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Asia Week 2013 Press Walk

It’s a rare event that will have me gladly wake up at 6am without pressing the snooze button.   But at 8am yesterday, I was at China 2000 Fine Art, eager to partake in the Asia Week New York‘s Press Walk.  Asia Week’s PR maven, Marilyn White led a group to preview some of the galleries participating in Asia Week New York, the annual collaboration of international Asian art specialists, major auction houses, museums and Asian cultural institutions.  We visited around 30 galleries in the span of 12 hours and had a fascinating, eye-opening and education experience.

At its fifth year, the Asia Week takes place in metropolitan New York with a diverse group of galleries showing antiques, traditional and contemporary artwork from Asia inluding China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, India, and is open to the public from March 15 – March 23, 2013.

Here are a few highlights of my day.

Dai Ichi Arts 
Contemporary Chinese and Japanese
100 Central Park South 11C,
Newy York, NY 10019

Dai Ichi Art’s exhibit, The Best of the Two Contemporary Asian Countries:  Chinese Shuimo (水墨 water ink) Paintings and Japanese Ceramics, truly was a representation of the perfect melding of Western and Eastern techniques in Chinese Shuimo Paintings and Japanese Ceramics.

Kato Tsubusa (b. 1962) Square Bowl, 2008.  Pale blue glazed porcelain

Hayashi Yasuo 林康夫, Kawabata Kentaro  小原康裕,  Miwa Kazuhiko 三輪和彥, Nagae Shigekazu 長江重和, Wada Morihiro 和田守卑良 and Wakao Toshisada 若尾利貞 represent the golden age and the modern renaissance of ceramic making in Japan.  Their  work is traditional yet curretn, architectural yet abstract; disciplined yet free spirited.

Li Huisheng 李惠生, Camels in Tian Shen Mountain (2002)

Li Huisheng 李惠生, rediscovers the essence of traditional Shuimo paintings in his unique, expressive and vigourous style.

Kang Collection
9 East 82nd Street., 3A
Royal Splendor: Royal court paintings of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea 1832-1910

Orchids and Rocks painted by Prince Yi Ha-Ung when he was in his 80’s around 1900.    This notorious prince was politically ambitious but also renowned in Korea was his paintings of orchids.

Orchids and Rocks painted by Prince Yi Ha-Ung
Close up of Orchids and Rocks

Early 20th century Books and Scholars Accoutrements – Eight-panel folding screen

Chaekkgori (books and scholar equipment) screen – symbolizes knowledge and wealth

Joan B. Mirviss Ltd
(Contemporary Japanese),
39 East 78th St., 4th Floor

A visit to Joan B. Mirviss to see “The Seven Sages of Ceramics: Modern Japanese Masters, is a not a mere visual delight.  This is a rare chance to experience the creations of the rockstars of the Japanese ceramic world, Arakawa Toyozô, Ishiguro Munemaro, Kamoda Shôji, Kawakita Handeishi, Kitaôji Rosanjin, Okabe Minueo, and Yagi Kazuo.   The twisted forms, asymmetric shapes, allow the eye and mind to wander and explore. Mirviss encourages guests to touch these masterpieces, which adds more wonder to this journey.

Joan B. Mirviss showing Round dish with angled walls by Kamoda Shôji (1966).  The pointed bottom  allows the dish to “float”, and the angled walls give it many points of visual interest.

Okabe Mineo, Twisting, carved crackle celadon-glazed vessel, 1968.  Stoneware with celadon glaze.
Yagi Kazuo.  White square vessel with incised abstract patterning, 1966.  Glazed stoneware.
Okabe Mineo, Oribe vase wwith extremely long neck and carved surface, 1963.  Glazed stoneware
Kamoda Shôji, triple-tiered vessel with blue, gray and white enamel stripes, 1979. Glazed stoneware.

Sue Ollemans
Valentina Gallery
960  Madison Avenue, 3rd Fl, at 75th Street

Sue specialises in Mughal and antique Gold Indian jewellery and antique gold articles from China and South East India.  Stunning pieces include a golden Turban Ornament set with diamonds and threaded with seed pearls and tumbled emeralds and a Chaupad set, which was a dice game set for Indian aristocracy. 

Turban Ornament (Turrah), Northern India Lucknow, Gold on a lac core enamelled ands et with diamonds in gold and silver kundan with threaded seed pearls and tumbled emeralds.

A Pair of Gold and Ruby Hairpins, Chinese Ming Dynasty Wanli, 16th century

Korean gold earrings from the Shilla Dynasty (6th -7th century)
Chaupad Set

M. Sutherland Fine Arts, Ltd
Chinese Abstraction
55 East 80th St., 2nd Floor

Principal Martha Sutherland, who was educated at Princeton as an art historian and who speaks fluent Mandarin, is deep reservoir of knowledge about Chinese culture and contemporary art, and has longstanding relationships with many of today’s renowned Chinese artists.  This year’s exhibit includes works by different artists with varied backgrounds and using artistic mediums.

 Hai Tao, who was born into a family of intellectuals in Nanjing, is a landscape painter, who epitomizes the scholar painter and who has won numerous awards in China.

Zhu Jinshi

Zhu Jinshi, from Beijing, who was a factory worker in the 1970, was influenced by Western abstract oil paintings and was trained in Berlin.  Mr. Zhu was part of the first influential avante-garde group of artists after the Cultural Revolution, the “Stars Group” (Xing Xing).

Zhu Dao Ping ‘Autumn View’  (2011)
Zhu Dao Ping, a prolific and respected painter born in Zhejiang, China, is the current President of Nanjing Academy of Calligraphy and Painting.

Hai Tao, Shindig (2005)

Lesley Kehoe Exhibit
Contemporary Japanese art
Fuller Bld, 41 East 57th Street, 5th Floor

Lesley Kehoe has a range of art work including lacquerware, jewelry made with washi or Japanese Mulberry and also Contemporary screen artist, Maio Motoko


刻Koku  Fleeting Moments
Maio Motoko 2011

A13 fold screen of graduating panels. It is a both a painting and an object – a bewitchingly ambivalent form. You don’t completely partition a room, but rather capture the fleeting mood of a moment and enjoy the imperceptible sound of it vanishing.

Screen by Maio Motoko

Screen by Maio Motoko

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, 6D

We ended the evening at Scholten Japanese Art, which was fitting since the theme of Scholten’s exhibit is nightlife.  A highlight of the exhibit was small-format six-panel screen that depicts the famous female shrine dancer Izumo no Okuni who is credited with originating the kabuki theater (which later became restricted to male actors only) in Kyoto. Okuni created a hugely popular to to raise money for the temple.  The risque show, which was scandalous because of the cross dressing (Okuni dressed as a samurai) was soon imitated by female prostitutes and the government quickly banned women from performing kabuki.

A screen depicting the founder of Kabuki, Okinomo Kabuki performing on stage. 
 Utagawa Toyokuni (1769-1825), Gallery Director Katherine Martin explains how to tell the difference between a Geisha and Courtesan (hint: Courtesans have many combs in there hair).
Keisai Eisen (1790-1848) Eight Favorite Things in the Modern World: Theater, A young girl holding a shuttlecock and badminton racquet.

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III, 1786 -1865) Beauty Walking in Snow

Group Photo!

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