Painting (2010) at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and Alternative Dreams (2016), a multi-year research and exhibition program on seventeenth-century Chinese painting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Originally from Japan, Miyako Yoshinaga founded her namesake gallery in 1999 in New York City, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA. It has flourished as a premier showcase promoting international artists with a focus on innovation and cross-boundary practices. The gallery has also been at the forefront of establishing Japanese and other Asian photography as a viable component in the international art arena. She has been curating survey exhibitions for Japanese and Korean master photographers with a scholarly emphasis, while fostering younger artists’ careers and ambitious projects through exhibitions and international art fairs.

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