Saturday, March 15, 2014


What is Asian Art and what does Asia Week mean to New Yorkers? Well, for those of you who are novice collectors this week offers an opportunity to buy both ancient and contemporary art from
Japan, India, southeast Asia, Korean and yes, even China.
   When considering a work of art the best advice is to purchase art that resonates with your creative senses, something that you are drawn to and would enjoy for years to come as a centerpiece in your home. All it takes on your part is an eye for beauty and an appreciation for the hand-craftsmanship of artifacts with timeless design that will never go out of style. You should never compromise or be put off by a small budget; always buy the best you can afford.
   Adding to the value of the object you purchase is its provenance, which authenticates its origin. The dealers are knowledgeable and invite you to ask questions, but it is also a good idea to get a heads up on Asia Art. A comprehensive guide with maps, the agenda of lectures and symposia is available at participating galleries, auction houses and cultural institutions.
   Some 47 galleries open their doors to loyal customers and a new generation of collectors all this week from March 14 to March 22. It’s not only an educational and entertaining experience but gallery hopping will confront you with affordable range of Asian works of art priced to fit even a novice collector’s budget. To pinpoint a few of the galleries: Here’s the Scoop!!!
PATHS TO THE DIVINE: NANCY WIENER GALLERY, 2109 Broadway, Suite 10-18 (Hotel Ansonia) explores the vast range of sacred imagery from the ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions of India, the Himalayas and Southeast Asia. This year, in addition to stone and bronze sculpture, the gallery is offering Nancy Weiner’s collection of Indian Miniature paintings. Perhaps “small” is the point to begin your collection. However, do see from Tibet, a serenely posed 11th century painted book cover, terracotta red background, devoted to Buddhist goddess, TARA, shown left. And from Thailand, a fine and rare 8-9thcentury figure of Vajrasattva from the Srivijaya period.
KIDERA YUKO METALWORK Byron Kehoe from the LESLEY KEHOE GALLERIES in Melbourne, Australia (exhibiting at Fuller Building, 41 E. 57th St. 5th floor) says that Japanese contemporary arts offer wonderful opportunities for new and young collectors. Japanese metalwork is unique and features a number of extraordinary techniques that have evolved from time-honored traditions and are now interpreted by contemporary artists. One such artist, Kidera Yuko resonated with her technical mastery of flat sheets of metal that she transforms into song and dance themes in her work. With the female form as a central motif, Yuko uses the anonymity of faceless, body-less costume to express the personalities of her sculptures. In ‘Dancing Girl’ and “Diva” one is captivated by the free swinging swirling skirt that evokes the faceless personality.
LANDSCAPE and NATURE IN CONTEMPORARY CHINESE INK at THE CHINESE PORCELAIN COMPANY, 475 Park Ave. at 58th St. features ancient and contemporary art including a group of exquisite green-glazed stoneware such as the famed celadon pieces of the Song Dynasty’s funerary jar, known as hunping which is the most dramatic type of Yue ware. Landscape and Nature is a dynamic painting show that includes new work of the masters of contemporary ink and their disciplines. Liu Dan, for one, arguably the forefather of Chinese contemporary ink painting presents his magnificent poppy finished in breath-taking detail, showing the master’s subtle brushwork and delicate coloration.
PRECIOUS LITTLE THINGS (The Diminutive and Dynamic) at JADESTONE, 41 East 57th St., 9th floor, presents artifacts of miniature to small scale. However, the works of art are, for the most part, not just small but miniature forms and objects that you might recognize. A small Carnelian Snuff Bottle in an unexpected bright orange color might resonate with you. The selection of miniature carvings of a Heavenly Maiden or a snuff dish are among a wide range of precious little things that you might afford to collect and most importantly be the inspiration for starting a collection. By the way, a singular artifact indeed may be a thing of beauty but a ‘collection,’ in a specific genre, can become a more valuable asset.
KOO NEW YORK at MARK MURRAY GALLERY, 39 East 72 St, 5th floor, Korean Traditions: Arts of the Interior presents exceedingly rare Korean antique furniture that is difficult to find in this country. ‘Not to be missed’-- among the Florida-based gallerist’s offerings is an 18th-century Confucian wood alter chair for adoration of male ancestors, which is finely reticulated with lotus motifs. Another furniture piece, that looks like a repository for books, is incised at each side with images that look like Swastikas but they are instead the reverse design of the same image that are actually ancient symbols of good tidings. Magnificent screens include a ten-panel screen, called Scholar’s Articles, colored on paper and mounted on silk brocade.
INDIAN PAINTINGS and COURTLY OBJECTS: FRANCESCA GALLOWAY exhibiting at Lesley Feely Fine Art, 33 E. 68th St., 5th floor revolves around core collection Indian paintings in exquisite color and storytelling scenes including: The night of Shab-barat, Ladies with Fireworks on a Terrace by the artist Mola Bagas. This delightful late-18th-century work depicts courtly ladies, in beautiful attire, celebrating with fireworks rendered in opaque pigments with gold on paper. Rama and Sita enthroned with Laksmana and Han is a scene from the epic, Ramayana. It tells the story of Rama and Sita and how overcome many obstacles in their endeavor to be together. The elegance of these paintings should appeal to the modern aesthetic of a young collector's portfolio.

This brief report in no way covers the magnitude of the galleries which are open and free to the public. This is a rare and wonderful opportunity to view some of the rarest and finest Asian examples of artworks—all representing the artistry, ingenuity and imagination from every corner and time period of Asia.

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