Asia week is definitely one of the highlights of my year. It’s an amazing opportunity to see and discover the story behind beautiful works of art, and possibly start your own collection! This year, I was really drawn to the subject of fantastic animals, both real and imagined.
We started the gallery tour at China Fine Art 2000 which showcased work by An Ho 安和, a female artist born in Beijing 1927, who began studying at the age of 17 under Pu Ru 溥儒 (master painter and cousin of the last emperor of China). Her painting, Prowling Tiger, impressed her teacher so much that he completed the background and wrote the inscription for the painting. At Carole Davenport gallery, the scroll painting of two tigers by Maruyama Okyo (18th C.) shows a gorgeous, stylized tiger with piercing eyes that jumps off the scroll. The Chinese bronze horse (2nd Century AD.) at Gisele Croes (Gagosian Gallery), was stunning, its motion beautifully expressed in fluid lines.
Other favorites of mine included an adorable Khmer Sandstone Lion (9 – 10th C.) at Nancy Weiner Gallery that reminded me of Doraemon. There is a similar looking (although more elongated version) Guardian Lion (11 – 12th C.) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The mythological beasts (Carole Davenport) looks like a cross between a rhino and a dinosaur with 3 spikes. The fanged Tomb Guardian at The Met also has 3 spikes but looks like a gargoyle.
It was so amazing to see works from 2nd Century AD. to modern day, with artists who were and are still influenced by the beauty of nature and fantasy.